A bittersweet holiday

A bittersweet holiday

This year we will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday amid a “total closure.” It is not possible to visit grandparents, meet our children, meet friends, or even have a small dinner with our loved ones at a nice restaurant, let alone a touristic trip. Nevertheless, it is necessary to celebrate the holiday with the wish of being able to get out of this pandemic that has taken hostage our souls in a short time.

Naturally, we’re overwhelmed. After the total lockdown, we made a recourse to the remote working system once again. As is said: humans are social animals, but these days we are completely antisocial. Most of us prefer to postpone even minor maintenance works at home, let alone friend visits or even gatherings.

Working at home, or working remotely, provides isolation, the most basic weapon in the fight against the pandemic, while on the other hand, unintended working hours, limited mobility, increased amount and frequency of snacking and loneliness pose serious health threats physically and mentally.

A friend recently posted this on social media: “We’ve been home for months, we haven’t been able to save again.” Austerity is a good word. Saving is one of the most important sources of investment in healthy economies. In our country, the rate of saving on family income has always been small. It needs to be increased, encouraged. However, it is not possible to save without regular and adequate income opportunities. It’s like there’s some kind of chicken and egg story here. In the press area, for example, with the unemployment rate at 29 percent, it would be a bad joke to talk about austerity.

Small businesses are in trouble. While the home delivery sector is running to a new record every day due to the conditions, almost all sectors are seeing the severe impacts of the pandemic. Although some problems are solved with public support, many institutions with decades of history unfortunately close their doors or announce that they are suspending their activities indefinitely.

After the holiday, the full closure will be over for now. We hope it’s the last time. But it’s up to us, all of us, to make it the last one. Of course, the state should make the supply of vaccines more rapid, national vaccination should reach 70 percent in a short time, and we should start talking about the “post-pandemic” period, such as the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. However, with our people insisting on the habit illegal gambling in coffee shop back rooms, as well as crowded political conventions, meetings and sporting events, I’m afraid this phase will be prolonged. Shouldn’t the rule makers follow the rules themselves first?

We’ve heard that if the daily number of cases drops beyond 10,000 after the holiday – which seems probable – restrictions will be lifted with a program this time around and in tandem with the decrease in the number of cases. Therefore, those concerned will make a valuation of the situation during the Eid period. We hope that this time the March mistake will be avoided and a gradual opening program will be implemented.

There’s been a lot of good about the full-blown lockdown period that has overwhelmed us all. A 13 percent decrease in the pandemic-related deaths, a 5 percent decrease in the number of severe patients, a decrease of 70 percent in clinical admissions, more than 50 percent in hospitalizations and up to 40 percent decrease of the burden on intensive care departments showed how useful this difficult measure was.

We must not waste the progress that has been made with this great dedication.

Conflict again...

Now we know the pointlessness of looking for who is right in wars. I hope the number of deaths do not increase, but two Israelis and 28 Palestinians, nine of whom were kids have lost their lives. More than 30 Israeli citizens have been injured.

Why would Israel willingly conduct operations inside the Masjid al-Aqsa? Why don’t Palestinians see that Israel would consider as provocation and intervene if they insisted to stay in to “guard” the Masjid al-Aqsa?

Rocket attacks by Hamas on Israeli settlements, counter attacks by Israel on Gaza inflicted great human sufferings.

Turkish people’s solidarity with the Palestinian people and resulting protests against Israeli operations could not be prevented even under full lockdown on Tuesday evening in Ankara, Istanbul and many cities. It’s natural. Israel needs to act as a state, try to protect the civilian population while responding to attacks and avoid excessive use of force. However, it is necessary to recognize that Hamas is not innocent, it is a terrorist structure.

State terrorism by Israel, protected and pampered by the United States, was once again not condemned by the United Nations Security Council. The U.S. blocked the condemnation of Israel using its veto card once again. The United States should see that it is provoking and abetting Israeli state thuggery.

coronavirus, COVID-19, Turkey, Palestine,