How Iran's Public is Responding to Coronavirus

The Iranian public coped with the outbreak of the coronavirus in a wide variety of ways. Some made personal sacrifices for the benefit of society.  The chief nurse of a Tehran hospital postponed her wedding ceremony so that she could continue working. Others responded by trying to keep public morale up by posting messages of solidarity and uplifting videos on social media. But there was also a video of an attack on a clinic rumored to be treating coronavirus patients. By March 9, the virus had infected 7,161 people in all 31 provinces; 237 had died. The following are responses by Iranians to the virus posted on social media.

 

Solidarity

 

 

Madame Masoumeh, a third grade teacher, taught her students about calculating the surface area of objects. 

 

A group of people distributed flowers to medical staff after delivering medical equipment to a hospital in Tehran.

 

 

Fear

 

In Bandar Abbas, residents reportedly torched a clinic rumored to be treating infected patients. 

 

Morale Boosting 

 

As morale boosters, medical staff posted videos of themselves dancing as part of a “dance challenge” issued on social media to teams across Iran treating coronavirus patients.

 

Some hospital staff sung for patients and their colleagues.

 

On March 14, the artist Ashkan Khatibi posted a new music video on Instagram. At first, he hesitated to publish it during the crisis, but then thought that Iranians “need a good thing more than ever.” The uplifting song was based on the tune of Christophe Maé’s “Il est où le bonheur.” The video was viewed more than 1.5 million times within two days. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashkan Khatibi (@ashkan) on

The following translation is by Reza Akbari, a doctoral candidate at American University.

During the day in the heart of the night 
Step by step 
With good feelings or bad
Facing north and south 
With bare feet on firm ground 
With teeth grinding 
With clenched fists
I'll choke the sorrows 
You know 
Who ever came around
One by one clipped my wings 
But I grew wings again
I got my turn 
Now that the flight is mine
The songs are mine 
Now that every stage & role calls on me
Give me your hand too, give me 
We are hundreds of souls in one body
In one body 
Give me your hand too, give me
We are hundreds of souls in one body
In one body 
Give me your hand…

Satire

 

Iranians, who often greet each other with handshakes and kisses on the cheek, came up with inventive alternative greetings. 

 

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