Melissa Mpofu, Showbiz Editor
“SAYING nematambudziko (langalezo) everyday, in some cases more than twice a day has become draining and emotionally numbing. May everyone somehow find strength in the Lord and mask up,” posted media personality MisRed on Facebook the other day as she advised people to be cautious of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A lot of people who follow her agreed saying Covid-19 is real and it is claiming lives on a daily basis.
The beginning of the year came with a lot of “RIPs,” “Gone too soon” and “But why” messages on social media, something that has been so unsettling. It just gets worse when you realise that you know the person/people who would have died.
Showing how bad things have become, newspaper adverts are now filled with condolence messages. That’s now the order of the day as people are losing their loved ones to the pandemic almost hourly.
Realising the rate at which people are dying, a person in a certain group on Facebook suggested that a group be formed where people share notifications of those who will have died. This group was to serve as a noticeboard of deaths for the benefit of those who will have missed the news.
This is how deadly the second wave of Covid-19, that has gripped the country, is as more and more people are succumbing to it. Unlike last year when it claimed lives of those who were unknown, this year, it is taking personalities from various industries, business people included.
The death of these personalities has certainly served as a wake up call to many as some people now seem to appreciate the seriousness of the pandemic. Not that the rich or famous are not supposed to die, but now that people are noticing that no amount of money or social status can save one from the pandemic, some are beginning to change their behaviours and following the WHO guidelines.
At a time that people could have been reflecting on last year’s happenings, setting their new year’s resolutions and worrying about things like January disease, people now find themselves faced with a big problem, a very deadly pandemic that has forced everyone to focus on fighting to stay alive.
It is not like this is the first time the country is experiencing the pandemic as it landed in the country in March last year when the first case was recorded, forcing Government to put the country on a lockdown. But what is making it scary is the high number of deaths being witnessed.
Last year, people were hopeful that the virus would be contained. At some point, it seemed promising as some restrictions were eased by Government as the numbers of those infected went down. Restaurants that had been closed reopened and people started living their lives as normal. A ZimBho campaign was launched and locals were encouraged to travel to experience their country.
But fast forward to this year, we are back to square one as the numbers have already doubled those of last year in just one month and people have once again, been ordered to stay at their homes. In fact, it feels like we have a whole new pandemic altogether considering the rate at which people are dying.
This week, the country had over 9 000 active cases. On Tuesday, 60 deaths were recorded, sending most into panic mode.
No doubt, the pandemic is taking a toll on people’s mental health as it has become apparent that “tomorrow is never guaranteed”. At any time, we may die or lose our loved ones. No one was meant to live forever, but, just knowing that at any time, you may become a victim of the pandemic and if unlucky, face your fate is scary.
How best to remain sane when all you seem to be bumping into on a platform (social media) that was once for entertainment purposes are rest in peace messages? Most posts on social media are quite depressing to be quite frankly, and this is not helping the situation in any way.
To add salt into the wound, the local virtual shows that kept people entertained for the better part of last year are no longer there as artistes too, are holed up at their homes, fighting to stay alive. Save for a few controversies on social media like that of Shingi Munyeza and the MisRed and Bev Sibanda clash that trended this week, there is really nothing much to look forward to.
Reaching out this week, personal friend, musician Jah Prayzah opened up on how unsettling the pandemic was and how he misses his normal life.
“Life shouldn’t be this hard. I’ve lost so many friends due to Covid-19 and I no longer want my people to die. I really miss my normal life,” said the artiste who really seemed affected as we conversed.
On a normal day, artistes like him cover up their problems by putting up brave faces to entertain their followers. But this time, they too are showing that they are human as they are breaking down.
How then does one cheer themselves up and remain hopeful during such a time? Just how do you go ahead with your plan to buy a stand, build a dream home, buy a car, pay lobola, get married or even make that dreaded move on your crush? Is there a guarantee that you will be here next month?
Well, if anything, this is the time people must have faith that all shall be well and be strong in prayer. Earlier this week, the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa called upon all women in Zimbabwe and abroad to join her in three days of prayer and fasting for the nation to be spared from further calamity and suffering amid the Covid-19 pandemic. These are some of the things that are needed in the fight of this pandemic if we are to be spared.
Other than prayer, people need to follow lockdown regulations and generally avoid unnecessary movement. Wearing of masks is a must as well as regular washing of hands.
Whenever there is a strict lockdown like the one we are currently in, there is bound to be fatigue. And when there is fatigue, people are tempted to break the regulations, something which will definitely end in tears so just try and stay put. This shall pass.