The world welcomes ‘Christmas in the time of blockade’

The world welcomes 'Christmas in the time of blockade'

The COVID-19 acute respiratory infection pandemic has “cast a dark shadow” on the Christmas atmosphere around the world, when countless people were forced to cancel plans or limit participation in festivals in the context of Christmas holidays. New blockade measures to prevent the spread of the disease were imposed.

The world welcomes ‘Christmas in the time of blockade’

After a horrible pandemic year with more than 1.7 million deaths, a series of new outbreaks in many countries around the world serve as a reminder that despite the urgent need for vaccination programs against COVID-19 Once deployed, life can hardly return to normal as quickly as it was before the pandemic hit.

In the holy city of Bethlehem, a place considered by Christians to be the place where Jesus was born on Christmas Eve 24/12, the preparation for Christmas is no longer the same as every year. This year, Mass at the Church of the Nativity, which has always been the focus of the festival with hundreds of thousands of visitors, will not be open to the public and will instead be broadcast online. Only clerics and select individuals are allowed inside the basilica. Several festivals have preceded it, including a bagpipe procession heading towards Manger Square.

In Australia, which was once a rare bright spot in the fight against the epidemic, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases detected in the north of Sydney has put residents in the coastal suburbs “under house arrest”. home. The local government also banned mass gatherings except for small family gatherings.

Meanwhile, many people in the Philippines choose to celebrate Christmas alone due to fears of contagion of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on public transport, as well as isolation regulations that make traveling difficult. time and cost. Some said they would order takeout, re-watch old movies and chat with family online.

In Europe, most countries in the “Old Continent” are experiencing a “dark” winter with a spike in COVID-19 cases. Germany was forced to cancel the organization of popular Christmas markets. Meanwhile, Pope Francis plans to hold Christmas Mass at the Vatican two hours earlier to comply with the curfew in Italy. In his Christmas Eve message, the Pope expressed his desire to visit crisis-ridden Lebanon, and called on the political leadership in South Sudan to continue to promote peace.

In the UK, the people of this country seem to be “cut off from the outside world” due to the emergence of a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some restrictions on the UK’s borders have been temporarily relaxed over the holidays, but thousands of people from other European countries are still stranded in the UK. Meanwhile, people in Scotland and Northern Ireland (both British) and Austria are celebrating Christmas and New Year in lockdown. Portugal also canceled all New Year celebrations, and imposed a curfew on the night of the transition to the New Year.

In the US, more than 1 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, but the government still cannot come up with a consistent way to fight the epidemic. President Donald Trump and his wife got on a helicopter to leave the White House to vacation at Mar-a-Lago resort, Florida, after he refused to sign the COVID-19 relief bill that was passed by Congress

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