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How My Aunt Can Protect You from COVID, Seamlessly!

The awesome; Khalto Rita

My aunt, Rita, is a strong, wise and fearless woman. The kind you see in movies controlling a mafia, but luckily she is not part of one, but she has quite a good control of her neighborhood in Amman.

I was having my usual wisdom talks with her and she started talking about COVID and the newly introduced vaccines, when, to my surprise, she started telling me, indirectly, how she has been monitoring activities in her neighborhood very very closely, asserting a local power and protection against the spread of COVID in the neighborhood.

In old neighborhoods in Amman, where the norm is for the whole neighborhood to be close friends, a sort of family-like relationship, neighbors usually gather at one home, whose owner is usually the person who “governs” the neighborhood by solving disputes, giving advice, creating funding circles, and serving good food and coffee. And to this neighborhood, my aunt has been that person.

Since the start of COVID, she took a leading role to protect the livelihood of her neighborhood, starting by keeping track online of what to do as a protective measure, monitoring the nieghborhood and recommending healthy and organic food/drinks to help boost the immune system. Until the first case was discovered in the neighborhood a few weeks ago.

That’s when aunt Rita took command and control from her little home in Amman.

First, she notified the entire neighborhood of the positive case. She stayed in virtual contact with the woman who tested positive and her husband. At first, her husband tested negative, but that did not rest well with my aunt. Aware of the recklessness of the newlywed husband she kept close monitor of the neighborhood through her window, until her suspicions came true and she saw the husband leave the house, feeling confident after testing negative. That’s when all hell broke loose.

Aunt Rita phone-called the entire neighborhood, ordered them to not open the door for him, nor receive him in the neighborhood shops or take money from him. The husband, outstanded with what was happening to him and the way he was being treated, went back home. Pressure was mounting from all over the place, including his own mom who didn’t want to be embarrassed by the recklessness of her young son, was finally convinced to quarantine at home for the next five days and test again to make sure he did not contract the virus.

Well, my aunt was right, he tested positive. Everyone in the neighborhood was happy (not that he tested positive, but that they listened to my aunt). They eventually saw the wisdom of her paranoia and how without it, the virus would have spread among them, damaging the livelihood of their neighborhood and maybe, killing some of the elderly.

Now, whenever someone visits her, she’s been convincing people to sign up and take the vaccine, fighting the spread of the fears of the vaccine and conspiracy theories. She even grounded a young neighbor who, in her vaccine application listed that she had health problems to get a priority over others.

Embrace localims. We need more of my aunt Rita.

Protect yourself and the ones around you.





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