It’s been a full year since the first recorded case of Covid-19 in Wuhan China. Ever since the pandemic has swept the entire globe forcing humanity to change their lifestyle drastically. New social guidelines were firmly implemented in hope to limit or stop the spread of the virus, nevertheless, it is still vastly spreading. The economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic is devastating, especially on fragile countries such as Lebanon where economic and social problems were already dominant since 2019.
2020 was truly a difficult year, especially on father-of-two, Shehin. “When the pandemic first started I panicked and I was really scared. Not on myself, rather on my son. He suffers from a genetic disease called “Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy”, it affects the growth of his muscles. His lungs work 42 percent and his heart 32 percent.” Says Shehin. “We couldn’t go anywhere and concurrently not let anyone visit us. At first, I was too afraid to go and buy groceries. Every time we get groceries we disinfect everything outside our home, we even disinfect our clothes. I didn’t want to take any risk that may affect the health of my child—God forbids,” he adds.
The constant lockdowns and home quarantines are affecting everyone psychologically, in particular Shehin’s family. “Sitting at home for a long period added huge stress and tension to our family. The children were constantly angry from the situation and we were not able to do much due to our concerns,” says Shehin. “To make matters worse, we are not receiving any help from the government, not medical neither financial.”
4 August 2020, the day that changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese due to the Beirut port explosion, also affected the life of Shehin and added additional strain on his family. “I used to work at Saint George hospital as a plumber. After the explosion, most of the hospital was destroyed and they had to let go of a lot of staff, I was one of them,” he explains with tears in his eyes. “I lost my source of income during a period of huge inflation and unemployment in the country. I am very concerned about how I will be able to provide for my family,” he adds.
In hope to limit the spread of Covid-19 and support the most vulnerable communities in Beirut, with the support of USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), World Vision was able to provide Shehin and other beneficiaries with hygiene and disinfection kits, in addition to distributing flyers and conducting awareness sessions on how to stay safe during the pandemic.
This project aims to help around 12,000 beneficiaries in Beirut, Mount-Lebanon and Bekaa with protective measures from Covid-19. “I am very grateful for this support. Now, I can buy food and groceries instead of purchasing hygiene items. This will ultimately help our family. Also, I learned a lot from the awareness session and I hope I can keep my family safe during this stressful pandemic,” says Shehin.
This story is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of World Vision and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.