Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Safe but wary: why people are in two minds about visiting malls

Shoppers in face masks at the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, April 29. Pawan Singh / The National
Shoppers in face masks at the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, April 29. Pawan Singh / The National

With reference to Sophie Prideaux's piece Why it's completely normal to feel anxious about going outside again, even once it is safe to (May 1): I feel that going to a mall in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is like dancing in a storm without an umbrella.

Hani Qasim, Dubai

For me, it’s not about being scared of the virus that is keeping me away. It’s the atmosphere – temperature taken everywhere, masks, gloves, keeping distance. I know it is necessary, it is just not very appealing. Would rather stay at home.

Saraih Jones, Dubai

Take heart: trials for coronavirus are promising

With regards to your optimistic editorial Coronavirus: There is new hope for treatments (May 3): hopefully, the projects to identify the right drugs to treat the virus will bear fruit quickly. During this time of stress and lack of adequate social contact, it is important to count our blessings too. There are lessons in this lockdown. Countries should now spend more on health and less on arms. India spends just 1.28 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product on health. Globally, we need to focus on keeping our cities cleaner. We should also improve housing conditions and sanitation in slums. In the late 1990s, the Brazilian government built small colourful housing apartments to house those who live in the “favelas” (slums). Such initiatives can save many lives. Everyone is anxious. When will the lockdown end? Will I retain my jobf? What is my future and that of my children? When will an effective vaccine be found? I am reminded of a poem I wrote 51 years ago, in 1969 whose title may be relevant today. It was called Never Give Up.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

Some people think that traditional medicines such as ginger tea and coffee can cure the coronavirus. We need to let the real scientists do their jobs and save lives.

Alhaj Sabitou Ibrahim, Tuvalu, Oceania

Spare a thought for zoo animals in eternal lockdown

I write to you in reference to Jamie Prentis's story Coronavirus: German zoo could feed animals to each other (April 15): “I feel like a caged animal” is how people are describing how they feel with the lockdown in place. Now is a good time to recognise what it is actually like for a caged animal in a zoo. Animals would naturally shun contact with humans, keeping hidden away in their natural habitat. But in a zoo they cannot escape. The have nowhere to go. Their behaviour changes. It's called zoochosis. Birds pluck out their own feathers. Elephants sway back and forth. Tigers pace incessantly. Polar bears swim in circles. Shutdowns world over will come to an end and we will be free to roam again. Animals in zoos don't have this option. Visit an accredited animal sanctuary instead.

Eleanor Thomas, California, US

Updated: May 3, 2020 06:28 PM

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