Eid During COVID-19


Let’s celebrate with physical distancing not with socially distancing.

Zafar Iqbal

COVID-19 a pandemic declared by W.H.O Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on March, 11 2020 needs no introduction. It would not be wrong to say that the world has come to a standstill because of Ccovid-19.

The virus is not differentiating poor, rich, old young, citizens of developed, developing or under developed countries although the fatality rates are varying, but no one knows whose immunity is stronger to fight this deadly virus.

Coming to point, a number of religious and cultural festivals were consumed by the corona and no one could celebrate them with usual gaitey and ferver. Eid is just round the corner and it’s unlikely to be celebrated with traditional ferver. We will not be able to gather in Eidgah to offer Salat al-Eid, may not be able to visit our friends, family members or our near and dear ones. This doesn’t mean that we should forget our duties. Saying Eid greetings, taking care of poor and needy giving charity are some of the activities which we should perform with more vigour and enthusiasm now than ever.

Jeremy Freese, Professor of Sociology at Stanford University says,” Social Distancing makes it sound like people should stop communicating with one another, while instead we should be preserving as much community as we can even while we keep our physical distance from one another.” He added “We need to do physical distancing to protect everyone’s physical wellbeing, but mental wellbeing is obviously also important, and social isolation is not good for mental wellbeing.

An epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said on March 20, “We are changing to say physical distance and that’s on purpose because we want people to still remain connected.”

Physical Distance is measured in metric meters or centimeters. It is geographical distance from person A to person B while “social distance” is a measure of distance across social boundaries.

Nowadays everyone especially COVID-19 warriors-the frontline workers which includes doctors, paramedics and all other employees associated who are behind the curtains and facing mental dilemma as many of them hadn’t visited their families since long thus taking toll of their mental and phyisical health. Celebration of festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr that too in social isolation may increase the mental stress during the pandemic COVID-19 and we have to try our level best to decrease the mental strain of our people. Our little effort in decreasing social isolation and encouraging physical distancing may be helpful in flattening the curve and help reduce the stress levels.

Technology right now has advanced so greatly that we can keep connected in many ways without actually physically being in the same room or at the same space with people. A number of social networking platforms are helping to stay us connected with all our dear ones and we should encourage the social connections that too in this pandemic.

To conclude, in these strange times of the virus, let’s encourage clear physical distance (minimum two meters) but at the same time remain close to each other “socially”.

On the holy and auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, Let’s pray together, “May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala cure the whole world and forgive us!”

Zafeer Iqbal
SKIMS, Soura, Srinagar

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