…Covid-19 is spreading
By Beatrice Tonhodzayi
Covid-19 infections are increasing. At the time of writing this; we were inching towards 800 confirmed cases. By the time I write the next piece; I am sure we will be on 1,000 cases or even more. Thankfully the deaths are still at nine. However; I pray that they will remain subdued. For we never know what will happen since this virus seems to be changing shape and becoming more and more real as the days go by. Just look at neighbouring South Africa and you will feel as sense of foreboding.
Look at our daily numbers; at times as many as more than 30 infections being picked. Who knows how many more are carrying the virus out there but have just not been tested. The frightening bit is they can still infect others even if they are not showing signs if illness or even coughing.
People; the reality is that Covid-19 is spreading. And now it is not just about returning residents who are coming from countries such as South Africa, Botswana, United Kingdom and the United States anymore; because even local transmissions are increasing. Daily we are now observing a worrying trend where the local transmissions are steadily going up.
For a long time; many of us were thinking that Covid was only a worry for those who have travelled. Those of us who have been in country since the first lockdown was effected were slowly becoming complacent thinking that our risk was considerably less.
Just like when HIV first became a concern and married people thought they were somewhat immune to it because of their marital status. That was until husbands and wives started dying even more than the singles in communities and slowly people realized that what a husband went and acquired outside the marital bed was capable of reaching the wife and also the unborn baby carried by the woman.
Exactly the same scenario with this virus and I will explain it shortly.
Do you remember that at some point; some people even said Covid-19 was a concern for those from the low-density suburbs and not a problem for those from the high-density areas. They said it was for the elite and well heeled and not a concern for people who have never been on a plane or gone on holiday in their lives.
Some said it was only for the white populations and the Chinese and therefore should not be a cause of concern for the black people. There have been all kinds of theories thrown around. Some have been saying because of the general hardships faced by the average Zimbabweans; Covid-19 was just a small issue which would not affect the ordinary Zimbabweans who has become used to living without access to running water for years; who has to queue for mealy meal, sugar and fuel on a daily basis. The stories were many and varied.
Well, I am sure now we know otherwise. Just like the HIV low risk perception myth; which we now know was just that; a myth.
We have seen black people succumbing to this virus. We have even seen them dying. We have seen people from different sectors of society succumbing to it. Not just the wellheeled from the suburbs. In fact now we know anyone and every one of us is at risk. It’s not even about geography because just today I was even reading about a spike in Kadoma Covid-19 cases.
Just as people have realised as time went by; with HIV, that the decisions and choices made by one partner can affect their partner at home and in some instances their unborn babies as well and overally the whole family as many died leaving their children to fend for themselves. We all know the term ‘child headed households’ came up as a result of the deaths witnesses in the 2000s as a result of HIV and AIDS. We all saw how some grandparents were left with only little children that they had to raise as their children in the productive age groups were decimated by the virus. The effects of HIV are there for us to see right now for a cure has never been found even though the advent of anti-retroviral therapy has seen many people living with HIV live long and healthy lives.
While my prayer is that Covid-19 does not cause as much havoc as HIV caused and is still causing to the global community decades later; truth be told I think we all need to take this virus as seriously as we did and do take HIV (well I hope you do.)
Here is a reality check. Just like HIV; what you do has a bearing on your loved ones. So if you as a father is careless and complacent, going round to all sorts of places without wearing a mask or sanitizing or social distancing; know that your wife and children and your whole circle that you interact with is at risk. In fact this is even worse than HIV, which is restricted to those one has sexual intercourse with or exchanges bodily fluids with.
With this virus, just a random stranger coughing or sneezing in your face or on surfaces could be the catalyst. A colleague in the workplace; the person you share the bus ride with or anyone you come into contact with can spread Covid-19 to you. It can be the guy at the shops or at the pub especially as places open up. I see many of us going back to living our lives as we did in the past. There is need for a new normal people. Masks and the washing of hands thoroughly and regularly or sanitizing is our best bet right now. Complacency is dangerous for this virus is now out there in our communities; in our midst and we do not know where exactly.
We have some returning residents fleeing quarantine facilities set up by Government. You know what they are doing? They are going into communities and mixing with you and me. And some of us are harboring them not realizing that we place ourselves and everyone else at risk by doing so. They can get the help and support they need better while in these facilities rather than holed up in the home.
So my appeal today is for you and I to be careful, to follow the guidelines on Covid-9 management Government is sharing. Let us stay indoors and only venture out when necessary. Let us social distance and avoid crowds. Let us wash our hands and sanitise. When you don’t feel; well, stay home. Those fleeing quarantine; guess what; your are risking not just yourself but everyone around you.
Is that ok?
Covid-19 is real guys. Keep that in mind as all sorts of places and things open up because the economy has to function. You are responsible for your health and well being and that of everyone else.
Stay Safe. Do not be complacent; even for a minute.