In January 2020, first Covid-19 case was reported in UAE. Soon after that, the Emirates went into a lockdown. And life, as we knew iti, ceased to continue in Dubai after Covid-19.
People could not but accept this change for the sake of their lives. No one could imagine wearing a surgical mask in public in the past. But today, this is a part of the ‘new normal’.
THE ‘NEW NORMAL’
Once Coronavirus broke out, people stayed in their houses due to lockdown. When it ended, life didn’t go back to how it was. It entered a ‘new normal’. Citizens faced frequent temperature testing. They couldn’t hug or even stand close to each other. They had to keep everyone ‘at arm’s length.’
Likewise, authorities placed many safety measures in Dubai after Covid-19. This is to ensure citizens’ health. Also, these rules will help to prevent a rise in Coronavirus cases.
Here are some aspects of the ‘new normal’ in Dubai.
Citizens need to keep a distance of at least 6 feet. As a result, some changes are obvious in public places. For instance, tables are kept at odd distances at restaurants. In the same way, floors are marked in malls and grocery stores to help customers keep a safe distance.
Masks are new add-ons these days. However, not everyone in Dubai is happy about it. Some whine about how itchy it feels. The scorching heat of the city makes it very hard for people to put masks on for a whole day. Others whine about the veiling effects of masks in communications. It is not easy to judge the look of a masked face.
Hand sanitizers also came into vogue in Dubai after Covid-19. The hand sanitizer markets grew rapidly during the pandemic. They are used in large amounts – both at home and in public places. Restaurants, gyms, schools, offices, etc. are cleansed from time to time. Utmost care is taken to kill any speck of the virus.
‘New normal’ gave way to new greeting gestures. In Arab culture, it is fine to touch noses or give 3 kisses on the right cheek of a person of the same gender. Or they simply shake hands. But due to coronavirus, none of this happens anymore. People rub their elbows instead.
Lastly, there is a major shift in learning, working and socializing. Since people couldn’t get face-to-face meetings, they switched to video calling.
In this respect, Zoom is the most widely used app for online meetings around the world. It counted more than 300 million participants using the app daily at its peak. In Dubai, the app was unbanned in March. In that month alone, it witnessed a whopping growth of users. It recorded 100,000 users in March.
RESTRICTIONS IN DUBAI AFTER COVID-19
There were many restrictions at first. However, Dubai has replaced most of those restrictions with safety measures.
Citizens of Dubai can now visit social and amusement spots. They are free to go out at anytime between 6 am and 11 pm. For Fajr prayers and morning exercise, they can leave their houses as early as 4.30 am. But no more than 5 persons can meet under the new safety steps.
Owing to its hi-tech and up to date system, Dubai didn’t suffer much in the educational field. Schools quickly switched to online learning.
Even when schools reopened, students were free to choose either online or face-to-face learning models.
There are some restrictions at all airports in the UAE. A negative PCR test completed within the past 96 hours by a nationally recognized body is essential.
Travelers must show the certificate at check-in. After that, they have to complete a “health declaration form“ before travel. Then they register on an app called “COVID-19 DXB” app.
If symptoms show in a passenger on arrival, they must self-quarantine for 14 days. They have to do this at their own cost. If they are flying with Emirates airlines, then their payment will be made by the airline company.
BALANCING HEALTH AND ECONOMY
The authorities in Dubai aimed at balancing public health, economy and community life. And they have done a great job at that. The performance of Dubai after Covid-19 has been great. It was able to control the coronavirus cases aptly. At the same time, it has maintained its economy and community life.
THE WAY FORWARD:
Major firms are trying to develop a vaccine against Covid-19. Some progress is made almost every day. Meanwhile, it is vital to follow safety measures to avoid an upsurge in cases.
The world has changed. There is no doubt about it. The need of the hour is to switch to the ‘new normal’ as quickly as possible in this fast-changing world.