Osama, 52, lives in Deir al-Balah and supports a family of five members, including two children. He recounts his daily struggle during the imposed lockdown on the Gaza Strip:
“I’ve been working in al-Awda factory as a daily-wage laborer for ten years. I work from 18 to 22 days a month. Since declaring a state of emergency in the Gaza Strip in the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, my working days declined to 8-10 days per month. This situation continued until 24 August 2020, when a full lockdown was imposed after detecting coronavirus cases in the broader community in the Gaza Strip. I was committed to the government’s preventive measures, announced to protect myself, my family, my children and the community, however, these measures had a very negative impact on my life. We ran out of food and the situation became disastrous particularly because I depend on a daily wage and couldn’t work more than one day in the factory in recent weeks; I have no other source of income. Adding to that, I support my mother who is mentally ill and suffers chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma.
My wife also suffers from diabetes and I don’t know how I’ll be able to secure her medicine and other basic needs with no income. I didn’t receive any assistance form any governmental or civil institution. I wish this crisis would end soon and we could return to our normal life which, despite its difficulties, is better than what we are going through right now. I call on all concerned authorities to fairly distribute aid and support daily-wage laborers, who will be in a real hardship in case the lockdown continues.”