I have found that this global pandemic has taught us three major lessons: if there is even a whiff of an apocalyptic situation people will immediately hoard toilet paper, Tiger King is the quarantine hero we all needed, and human kindness still exists.
In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey’s Interior Ministry recently released a letter addressing the protection and care for the country’s stray animals. The letter detailed out the country’s social distancing policies and how they affect the cities’ strays.
The ministry went on to encourage local administrations to regularly leave out food for stray animals at designated spots in order to ensure that stray animals wouldn’t starve. Because, as a result of the stay-at-home protocols, there are fewer people out on the streets, the stray animals are getting less food from the locals than they normally would.
As the ministry shared, “Food and water will be left at the living environments of street animals such as parks and gardens and particularly animal shelters.”
Even though they may be strays, many of these animals in Turkey are often treated and vaccinated by local administrative veterinarians, and additionally, they’re often fed as well. It is integrated into Turkish culture and society to look after the stray animals. And as a result, there are many private citizens who do their part to feed and care for the stray dogs and cats of their areas.
However, because of the rising death toll in Turkey due to COVID-19, the country’s government had to impose certain measures to ensure the safety of its people. Some of these have been restricted access outside for those 20-years-old and younger, or those who are 65 and older. Additionally, stay-at-home measures have been enforced for people with chronic illnesses.
So far, according to data put together by US-based Johns Hopkins University, there are in Turkey there are more than 65,000 confirmed cases of the virus, as well as 1,400 deaths. Worldwide, cases have surpassed 2 million.
In spite of everything, at least we know that kindness amongst humans is as well and alive as ever. That will be what gets us through the darkness.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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