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Letter from... Dubai

19 May 2020

By Shaimaa Aly, Account Manager, Newgate Abu Dhabi

The UAE “sterilisation programme”, started at the end of March. No one is allowed to be out of their homes, unless for an absolute necessity between 10pm and 6am – a relaxation this week from the previous 8pm deadline.  You may call it a ‘curfew’ that’s not how our government describes it!

The number of recoveries from the virus is increasing day by day; also, none of the recovered cases in the UAE have suffered reinfection.

It is beautiful to hear about the hundreds and thousands of people volunteering from all nationalities, to help those in need for support around the country and abroad, if they can. Not only are they helping in the medical sector, but in everything from the sterilisation programme to food deliveries. 

The high level of awareness and the refreshing spirit of support people are giving each other is down to many factors, one of which is that since the epidemic started the Government has communicated it plans very well. They have continued to answer questions such as: What will happen with work policies? What would happen to me if I lost my job? Am I going to lose my job?! What is happening to patients in hospitals or self-isolation? Is there enough food? Can I use transportation? 

Whilst at the start, it seemed that a lot of new rules and decisions were taken very quickly, they have been successful and reassuring in these difficult times.

Positive messages and conversations are delivered every day by people who are viewed as role models. They send messages like “we are stronger together”, “we will win this war against the virus”, and “our lives will come back even better than before”. I guess that is what everybody needs: massive reassurance that things will return as they were and, in fact, to be told that it will actually be far better than before thanks to the harsh but lasting lesson of community strength which we will take from the pandemic. 

Being with family at these strange times has made us realise how important it is to care for each other, especially when family members might be working at the front line of the medical sector. Some people have found that being at home for a long time has caused them trouble, but I have found it a great opportunity to bring parents, children and siblings together.

I think we were too busy before to realise the impact we have on everything and everyone around us. The earth is starting to heal with reduced pollution, kids are spending more time with their parents and families, governments are looking for new policies to ensure their people are safe no matter what. I see a huge “silver lining” in this pandemic cloud and I think the world is recovering to become better and stronger.