Covid Confusion? Here’s a dose of harsh reality.

Covid restrictions and requirements can be very confusing. Some restrictions were lifted for the May long weekend: tennis was allowed, golf was allowed and riding establishments could reopen. Some of us thought that meant we could have lessons again as long as they were held outdoors. Nope! I can play tennis or go golfing but I cannot ride outdoors and have my coach give me instruction. It is very frustrating as we would always be farther than 10 to 20 meters apart. So certainly more than social distanced. And we would be outside! In the fresh air!

I felt quite grumpy about it. The lockdown will remain until we have a certain percentage of the population of Ontario vaccinated with at least one vaccination. That my or may not happen by June 14th.

Yesterday I read an article in a blog post of a fellow WordPress blogger, Nilzeitung, who is in Germany.(Click the link if you would like to see the original post.) I was sharply reminded that my problems are First World Problems. The article is about horses in Bangladesh and it is the grim reality of life in a desperately poor country like Bangladesh. I copied an English translation of the blog post. It is taken from an AFP news report.

Horses starve as the Covid pandemic hits tourism in Bangladesh.

by Nilzeitung

Bangladesh, a South Asian country of 168 million people, is battling a new wave of coronavirus infections that is straining its health system and causing a nationwide lockdown. AFP | PUBLISHED MAY 30, 2021 8:30 PM

Horses starve as the Covid pandemic hits tourism in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh, -More than 20 horses starved to death in Bangladesh’s most popular resort area in just one month, the owners of the animals said on Sunday as the country’s tourism industry suffers from the economic fallout from the pandemic.

The South Asian nation of 168 million people is battling a new wave of coronavirus infections that has strained its health system and triggered a nationwide lockdown.

The owners of the horses said they were struggling to afford feed for their animals, which is used for tourist rides on Cox’s Bazar Beach – one of the longest in the world.

“As soon as the coronavirus hit the tourist numbers … dropped to a trickle,” Farida Begum, spokeswoman for the Cox’s Bazar Horse Owners Association, told AFP.

“We’re fighting to make ends meet. How can we feed the horses? “

Tourists had briefly returned to the district from December to February as infections slowed, but visits dried up under the new April 14 lockdown.

At least 21 of up to 90 horses used for tourists on the beach died last month while others were emaciated, Begum said.

41 horses – including eight of Begum’s own – died during last year’s lockdown, she added.

Some owners have released their horses in hopes that they can survive by eating grass or foraging for food.

The horse owners say they are struggling to support their own families and many take out micro-lender loans just to make ends meet.

“Micro-lender officials come to my home every week and urge me to repay the loan in installments. But if the tourists don’t get to Cox’s Bazar, I won’t be able to pay the money back, ”Begum said, adding that she borrowed 100,000 taka ($ 1,200).

Dozens of horse guides, usually hired by the owners to help tourists with the rides, have switched to rickshaw driving or construction work.

– “No tourist means no income” – The resort usually attracts more than two million mostly local tourists each year.

But as part of the nationwide lockdown, offices and markets are closed and public transport has ceased. Horse owner Sarwar Azam told AFP that one of his animals died last week and the second was starving as well.

The head of a local horse-owning organization, Nishan Ahsan – whose four animals died during the lockdown last year – said its members had received limited help from the government.

“During peak tourist times, a horse can earn up to 2,000 taka ($ 23) a day. We’d put some of that income aside for the horses’ expensive food, ”Ahsan told AFP.

“But no tourists mean no income for us.”

Cox’s Bazar government administrator Sumaiya Akter said she had heard of only four to five horses that had died in the past eight months.

She added that since May 9, the government had given the owners 146 bags of bowls and 20 cans of molasses.

Bangladesh has seen nearly 800,000 coronavirus infections and more than 12,300 deaths since the pandemic began, but experts believe the actual numbers are likely much higher.

Just over six percent of the population received their first dose of vaccine while the government said they are running out of vaccinations to fight the latest devastating wave of viruses.

Source / afp / is

So….I’m grumpy because I cannot have lessons? When I read about this suffering of horses and humans in other parts of the world I got over my grumpiness pretty darned fast. I am so fortunate and privileged to have a beautiful horse, enough food for my horse. and the wherewithal to support my family. If Covid confusion is my only problem ,it is a pretty small problem; only a minor inconvenience really.

