Older People and COVID-19: Making The Most Of The Lockdown In Jordan

May 6, 2020 | All posts, Opinions and contributions, Webinar blogs

By Sameer Sharbaji

When I first heard about COVID-19, I did not take it seriously. I thought it would never come near Jordan since China is very far away from us. But after reading and hearing more information about it, and when cases in Jordan started growing, I started to fear for me and my family’s wellbeing.

After becoming a pensioner, the only way to fill my free time was to go to the mosque, meet my friends and pray together. One day when I went to pray and found the mosque’s door was closed with a paper that said ‘The mosque is closed for your safety, please pray at your homes’, I cried.

COVID-19 has affected my life greatly, I have stopped going out, I have stopped going to the mosque and I have a lot of free time. But at the same time, now my family and I pray together, including my grandchildren. We eat all of our meals together which brings us closer. It has given us time to communicate and become closer to each other, especially with my grandchildren – I teach them and help them with their homework.

We follow all the precautions, I am strict about this with my family. it is a must to wear masks and gloves when going out and to sanitise and clean everything. Luckily my daughter and son understand that my wife and I are over 60, and the virus poses greater risks to us because of our age. And of course, we are forbidden by the government to go out, so they always go and get the groceries for us.

The number of cases in Jordan really worries me, but what worries me, even more, is how many people are risking their lives and the lives of others by breaking the law and going out, even though the government has banned going out. It seems they don’t understand that this disease spreads easily and fast, and it can be fatal to those whose immune system is weak. It worries me that some people might have COVID-19 and sit with their families, without getting checked, even though it’s free to do so. Putting their family’s lives at risk is not worth whatever reason they hide.

Thankfully, I have all my medicine. I am also very pleased with all the precautionary measures that the Jordanian government is taking. It was very quick to take actions and control the situation. I feel the government is closer to us the people.  If you call 911, they will immediately come and test you for COVID-19. If the test comes positive, they will take you away and monitor your wellbeing and the wellbeing of those who came in contact with the patient. The number of recoveries is growing every day.

This blog was originally posted on HelpAge International and can be accessed here.