Emad Barsoum writes: A Year without a MASK
It is the morning of the first day of the New Year, my daughter, looking through the window towards the empty streets, and in a calm but gloomy voice, she said; a New Year dad but we are still wearing the mask, nothing changed! When she heard me coming in.
With a pretended cheerful voice I replied, it is a new year and a new hope, my princess. She turned to me and realized that I share with her the same feeling of despair.
Suddenly I noticed that if we cannot profoundly change our thoughts and act in a hopeful manner, then we will lose the faith for a better future, a future where we can walk without the masks, shake hands with those whom we appreciate, embrace our beloved ones, forget the social distancing so we can dance again and become alive on more time.
The path to the new hope starts only within us, both people and governments, and the first thing that must change is the message of the media and the governments. Certainly to warn the people regularly about the dangers of the virus and how serious it is, yet do not illustrate it as a scary science fiction movie. The message has to come from officials who should be trained first by psychologists about how to address mass people in a positive manner, and building trust between them and officials. On screens we must see and hear more optimistic people rather than those who carry desolation in their eyes and voices
People must refrain from receiving the knowledge and information from others on the social media, which carries many false information, misleading and non-scientific ones, conspiracy theories, all coming from people suffering from Histrionic Personality Disorder, those who want to be always noticed and become the center of attention.
We should not accept the fact that the future is only for online business, do not fall in this trap; we must walk out again to malls and stores with our families, looking at displays and trying on the clothes. Stop at the food courts and have a bite among other shoppers. Enjoy the real live shopping where we can see feel tough and smell the products, this is the enjoyment of shopping which is a psychological cure.
Families need to go to restaurants celebrating their special occasions, we should enjoy romantic evenings with our lovers and celebrating anniversaries together.
We must refrain from falling into the myth that this is the only future we should accept, social isolation, absence of emotions and humanity, life behind screens, virtual life and the list is long.
Let us fight back hard and should not surrender to the imposed fate, let us go to the beaches again, ski, take the children for swimming, go on cruises. We want to watch the movies on the silver screens, there are still wonderful musicals and concerts that we want to attend. We are looking to go to the weddings of our nephews and nieces and enjoy the parties again.
That is attainable if we stand together to defeat the pandemic on one side, and believe in the future, the one we want for our children and us, a future without a mask.