Lebanon’s Interior Ministry announced yesterday a weeklong lockdown of 111 towns and villages across the country due to a high number of coronavirus infections. The decision was taken based on the numbers provided by the new official COVID-19 map, but many towns are disputing the numbers and some people are claiming the map uses place of origin, not place of residence, to register someone’s infection, but this hasn’t been denied or confirmed yet.

Nevertheless, assuming that the numbers are correct and that the security forces are capable of enforcing such a lockdown, why are they banning people from visiting essential businesses like bakeries, pharmacies and supermarkets? Who told them that all these are equipped to deliver to everyone? How stupid is that? Why not just implement stricter measures in such essential businesses and help enforce them? Or extend opening hours to reduce traffic?

Ever since the news came out, people are panic-buying and hoarding groceries, meat and poultry, and all sorts of essential products since yesterday, and pictures are emerging of crowded food stores and supermarkets since the morning. In other words, the government once again did not plan this properly and is only helping the virus spread instead of re-assuring people and implementing reasonable measures.

All in all, I urge everyone to stay home as much possible, keep their distances, wear their masks and limit their outings. If the authorities are incompetent and all over the place, we should play our part and help raise awareness as much as possible to limit the spread.

Stay safe!