CORONAVIRUS CHRONICLES: SYRIA AT THE INTERSECTION OF COVID AND CIVIL WAR

ANDREW DAHI WRITES — Imagine quarantining in the middle of a civil war for an entire year. Never leaving your house or having outside human interaction. Your wife, who is healthier and a good 10 years younger, goes out for necessities, giving you no good reason to leave the house. Still, after an entire year of quarantining, the inevitable happens: you get Covid.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for my 92-year-old grandpa living in Syria, who, after not leaving the house for an entire year, has caught the virus.

Syria, a country that is struggling to maintain itself in the midst of a civil war, has not been able to manage the virus as seriously as its people would have liked. Civilians in the streets don’t wear masks and the vaccine has yet to make its way to the country, so it is extremely dangerous for people at risk to try to live even semi-normally.

The situation is Syria is so bad that even hospitals aren’t very useful, as the level of medicine practiced there is nowhere near as advanced as it is in other places around the world. My grandpa has a nurse living with him and a doctor who checks on him every day. The covid situation is showing no sign of slowing down, as people are not getting vaccinated and have decided to go on with their daily lives as normal with the mindset of “if I get it, I get it.”

I say all of this as a vaccinated California resident who often takes my blessings for granted. I am able to head towards things going back to normal and leave my house whenever I feel like it. I just ask that we all keep in mind that we are incredibly lucky and that so many others around the world are struggling. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers as we head back to normality here in the US and count your blessings, no matter how routine they may seem.

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