Waiving rents, making masks, distributing food supplies, and raising awareness about the deadly virus are some of the things that ordinary Afghans have been contributing to flatten the curve of this virus in Afghanistan. Afghans have been fighting for their lives daily and this health crisis is yet another test of survival in Afghanistan. However, Afghans are treating it with kindness and are lending a hand to those who need more help during this time.
Afghanistan has been a country at war for 40 years and people have been fighting for survival. Yet, this crisis has tapped into the generous spirit of giving in Afghans. Many Afghans, even those with little means, feel obligated to help flatten the curve of this virus in their communities. Some athletes, local politicians, celebrities, and business owners have tapped into their resources too, setting funds and offering food supplies to many. One star athlete, Rashid Khan, was first to offer support to his fellow Afghans. He wrote on Facebook, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” He wrote that it is his “duty” to help in such times. Following his announcement, many other athletes joined the race to providing relief as well.
Some politicians have joined the efforts to helping others on a personal level too. A governor in the eastern part of Afghanistan, Nangarhar province, donated one month of his salary to the fund set to fight the virus. He raised $100,000 in just a day through donations from different sources. A governor in the northern part of the country, Faryab province, have been helping families with food supplies and urging people to stay inside. As a physician himself, he was out on this patrol himself. In other cases, landlords have waived rents for at least a month and even until the end of the year if the virus continues. Even some tailors have been sewing thousands of masks and distributing it to their fellow citizens to prevent the spread of virus.
So far there are relatively fewer COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan than in other affected countries. However, with fewer tests, it is hard to know how quickly the virus is spreading across the country and people seem to be getting ready to tackle the pandemic. The people of Afghanistan are often described as generous and hospitable and at times like these, they demonstrate their most giving and generous spirit.
Sources: Twitter, 3/25/20, 3/29/30, NYT, 3/31/20, Facebook, 3/29/20