Despite Border Closures, Many Attend Grand Magal Pilgrimages

The Grand Magal pilgrimages are a West African tradition that takes place in Touba, Senegal’s holy city, each year. Despite the threat of COVID-19 and a potential superspreader event, tens of thousands of people descended on the town to embrace their faith.

Senegal’s land borders are closed. Although fewer people showed up to attend the pilgrimage’s leading events on its first day, long lines of people still arrived for the day; facial coverings and hand sanitizer where requirements to enter.

For many of the people who came, going a year without Magal would be too much. They decided to take the physical risks to gain a potential spiritual reward.

Senegal has recorded over 15,000 cases of COVID-19, including over 300 deaths.

How to Manage COVID-19 Risks While Traveling

You can take several steps to help protect yourself when traveling, with COVID-19 still a prevalent health concern globally.

  1. When you travel, take as much food and miscellaneous supplies as you can to limit interactions with other people.
  2. Keep yourself healthy. If that means taking products from brands like Jarrow Formulas and Nature’s Way, do what it takes to give your immune system a fighting chance.
  3. Wear a mask whenever the possibility exists that you could be around others. You might be asymptomatic with a coronavirus infection, but it won’t stop you from shedding the virus so that others catch it.
  4. Stay six feet apart whenever possible.
  5. Avoid shaking hands, meeting new people, or finding yourself in unfamiliar locations without taking the personal protective gear precautions. 
  6. Many people rely on their faith to get them through challenging situations. Although prayer and fasting are essential spiritual components, they don’t replace something simple, like a face mask.

Senegal fears that a COVID-19 resurgence may occur after the Grand Magal pilgrimages. Only time will tell if enough precautions were taken.