Satanic Viruses

A Muslim at Al Alzhar Mosque in Egypt on March 20. (Reuters / Yonhap)

A Muslim at Al Alzhar Mosque in Egypt on March 20. (Reuters / Yonhap)

By Ashraf Aboul-Yazid
President of Asia Journalists Association (AJA)

CAIRO: As the whole world is combating coronavirus, the destructive virus of modern times, Egyptians, both authorities and people, are persuading themselves that they are in fact fighting more than that one specific virus!

The first virus the Egyptian government faces – in its long war against the COVID-19 troops – is media, both the official and the foreign ones.

The official one is not informative enough nor responsible while the foreign media is represented by Qatar (Al Jazeera) and Turkey (Anadolu News Agency), the two media that broadcast all types of fake news about their political opponents, including Egypt and Arabian Gulf states.

The Egyptian government responded faster and more aggressively than governments in the UK, USA and many other countries by shutting schools and universities and forcing a curfew from 7 pm to 6 am, with full lockdown during weekends (Friday and Saturday).

However, Egypt is still seen as hiding the real numbers of the Egyptians who were infected or who died from the coronavirus.

The second virus the Egyptians are facing is actions by fanatics who ignore the precautionary and safety measures announced and taken by the authorities. While gatherings are restricted due to their dangerous effects in spreading the virus, those who believe they are true Muslims or Christians could not stop themselves from gathering to pray in groups.

In one case, an Imam was leading prayers after worshippers sneaked into the mosque through a secret passage, challenging the official announcement that people pray at their homes.

In addition to these two viruses, there is the most dangerous of all: the virus of poverty.

Most workers will not survive unless they go out seeking a menial job on a daily basis to obtain some money and pay for food and necessities for themselves and their families. In their case, money is not provided by the government or the private sector companies unless they work.

Some sectors, like banks, reduced the working hours and load of employees. Restaurants are ordered to supply food by delivery only.

Life in Egypt is not going the way most Egyptians want, due to the increasing cost of living and the shortage of needed infrastructure in the medical sector. The problematic situation is compounded by the fact that the virus is not promising that this situation will end soon. To the contrary, it seems that it could be only worse.

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