The Corona pandemic crisis (Covid-19) continues to spread and Pal-Think for Strategic Studies and FXB France continue to raise awareness and prevail hope amongst members of the Palestinian through its implementation of the radio program “Nonviolence as a Lifestyle” within the project “Enhancing the Culture of Nonviolence”. This sixth episode discussed mental health and nonviolence in the time of corona.
The guest of the episode, Dr. Bassam Saeed, an academic and researcher in development and family affairs, said that the Palestinian community received the global epidemic with concern in light of the deterioration and fragility of the health sector and the weak health care possibilities, stressing that this disease imposed a change in habits, in behavior and the spread of new terms that the community did not use to such as using hand sanitizer, the closure of mosques, schools and universities. In addition, citizens only left home to obtain necessary items from market, stopped holding wedding parties and funerals.
For Social Distancing, the Palestinian society applied social distancing. Some individuals had to abandon a couple of habits such as visiting relatives and had thus to replace communication by social media platforms. In addition, the academic explained that home quarantine for extended and non-extended families will prepare a ripe environment for potential bullying habits. He recommended parents to organize children’s times and engage them in reading, dialogue and playing so that the house does not turn into a violence spot.
He noted the necessity of changing the daily routine as much as possible because it generates both boredom and psychological distress that push towards violence. Families can soften the strict rules by consultation with all members of the family, calling on men to participate in household tasks, follow-up on the affairs of children and promote friendliness among husband to besides giving the man the opportunity to meditate for an hour a day.
He recommended taking into consideration the psychological state of the elderly and supporting them, especially with the spread of news that this virus severely affects them, with the importance of talking and continuously communicating with them. In this context, members of the community need to consistently inform the elderly that they are important and are playing a fundamental role in life, with the aim of keeping the specter of frustration away from them, stressing the need to pay attention to people with special disabilities and provide protection for them at all levels. He stressed the importance and necessity of supporting youth and community initiatives during this period, encouraging voluntary work in facing this pandemic, raising awareness and improving the psychological state of society as a whole, appealing to all community and community institutions to carry out their roles and initiatives that are aimed at supporting all components of Palestinian society in Gaza .