Relieved Saudis welcome the ‘new normal’
Challenges remain as cities return to life after lockdown, experts warn
Residents across the Kingdom are making the most of their newfound freedom 10 days after the lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
As cities come alive again with traffic returning and shops opening, it is business as usual for almost everyone.
Social life and commercial activity in towns and cities fell to a minimum during the two-month lockdown, but with the the end of the curfew people are seizing the chance to meet up with friends and family members they have not seen in a long time — and possibly return to their normal activities, responsibly.
However, readjusting to normality could prove challenging as Saudi health officials continue to issue warnings and insist the Kingdom “is not out of the dark just yet.”
While the Kingdom continues to ramp up COVID-19 testing and contact tracing to prevent further outbreaks, residents are quickly adapting to social changes. According to sociologist Musaab Al-Abdullah, coping with change “is an essential characteristic in humans.”
“Ever since we were created, it is the basis of progress and keeping pace with time,” he told Arab News.
“People can get used to and adapt to anything, and they are prepared to adapt to the changes that surround them, but the speed of acceptance varies from person to person due to the nature of the individual and their ideas. Often, change comes gradually, so it is more easily accepted by individuals,” he said. Al-Abdullah said that in recent weeks it has become clear that people must accept a “new normal.”
Many probably view the “new normal” as an exciting challenge, he added.
“Life as we know it has changed.
People are afraid and are isolating themselves. They now see that life before the lockdown was blissful and not as boring as we thought. People are now waiting impatiently for the virus to be eradicated so that they can return to their normal life with a new and appreciative outlook.”
The lockdown helped people understand what is important to them because many options and places to visit were limited. “The concept of consumption changed and we were able to live without wearing ourselves out collecting so-called luxuries. It showed that family and safety always come first,” he said. Al-Abdullah said humans are social creatures, and being isolated from others is not normal for them. “When a person is isolated from society, depression will begin to dominate and affect their life, and life in their eyes loses its value. When you see a friend in light of this crisis, it will be a great pleasure just to see them in good health, but you will feel anxious because of the restrictions imposed on everyone.” Lujain Al-Jehani, 27, took the opportunity to meet friends, but made sure she followed the rules. “It was a small gathering, about four people, and we were all wearing masks and kept our
Social life and commercial activity in towns and cities fell to a minimum during the twomonth lockdown.
With the end of the curfew people are seizing the chance to meet up with friends and family members they have not seen in a long time — and possibly return to their normal activities.
Readjusting to normality could prove challenging as Saudi health officials continue to issue warnings and insist the Kingdom ‘is not out of the dark just yet.’
xxxxx According to sociologists, coping with change ‘is an essential characteristic in humans.’ Many believe that the lockdown has helped people understand what is important to them because many options and places to visit were limited.