I am sure by now we can now all see that this is real.
Covid-19 is here and is spreading fast amongst us. Just this past week alone; I have seen statements from various companies announcing the temporary closures of their offices following the testing positive for the virus by some of their staff members. Many have assigned their staff to work remotely. Many have embraced the working from home mantra, which Europe and many others; had since adopted having been hit first by the pandemic.
Now most of us know someone or of someone who is known to at least someone in our networks who has tested positive for Covid-19. Now we know of cases that are being confirmed not just on the news; making it a remote possibility; but it has become as real as a close friend, a work colleague or even a relative having it.
And God forbid; some families have lost loved ones to this menace. I write at a time when several deaths have been recorded over the past few days, bringing up the Covid-19 death toll.
Yes; it is that real. Covid-19 is here and it is not a joke. It can even turn fatal. For the longest time; as people just casually glanced at the statistics as they were shared daily through the press by the Ministry of Health and Child Care, it seemed like this virus something far off that would not affect them. Even as news filtered in about increasing confirmed cases of the virus across the country, including local transmissions – most of us continued to go about as usual.
Over the months, many took comfort in the ‘returning residents’ mantra and it even got to a point where a lot of labeling was taking place as most people blamed returning residents for the spike in cases. A lot of stigmatization and discrimination was filtering through as Covid-19 became more and more associated with anyone coming from outside the country’s borders.
So again those of us who have not been anywhere perceived ourselves safe not realizing that as societies we are interconnected and somehow would mix as we go.
Some of us continued to even place ourselves at risk; by going about without wearing our masks, or wearing them wrongly. I am sure you all know someone whose mask is always hanging over the chin. Some leave the whole nose exposed and you even wonder if they understand the whole point of covering the nose and the mouth. Some have continued to gather around in groups without paying attention to proper social distancing and other prevention recommended guidelines. I went to a popular meat shop a few days ago and the queues of people I saw there were shocking. I was even jokingly asking how so many people were getting into town when there is a menace around.
Well; that is not the only place where large numbers of people are found; at times jostling each there and not even taking heed of the need to maintain some distance. At times I have had to politely ask someone to move back after they just shove against me in the shops; even though in most of these shops there are clear demarcations meant to assist people with observance of social distancing.
But now I think we know better. Now I think everyone of us understands why we are being told to stay home unless we absolutely have to get out. Or do we?
I was speaking to a friend of mine yesterday who was panicking because a friend of hers had tested positive during routine work screening and was now in isolation at home. My friend was literally in the throes of a panic attack at the thought of her friend having Covid-19. There are many like her right now.
I had to calm her down. What was worrying her most though was that prior to this; her friend had not suffered from any cough but just a mild cold. So she was now worried about how many more people could be just going about their business; not knowing they were also infected while spreading the virus. She was also worried that her friend would die. We had to have a chat about how God is the Giver of life hence would decree when someone dies; and how statistics show that quite a lot of people recover from this virus by simply staying home and following the guidelines being shared by the health experts. But still we spoke about the need for each and every person to be careful; to observe the washing of hands, sanitizing, social distancing and limiting movements and interactions.
And that is the crux of it. As more and more people test positive for Covid-19, most of them relatively healthy and not showing any symptoms; we are beginning to gain a bit of appreciation into how anyone around can have his virus. While there are serious cases that we hear of; there seems to be many other cases that are not showing any symptoms.
Just think of the number of companies; amongst them banks, supermarkets, media houses and others who have since highlighted that they have cases within their staff. In most of these instances; the cases were only discovered following routine tests. It was not because anyone had died or was very ill. In a few cases; some had colds, which they had recovered from. They were mixing with colleagues and working as usual.
So now as far as we can tell; one can have it and we will not know. Which means that workplace of yours may have positive cases. That means that supermarket of yours may have cases. Your neighbourhood may have cases. Your church may have cases. That gym you go to may have cases. Your friend may have Covid-19. Your partner may have it. You yourself may have it. If you do not have it; you can get it anytime.
The virus is now there in our communities; in our high-density areas and rural areas. Never for a second tell yourself it does not affect you because it does. It affects us all. We are all at risk. We need to be real and stay home as much as we can while observing the other recommendations. Do not go to people’s homes unnecessarily guys. If you hear of funerals; this is not the time to just go over. Call, message and show support in other ways such as sending money and prayers. You may put others or yourself at risk by having itchy feet. Eat well. Exercise. Pray. This thing has no cure. We should all be worried.
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