An “exotic” parade-of-one pickup was spotted driving through the streets of Saida, South Lebanon, with a guy dancing on its back for the bored quarantined on their balconies.
“We won’t handshake, we won’t kiss, we won’t transfer the vayroos (virus),” the colorful truck blasted on its speaker an Egyptian song inspired by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and social distancing.
The coronavirus threat meant nothing to Saida people who tried encouraging people to not transfer the vayroos by refraining from handshakes and kisses.
It is no secret that we, the people of Lebanon, go big for hugs and kisses. Two kisses or three kisses? Do I go for a hug or is this person just a handshake material? When will teta stop grabbing my face to give me a big toothless kiss on the cheek?
These are all universal dilemmas that the Lebanese people are taking a break from. Now, social distancing is the new “I went for a kiss but all I got was a smile and a handshake” savage.
The song blasted in the parade-of-one in Saida might be Egyptian, but it sure fits the Lebanese situation like a glove. Lebanon has been in quarantine for almost three weeks, and as necessarily as quarantine, it is not as fun.
Lebanese Minister of Public Health Hamad Hassan confirmed that the results of this general mobilization will only appear five weeks after the decision was implemented.
This means that the coronavirus cases emerging currently are still the result of previous social interactions and not current ones. In a few weeks, Lebanon will be able to announce if the virus was contained from spreading further.
“We don’t even talk about containment for seasonal flu — it’s just not possible,” WHO Director-General Ghebreyesus said at a briefing. “But it is possible for Covid-19.”
“We don’t do contact-tracing for seasonal flu — but countries should do it for Covid-19 because it will prevent infections and save lives,” the said and assured that “containment is possible.”
Get the latest news and updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon along with a live monitor of cases in Lebanon as well as resources and information to help you guide the outbreak on our dedicated coronavirus page.