What is the use of believing in God if a simple virus makes us panic buy and act selfishly?
Yet, the unexpected virus is going to expose Moroccans to some of the realities they have been afraid to face for ages. Among them are the values the kingdom has celebrated for years and the psychology of people in the face of crises.
Oddly enough, upon hearing that the government was going to close schools due to the possibility of infection, the vast majority of students felt happier and went on to celebrate the event on social media. School, for Moroccan students, is a psychological burden. Education is a great weapon, though. Are students ready for distance learning to make up for being absent from classes?
Meanwhile, out of envy, some people have said teachers are going to go on holiday early when in fact a large number of them have expressed their willingness to teach their students remotely and do voluntary tutoring. Why do we argue over little things while the real issue is COVID-19?
The minute the Ministry of Education announced the closure of schools because of the coronavirus, many Moroccans rushed to the supermarkets and began to panic buy as though they lost control.
At a time when we expect the Moroccan society to live by its long-celebrated principles of solidarity, moral support, selflessness and sharing, we instead hurried to accumulate foodstuffs for fear of a curfew.
Hard times used to bring Moroccans together. Remember the colonial days!
Now, with the coronavirus pandemic, we are going to take a stand. Either we stand together or we fall. Reassurance, taking strict sanitary measures, promising support, empathy, and looking after one another are going to determine whether or not we are serious about saving our lives and others’.
For another thing, I still cannot understand why my fellow Moroccans have made jokes and laughed at the spread of this frightening coronavirus.
Instead of learning from China and European countries which took the war on the virus seriously, some of us have treated the pandemic with cynicism and fun-making. Problems have long been a source of mockery and provocation among the Moroccan society for no logical reason.
Transparency and trust
Honesty and transparency as values among our politicians are well worth reconsidering, particularly in the presence of such a crisis as the coronavirus. Whereas German Chancellor Angela Merkel was honest by declaring that most Germans are likely to contract the virus, Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othman kept reassuring Moroccans. Are his statements signs of honesty or denial?
As Muslims, we should not fear such calamities. Quite the contrary, faith has long played a crucial role among our ancestors during challenging days.
What is the use of believing in God if a simple coronavirus makes us panic buy and act selfishly? Besides, why don’t we read thoroughly about the virus and learn moral lessons instead of spreading fear and bringing about anxiety among people?
Sooner or later, COVID-19 will teach Moroccans unforgettable moral lessons. Most important of them all could be that we will all have to revisit our values system.
This is not to dramatize the crisis, but rather to draw our attention to the necessity of making serious changes, not only to our values and principles but also to the health care system as a whole. The situation is changing daily. However, learning from China and its people must compel us to ask the question: Are we really ready for this coronavirus?
As Moroccans, the trust we have lost in our previous governments needs to be revived, especially because there have been crises, such as floods and road accidents, when the authorities failed to play their roles. I hope the pandemic is not among them. Otherwise, whatever the authorities tell us may not fall on the right ears.
Let us remind ourselves that thanks to trust, the Chinese have crushed COVID-19. Do Moroccans still trust? I sincerely hope so.
Nobody can deny that this global challenge is a true test of the extent to which we Moroccans have the ability to work as a community instead of as selfish individuals. Media hysteria and panic will not help stem the coronavirus pandemic in Morocco and are a total waste of time and energy. Instead, the government’s extraordinary preventive measures will be much more effective to limit the pandemic spread. However, let us bear in mind that the coronavirus could test Moroccan values this time.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial views.
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