People of poor and backward nations cannot afford or implement social distancing in their daily lives. They live with extended family members. They don’t have the cultural habit of staying at home without the luxury of gathering with relatives, colleagues and friends around a table. As individuals, they never had lived alone. Their very social habits are incompatible with preventive recommendations and advice from health professionals to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.

Here in Somalia, people are still gathering in teashops and mosques. They still hold congregations of prayers. They don’t even follow the advices of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) to avoid such gatherings during the outbreak of deadly infections. They don’t listen to the advices of the authorities. They are all a danger to themselves and to others around them.

Such is the habit and culture of primitive societies. The notion of disease prevention isn’t part of their daily lives.

Coronavirus is a worldwide pandemic or epidemic, and it is bound to come to all countries because of movement of people and goods around the global village we are now living in.

Coronavirus, if, it breaks out in poor countries with problems of health infrastructure, poor sanitation and cultural habits of not isolating themselves in their homes, would be decimating and uncontrollable.

In Somalia, we need painful and punishing campaigns on public health awareness. It is reckless to continue to live and do business as usual.



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Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

About the blogger: This blog is associated with the former Chief of Staff in Puntland State Presidency, 1998-2005. He also worked with the UN and World Bank Joint Secretariat for Somalia’s Re-construction and Development Program (RDP), 2005-2006, as a Zonal Technical Coordinator for Puntland and later as National Aid Technical Coordinator with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and European Union. He is now an independent political analyst and commentator on current issues and occasionally gives historical perspective on modern Somalia’s politics. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at:

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