This Heartbreaking Video of a Saudi Nurse Refusing to Hug His Son Shows the True Pain of Social Distancing
With almost 1,300 cases of coronavirus, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recorded the greatest number of patients among Arab nations. In response, the leading Gulf nation has taken strict measures in limiting the spread of the pathogen, from implementing an 11-hour curfew to suspending the umrah pilgrimage. Other nations in the region and around the world have chosen to employ similar measures; however, despite COVID-19’s threat and the World Health Organization’s warnings, many choose to underestimate the virality of the pathogen and the importance of social distancing; a minority still does not believe that flattening the curve is a necessity and that our survival is depending on it.
Well, a recent heartbreaking viral video of a Saudi nurse and his son should make us all think twice before undermining the guidelines imposed to protect us and others around us.
Nurse Naser Al-Shahrani returned to his home after a grueling workday in a Riyadh hospital. Once he opens the door, his son, Muhammad, runs towards him arms spread to hug him. The father stops him and says “no”. As his son watches in confusion, the father gets down to his son’s level and cries.
This courageous father works every day, all day, consuming shifts at the forefront of humanity’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of this, he cannot hug his own son. His work environment makes him compromised, and therefore he must keep his son safe at all costs.
While many of us take our health for granted, others are out there risking their lives and the lives of their family members to contain the crisis. Doctors and nurses cannot hug their loved ones in fear of unintentionally spreading the virus. So before going out to hang out with friends or colleagues, remember that these people are sacrificing special moments like this one for your sake.
The threat of the pandemic is real, and so far, the Arab World had not been as impacted as other regions around the world. We should not take that for granted. A father should be able to hug his son and to assure him that all will be alright, and for this to happen we must share the responsibility.