During the Norouz holidays, the government allowed people to travel almost all over the country.
As people returned to their cities, the number of Covid-19 cases grew dramatically; a fact which could have been guessed quite easily.
Afterward, the government announced a series of restrictions to control the spread of the virus. Shops were (supposed to be) closed. Restaurants and cafés were allowed only to provide take-away services.
And the private ride for extra-urban distances were not permitted either. Although now the government has lifted some of the restrictions, driving to other cities still remain forbidden.
In fact, non-resident cars are not allowed to enter other cities and cars from each city are not permitted to leave their own home-town. The Police emphasizes that restrictions remain in place.
To put the toughness of the restrictions to test, a friend of us, Khashayar, 42, left Tehran with his Peugeot-206, toward the south.
“I will return at the first point where the police do not allow me to go further”, he texted before reaching the city of Qom, 200km from Tehran.
Yesterday, he reached the Persian Gulf! It was simply the southernmost point he could get by car.
“The weather is too hot”, he was complaining too.
In fact, full summer has already started in the country and in some cities 38 degrees is becoming a norm.
In Khuzestan Province, in southwest of Iran, the consumption of electricity has been up by nearly 40% already. The Electricity Power Distribution of Khuzestan warns that reaching such peaks in consumption during the mid of Springtime, will force serious exhaustion on the system for the next six months.
Beside this, since we had too little rain last winter, many dams are only half full and therefore several hydroelectric-power-plants cannot generate enough power and will soon go off the grid.
Dams around the capital, Tehran, are only 60 percent full. Even in provinces, like Ardabil, where normally rain and snow is plenty, dams are only half full. And the situation in other provinces is not much better, if not worth.
To avoid water and electricity shortages during the summer-time, the government is asking people to mind their consumption.
However, it is becoming a norm not to take seriously what the government warns about. Quite similar to the prohibition of traveling.