WORKING from home, weddings and funerals with only a chosen few, checking body temperature and sanitising regularly, and celebrating Christmas on Skype and Zoom. The new reality is upon us.
The turning of John Tallach Secondary School into a quarantine centre after over 100 children tested positive for Covid-19 and the recent rise in new infections, especially in the Matabeleland region, is evidence that we have turned the corner to a new normal.
We now have to learn to live with Covid-19 – adapt or die.
As of Wednesday, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North had the highest number of active Covid-19 cases in Zimbabwe at 127 while Matabeleland South was third with 76.
Matabeleland North province which for seven months had the least Covid-19 deaths and cases in the country, shot to the top when 100 pupils at John Tallach Secondary School contracted the virus.
Bulawayo has been constantly recording an average of 10 cases daily for close to a month now and reports show that some of the affected are nurses from Mpilo Central Hospital, with acting chief executive officer Professor Solwayo Ngwenya confirming that seven staff members had recently tested positive.
On Tuesday, out of the three Covid-19 deaths that were recorded in the country, two were from Bulawayo.
These figures point to the new reality, but above all, point to total disregard of measures to counter Covid-19.
Residents of Bulawayo have stopped being responsible and are wantonly flouting regulations meant to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Bars and nightclubs are being oversubscribed by patrons who are not social distancing or wearing facemasks, much to the delight of greedy business owners and corrupt law enforcement agents.
The end result is ever increasing Covid-19 positive cases and deaths.
All residents must play their part in fighting Covid-19, otherwise we will all perish.
While adhering to regulations, residents must also begin to adjust to the new way of life. Covid-19 is here to stay.
Even if all vaccine trials succeed, the vaccines are a long way from Zimbabwe. A lot will have to be done by bodies like the World Health Organisation to ensure the vaccine is readily available in Zimbabwe, and even then, that can only be sometime next year.
So, in the meantime, it is important to follow regulations religiously and also start to plan for the future around the new way of life.
We also have to familiarise ourselves with caring for the sick.
According to the Centre for Disease Control, when caring for someone sick at home one must:
– Help the person who is sick follow their doctor’s instructions for care and medicine.
– See if over-the-counter medicines for fever help the person feel better.
– Make sure the person who is sick drinks a lot of fluids and rests.
– Help them with grocery shopping, filling prescriptions, and getting other items they may need. Consider having the items delivered through a delivery service, if possible.
– Take care of their pet(s), and limit contact between the person who is sick and their pet(s) when possible.
We call on Bulawayo residents to work together to control the spread of Covid-19. Now is the time to get used to living with this pandemic.
The police must also play their part honestly and professionally.