Dispatch from Washington D.C. by Simon Ateba: American capital during coronavirus social distancing Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 2, 2021

Washington D.C., the capital of the United States, is under lock and key. The World Bank is shut. The International Monetary Fund is shut. The White House is lifeless. The war, which began in Wuhan, China, is raging. About 14, 000 people have died worldwide. More than 180 countries are already affected.

Washington DC during coronavirus quarantine March 22, 2020. Photo: Simon Ateba

The Chinese fought as hard as they could but still lost more than 3000 men and women. The war moved to Italy where it has claimed the lives of more than 5000 people, and is still raging and may still go on for a bad long time.

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Washington DC during coronavirus quarantine March 22, 2020. Photo: Simon Ateba

It moved to Spain where it has killed close to 2000 people there. In Iran, it has killed about 1500 people. It was the same thing in other countries in Europe such as France, the United Kingdom and Germany. In Africa, the second most populous continent, people are getting ready for a fight many warned may be bloody.

Washington DC during coronavirus quarantine March 22, 2020. Photo: Simon Ateba

In the United States, at least 400 people have already died.

Washington DC during coronavirus quarantine March 22, 2020. Photo: Simon Ateba

Today, March 22, 2020, I went for a walk around the American capital. The world is looking up to this place for a rescue. There are doubts about the President in power. The election is just months away, and this is not a good time for this.

Washington DC during coronavirus quarantine March 22, 2020. Photo: Simon Ateba

The coronavirus war is an unconventional war. The enemy is invisible. They use human beings to kill human beings. Fear has escalated, and is now reaching to the skies. People run away from people, give them a six feet space, and when they come close, it is an elbow bump. There are no handshakes. The virus does not discriminate agaisnt race, gender, religion or sexual orientation.

Washington DC during coronavirus quarantine March 22, 2020. Photo: Simon Ateba

The poor are as vulnerable as the rich. The white, black and brown people are just the same.

In normal times, the rich look down on the poor. But as the virus wreaks havoc, people depend on each other to defeat it.

Washington DC during coronavirus quarantine March 22, 2020. Photo: Simon Ateba

New terms have become hot terms – Together, social distancing, social disengagement, hygiene etiquette, elbow bump, hand washing, safe at home, quarantine, self isolation, coughing, sneezing.

Washington DC during coronavirus quarantine March 22, 2020. Photo: Simon Ateba

The world is at war. We don’t know how long it will last or how many of our brothers and sisters will succumb. But we pray for the best and take all the precautions.

Simon Ateba, Washington D.C., March 22, 2020, 4.12 p.m.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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