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Coronavirus … and the social media!

Yusuf Awadh Al-Azmi

The WhatsApp messages and Twitter hashtags as well as other messages of warning, satire and alleviation are all about one topic – coronavirus, a disease that has hit many countries including China where the epidemic emanated before spreading to other countries.

Messages on coronavirus are abound on social media, some of which claiming that the disease was a deliberate action or part of a biological warfare against a particular country. Some people even support their claim with copies of newspapers dating back to the last century which show some columnists had predicted the disease since then. Many others claim to have received some hints that the world will end in the year 2020. All of the above do not have any official source! They are only hearsays and rumors that are quickly spread on the social media platforms.

Again, it is obvious that the virus has spread to several countries such that it has become the most discussed prevailing issue. There are many countries that claim the disease has not spread to its territories, but the veracity cannot be substantiated due to antecedents (Unfortunately, I am referring to Arab countries!).

Meanwhile, governments, which trust their abilities and the competency of their teams, and with credibility among citizens, have been handling the issue positively, and following the news channels closely as a sign of respect for duties on their shoulders towards their subjects.

If we go back to the history of Kuwait, we will realize that the year called “Year of Epidemic” was the year when a killer disease spread across the country and claimed thousands of lives. This happened in 1831 (1247 AH) during the reign of Sheikh Jaber bin Abdullah Al-Sabah (*1).

Some historians concluded that the death of thousands due to the plague had changed the demography of Kuwait. Some of them said the number of deaths was more than half of the Kuwaiti population, while others claim that it covered three-quarters of the population.

I want to relate information from an article. The Arabian Peninsula experienced an epidemic known as the “Black Death”, which included the plague that occurred in Kuwait on June 15, 1831. This plague happened when Kuwaitis were in the pearl diving season in search for daily loaf and also on the commercial ships used for trade with India.

Kuwaiti historian Abdul-Aziz Al-Rushaed has this to say concerning the issue, “If not because some Kuwaitis were on commercial ships and some of them fled to Shuwaikh, Kuwait would have become empty and all its citizens dead.” (*2)

Epidemics and diseases are cases that can happen in any society or country. It is an army of Allah, so its prevention and combat lie in faith in Allah, its eventuality and destiny. The incident should be handled with diligence, and concerned officials must be empowered to deal with it. The society should be enlightened with clear awareness messages from competent and trusted doctors.

By the grace of God, it seems things are getting clearer, and the virus can be overcome with success from Allah.

I beseech Allah for protection and safety for everybody, and I wish the infected persons full recovery by the grace of Allah Almighty.

References:       *1 – Wikipedia

*2 – Mohammad Hayef Al-Enezi, Al-Kuwaitiyah newspaper on July 28, 2019

Twitter – @alzmi1969

By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi

”Disease is a school of learning that will be a blessing rather than curse if the patient seizes the advantage”

           – Mustafa Al-Saba’e.

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