There’s nothing quite like a howling sandstorm outside and the sound of your kids howling and fighting inside to bring you back to reality with a bump.
The stay-at-home or risk-a-crowded-mall forecast for the weekend was for gusting sand to continue buffeting the UAE until Monday – and it gusts everywhere. Step outside, and you inhale sand into your lungs – causing hospital admissions to surge as people with respiratory complaints find themselves gasping for breath.
Blowing sand gets into your ears, in your eyes and up your nostrils. Your scalp feels gritty and your skin is exfoliated by nature’s loofah.
Everything outside is covered with a coating of dust, making the garden look like a scene from the nuclear-war movie Threads and sand even gets indoors, through gaps under doors and air conditioning ducts. Heaven forbid you accidentally leave a window open, and you come home to find the whole room’s been landscaped.
On the roads, visibility is reduced, quite drastically at times, with reports that visibility on one of Dubai’s busiest roads was so low at one point that some drivers had difficulty staying on the motorway. In another part of Dubai, there was so much sand on the road, it was being moved with a bulldozer.
When it’s all over, the blue skies return, as though nothing ever happened, and then the big clean up can begin.
Yes, sometimes it does feel like we’re living in a giant dust ball.