These are not normal times. These are not easy times. Anxiety, panic and sadness have become such as daily part of our lives and many are struggling.
If you are not all suffering from some mental issue or other right now; then you are blessed. Someone posted on one of the social media platforms the other day; that most Zimbabweans are stressed and I agree. I would like to spread it further though and say most of the people across Africa and the world are stressed. People have been going through the most over the past year. Covid-19 has truly done the dirty on us.
Though my focus is on my home; Zimbabwe as I write; my thoughts go out to everyone else right now. This is such a tough time to be alive.
Who can safely say they have not battled some form of stress or other over the past year? Who has not been touched in one way or the other by Covid-19 which is ravaging nations even as we read this?
Here in Zimbabwe in recent weeks; I have seen so much carnage that my head is all messed up. There have been days when as many as 100 people have died and I have just been left shocked. Can you imagine that large number of lives being lost in just one day because of Covid-19? Try and add that up and see how much we end up with by the time we reach a week, of lives lost? The post mortem section at the country’s hospitals is overflowing with bodies as we speak.
I know there are countries that would clock numbers by the thousands of lives lost daily yes, and that was sad.
As we watched this happening in European countries last year; we were gripped by panic and anxiety. Here we are today and we have seen it playing out in our own backyards, with friends, family and colleagues losing lives right before us as we are caught in this horrible third wave.
People are not ok. I know I am not ok.
I know of people who have had to bury one family member after the other and others who have had to nurse several family members at the same time as a result of this virus.
So people are not ok.
They may seem like it but believe me; many people are going through battles.
The other day as I drove; I took time to just observe some of the behaviours of those around me. I took time to look at other motorists on the road and I was thoroughly shaken. To be honest; driving on the roads safely and getting to and from is an act of Grace. Because I can guarantee you that more than half of the people you see driving on Zimbabwe’s roads lately will be under severe stress. Some are not even fully present on the roads. They are just going through the motions.
I think now I understand the logjams that we see on the roads, which are at times totally unnecessary. At times the traffic jams that stretch on and on are caused by selfish behaviours that are exhibited by motorists who truly just do not realise that by stepping back and letting the other motorists clear off, everyone can go quicker.
I think I know why now. People are distracted. If you look at the pedestrians, it is the same story. Someone will be walking right in the middle of the road and you can tell that only a quarter of their mind is on the surroundings around them. If you hoot too loudly, they may jump right in front of your car. People are just going the motions and as you drive; you have to be mindful or you will bump into people.
Some will ignore clear markings for social distance. When you politely point them out; that is when you see that they will not be paying attention at all.
Some are increasingly short tempered while others have altered moods. Even as we interact in workplaces these days, it is important to be compassionate. Most people have sick family and friends. Others have lost family and not been able to go and mourn or bury them.
Many more have just recovered themselves and are battling the trauma of it all. Some have lost close people and have not had adequate time to mourn or deal with it. So how can it be ok to have so much sadness, sickness and death going on at the same time? How can it be ok to not be able to see loved ones for so long because of something none of us have control over?
How can it be ok to go to funerals for family and loved ones and be afraid to even hug one another and be expected to be ok? How can it be ok that a family loses one person after another in a short space of time? Whole families are contracting Covid-19 such that you have several people being ill all at the same time.
It is not ok. So people are just going through the motions because they have not had the space to deal with all this trauma. Relationships are strained. Finances are stretched. Patience is thin. And I can bet that there is a lot of emotional and mental trauma going on.
But as all this goes on; we have to be thankful for every day that comes and goes. We now know truly how precious life is. Let us be kind to one another. For we just never know what the other is going through. Let us go and get our vaccination jabs. They help.
I have seen my friends recovering faster just because they got their jabs. Mask up. Stay home where possible. Socially distance. And keep washing those hands and avoiding crowds.
This is the reality of our time.
What a time to be alive!
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