The story was written by Cyrus Sajjabi
Can DREAD help us MOLLIFY this COVID 19 MENACE?
As many were taking it for a joke (the m7 challenge), the president actually has called me into working out today morning. In addition, something I had really taken long without doing. Being indoors even makes it more unbearable so I decided to refresh after and take a simple walk, during which I encountered my long time young friend King.
King is an enthusiastic lad aged about 6yrs who could never help but laugh or smile at worst whenever we happen to collide. On realizing that I am back home, he would better fib it out to his parents and make it to our home which never happened this time around.
What does COVID 19 mean?
COVID 19 stands for coronavirus disease of the year 2019. It started last year from Wuhan in China.
Just to cut this short, the young man this time round was covered with fear, he was so deep down, much terrorized and gloomy showing the kind of melancholy I had not witnessed in him since he was a baby. I had to bother and ask the mother what had gone out of order with the little one; she told me those were effects of “self-quarantine”. As an aspiring medic, this quite captured my attention. I then took a step and tried to assess King’s awareness about the preventive guidelines of this Pandemic.
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I was shocked that the boy could recite most of them from social distancing to hand washing to many others and to others that I learned from him like eating less, sleeping more, etc.
In fact, King knew too much to the extent that he was telling me how the world is coming to an end and all of us were to perish because of this COVID 19 virus.
I then came back home and started pondering what we shared with King. I thought about the number of Kings outside there. After meditating on the ideas I have been sharing with a few people about this novel virus and what I have observed in the media, I came to an agreement with myself that most people in Uganda are now like King with which I am sure you strongly contend. I mean the whole nation is under the panic mode, fear has wrapped up the whole country but I feel this is some kind of misconception.
No, apart from the LDU lunacy, I have no much problem with the way our government is handling this situation and the whole lockdown, my submission is that there is a certain spice that authorities are seeming to underestimate. There is a way fear is being propagated which I think is more perilous in handling this blazing virus and if we’re to continue with this then we are to err.
The fear amongst people is much more than it should be and it’s uncalled for. Can’t we have a way we can implement these guidelines while unstaying dread from the masses??
Look, here is one picture of COVID 19. There are stipulated guidelines by WHO many of which you know, but still, experts are very clear that social distancing and the likes are just a primordial form of prevention that are employed to only reduce the virulence of the virus. Actually, these measures only aid us to buy time and then employ other measures that can beat the pandemic.
“Asking people to stay home and other physical distancing measures are an important way to slow down the spread of the virus and buy time but they are defensive measures that won’t help us win”, said World Health Organization Director-General, Dr.Tedros Ghebreyesus Adonan a few weeks ago. Remember this virus has no cure and neither does it have a vaccine yet. In fact, some epidemiologists predict that no matter what humans do, COVID 19 will in a few months stretch to cover at least a third of the global population. According to all the above, you may logically realize that science throws fate less into our hands.
But then a question arises, for how long shall we keep dreading and will it help us anyway???
Another picture of the very disease which the media will rarely show you is that globally, though we have lost about 4% of the confirmed cases, more than 20% of them have resolved and about 95% of the cases are all mild. In fact, about 25 to 50% of the cases don’t even need hospitalization. Another important thing to note is about 80% of the deaths associated to COVID 19 are among adults older than the age of 65 years.
The case fatality rate for patients under 60 years is about 1.5%. With all the above, I want to remind you that more than 80% of Uganda’s population is below 65 years of age. Aren’t we showcasing an exaggerated kind of fear?
Well, having grown up in a community that intentionally considers the good luck of the early bad and not the misfortune of the early worm, I strongly disown, revile and condemn negativity and all its effects. Am sorry but I’m too positive to be doubtful and too optimistic to be fearful. Remember, every positive value has its price in negative terms that’s why the genius in Einstein led us to Hiroshima.
At the same time, I think every negative value can as well have a price in its positive terms. Isn’t it yet time our Ugandan scientists (and Africa in general) flocked the labs to come up with vaccines or even treatment? Why are we still comfortable with our continent being used as a testing lab? Anyway, that’s a talk for tomorrow; I don’t want to delve into that.
I am here to say this, instead of spreading fear, we need to acknowledge that in such a situation, a nation can better be run on certain aspects beyond logic like faith (which only a few of us have), love (that we are almost losing as a nation, I don’t have to explain this) and hope (which is the way to go). In that if you want to move out of hell, then keep walking.
I feel hope is a great engine that can propel us out of this. As the president has been giving guidelines and directives, I feel the message of hope has been given less prominence as compared to the extent to which the populace is dreading. I think the psychological approach and handling people’s attitude from community to personal level is equally important here. At this point in time, I would wish all the media houses, blogs and journals to be circulating hope just as part of the sensitization. This will surely help us blunder less in handling this crisis.
You are very free to disagree with me.
Misunderstand me at your own risk