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A positive side of Jordan

Apr 30,2020 - Last updated at Apr 30,2020

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about both the best of us and the worst. Overall, however, the former far outweighs the latter.

Regarding the latter, we have had many failings and flaws: at the governmental level, in handling or executing several precautionary measures, and at the popular level, in responding to such measures.

With respect to government, several mistakes happened at crucial junctures which could have brought about disastrous results.

One such moment happened when the government decided, early on in the lockdown, to use public transport buses to distribute bread in the numerous neighbourhoods.

What an idea!!

Several people waited for hours for the buses to show up, with no luck. Others bombarded the buses the minute they arrived and broke all rules of civility and social distancing. Some even attacked the buses, and the buses had to flee.

Ultimately, the scheme failed, and the government resorted to the natural, “smart” solution of distributing bread through the small grocery stores, which are spread throughout all neihgbourhoods.

With respect to people, so many violations were committed: of curfew, of social distancing, of motoring without permits, of weddings, of group prayers, etc.

Nevertheless, these were all minor incidents, and the overall picture was extremely bright.

The government lived up to the challenge and succeeded: in keeping the pandemic under control, in managing the lockdown and some breathers here and there, in opening excellent communication channels, in being transparent, and, above all perhaps, in showing love and care to the people.

Our medics and medical facilities were top-notch: which is due to our great investment in the medical profession, one of our prominent strengths.

Regarding people, the vast majority obeyed instructions, behaved civilly when they went out, showed altruism, donated a lot, and spread the right message among peers and relatives.

As is the case in most contexts, those who diverted and subverted were a minority. The majority, as always in our society, lived up to expectations.

This is positive; this is admirable.

But what one was impressed with most was the way some private sector institutions, such as food chains, supermarkets, and other delivery venues of sorts handled the tasks they were entrusted with.

They were professional, relatively punctual, health-conscious, courteous and resilient and creative.

Throughout, one was impressed with the quality of service and the quality of product.

This is a side of Jordan which we have seen before, but in bits and pieces here and there. During the pandemic, however, we have seen a lot in the private sector, especially, that is quality, class, and professional.

This is heartwarming, to say the least.

Our hope is that this very bright side which we have seen during the pandemic will grow and expand when normal circumstances resume.

Such performance during these extraordinary times gives hope that Jordan, represented by both the public and private sectors, will be a different Jordan in the times ahead: one that is more efficient, more creative, and more elegant.

We cross our fingers, and hope when we go back to normal life, things will not be business as usual, but a leap into much that we Jordanians have been expecting and dreaming about: in a nutshell, a vibrant, impressive public and private sectors.

This is long overdue.

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