  • Featured photo of my horse Biasini (C) Connie Gee*

32 Comments Add yours

  1. I hope things will get better for the horses and anyone bouncing back from Covid aftermath. You still have a right to be upset about riding lessons 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      We are able to have lessons again now. I just feel that I may be upset but the plight of people whose lives are so dramatically affected puts it into perspective.

      Like

  2. Amy says:

    So sad… It’s hard to click the “like”…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree Amy. There needs to be another emoji for this kind of post.

      Like

  3. firnhyde says:

    Thank you for the ability to stand back and gain a new perspective! Sometimes we all need a quick tug back to the real world – and a reminder, however sad, of how blessed we really are.
    Riding schools in South Africa were badly hit during our harshest lockdown this time last year. We survived because we are a livery yard too, and only had three ponies to feed, which we could do because we have grazing for them. But for the more inner-city stableyards, the situation was truly dire.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      We have many riding schools in Ontario that are really suffering. It is hard as they have no income due to no lessons allowed and the horses and ponies still need to be fed and looked after. The provincial government has given some support and the provincial Equestrian federation had a fundraising effort. But neither are enough. I hope with vaccinations bringing the Covid numbers down we will be able to open up for riding schools in the summer and for the riding camps as well.

      Like

  4. Sirri Rimppi says:

    This is dreadful! I’ve read about some zoos around the world and for example elephant tourism destinations in Thailand having similar problems but I had not heard of this, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is a desperate situation. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Like

  5. Emma Cownie says:

    This is heartbreaking for the horses and their owners! I sympathise with your frustrations about lessons, it’s all the worse because you thought you could have outdoor lessons.

    Like

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Emma. It is hard but the situation in Bangladesh is so desperate that it makes me feel grateful for my good situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lesley says:

    That is so sad for those poor horses and for the situation in that country. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is desperate for the horses and for their owners and families.

      Like

  7. You showed us something we don’t even think about. Now I realize how much worse this pandemic than we think. I don’t know whether I have to feel happy as I am fortunate or I have to feel sad seeing the situation around. Only choice is we should have hope as one day everything will be normal again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree. We must hope that if we can get people all over the world vaccinated we will be able to overcome this Pandemic.

      Like

  8. Irene says:

    Quite a dose of perspective. Hope your lessons can be resumed soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      They will resume possibly next week. Thank you for commenting Irene,

      Liked by 1 person

  9. J.W.S. says:

    You are correct about keeping ones inconvenience is perspective…though it can be difficult to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      For me learning of the situation of these poor horses and people in Bangladesh I felt that being sorry for myself in my life of privilege was silly. I agree that it is not always easy to keep things in perspective but in this instance it was not too hard for me. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. sandyjwhite says:

    That situation really puts things into perspective quickly. Hope people get vaccinated soon in your neck of the woods, Anne. Vaccinations have slowed considerably here…..The US needs to get vaccine out to those in need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      We now seem to have enough vaccine up here in Canada. For some reason people are not rushing to get their second shots which is not so good especially with the variants circulating. I am hoping to get my second shot in the next couple of weeks which is earlier than I was originally booked for. I hope the US can get vaccines out to those countries like Bangladesh. I think we need to get the world vaccinated to be able to beat this Covid virus.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We have to count our blessings ❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes Susie we do!

      Like

  12. dprastka says:

    Perspective is everything. Thank you Anne for sharing. It’s so very sad what’s happening around the world and I hope the U.S. can start sending the much needed vaccines to all! 🙏❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it is sad and we are so fortunate in the US and Canada.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Paula Light says:

    That’s so sad 😞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It is indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The subcontinent is having a horrible time with this epidemic, I realize the drug manufacturers are still ramping up production, but I don’t really understand why the U.S. is continuing to stockpile vaccines instead of shipping them out as soon as they’re ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I saw that reported on the news last night about the US vaccine stockpiles. I think there is still a lack of understanding that until there is a global level of vaccination we will be dealing with Covid outbreaks and new variants. Thanks for reading and commenting Robert.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I can identify with your frustration about the lessons. I also hear what you are saying about having a dose of perspective. Thank you for this reminder and to bringing attention to the horses of Bangladesh.

    Liked by 1 person

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