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“We work on online and offline platforms with the demand of time”

“During the pandemic, we all try to follow the instructions of the guard, stay at home, but there is a lot to do and we work on both online and off-platform platforms,” said our interlocutors – female members of the Vanadzor community, non-party Gayane Kalantaryan,  members of the “Bright Armenia” party Karine Ghukasyan և Anahit Karapetyan.

 

The members of the Vanadzor Council of Elders say that these days they are in constant contact not only with the citizens, but also with the mayor of Vanadzor, in case of need to support the event, to participate in it, to implement various social, health and preventive programs.

 

“We mainly keep in touch with the local authorities so that we don’t leave the house unnecessarily, we have to serve as an example to the citizens by our own behavior,” says G. Kalantaryan.

 

The members of the Council of Elders said that in the first days of the state of emergency, the Council of Elders decided to distribute the food supplies collected in kindergartens to socially vulnerable families. This was one of the first social programs implemented in Vanadzor. They sorted and grouped together to deliver the food to the addressees. Our interlocutors agree that disinfection and hygiene are at the forefront of social issues.

 

Speaking about the shops and the service sector in general, Karine Ghukasyan, a member of the “Bright Armenia” party, says that she does not agree with applying different, especially severe penalties and fines for their omissions.

 

You know, people immediately started making photos of shops and ATMs, and then they started actively spreading rumors about gaps, but the people who work in this field know about the inconveniences, the difficulties and the need to work with gloves and masks. I strongly oppose severe punishments, and more and more explanatory work is needed today. It is necessary to constantly explain so that in people’s self-consciousness it will give a residue, yes, from time to time they have to visit shops, pharmacies, service points, and this constant consistency keeps people alert. And then, we can’t just demand, we have a problem with serious resources, for example, in big stores, the baskets have been cleaned by technical staff several times a day, and today they have to be disinfected several times more, and the shops do not have such resources. These are problems that can be solved by making sure that everyone is paying attention to themselves in parallel with the upcoming events. In this regard, I call for systematic awareness through various means of disseminating comprehensive information, – says K. Ghukasyan said.

 

Speaking about the calls and requests made by the citizens to the members of the Council of Elders, the members of the Council of Elders note that these days they have not decreased, they have even increased, but their nature has changed.

 

– We can’t leave the citizen alone at this difficult time and isolate ourselves, but taking into account the situation, we have created a volunteer group that accepts citizens’ phone calls, in some cased they get an answer immediately, there are issues which we discuss, looking for ways to solve and develop options. – K. Ghukasyan presents their activities in situation of an emergency.

 

One of our interlocutors, Anahit Karapetyan, is the youngest member of the Council of Elders and has always participated in various initiatives of the city’s active youth groups, often initiating them herself. In a conversation with us, she mentioned that these active young people are now in the “classic quarantine regime” and are more likely to call for “Stay at home.” Speaking about the state of emergency and people’s self-isolation, Anahit Karapetyan not only worries about people’s social, health and many other issues, but also worries about people’s psychological state.

 

– It is very important that people not only do not get bored at home, but be able to organize their daily life more favorably. For example, those same active young people in our city are also active online these days. It was on their initiative that the “Mafia” game began to spread on the Internet. Our people were able to find technical solutions and organize it. We also organize wide-ranging discussions on dance, cinema, theater, art in general, and other fields.

 

  1. Karapetyan is concerned that life after the pandemic will offer us serious changes and new challenges. She believes that this period can be used to activate people in the field of IT, to arm them with knowledge, to organize distance learning courses.

 

– We even have a FB group, where we offer job offers from different employers. This is “help so that the citizen, being able to stay at home, can make the appropriate choice and do something, why not, he can also think about re-specialization,” says A. Karapetyan said.

 

Speaking about online activities, Council of Elders member G. Kalantaryan, who is very active on the Internet and always available, says.

 

– As a doctor, I consider myself obliged these days to talk more about hygiene, the rules of its maintenance, or rather, self-isolation. I mostly write about this on my FB page, where I have a lot of followers. I participate in discussions on the Internet.

 

Gayane Kalantaryan is also concerned about maintaining proper relations in families, and in this regard, the role of women.

 

  • I want to talk about women’s workload these days. We know of many unspoken conflict situations that still exist in families. You know, it’s different when people go out, communicate in a work or friendly environment and return home in evening. And it’s completely different when they are at home all day, self-isolated and this tension has increased. Yes, in this case, I am sorry to say that in families, especially in conflict families, human rights abuses are inevitable. This is a serious problem in this difficult situation, especially since the family’s worries are mostly on the shoulders of the woman, from the diet to the relationship, the care of family members, and so on. But besides that, I do not hesitate to say that we also have families where love and warmth have found each other. Yes, in this race of life, this is also a unique family vacation, an opportunity to spend more time with each other. Of course, we are not afraid of being infected, of getting sick, but of the consequences of our illness, which our relatives may suffer from. I think that time will pass and we will learn more about this infection, the treatment options will be more effective, but today each of us needs vigilance and discipline, – concluded his speech. Kalantaryan.

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