Cry-babies or no?
Stephen Mpofu, Perspective
IF you (yes, you) react with sudden panic to a potentially deadly happening, chaos is wont to follow with the result that any potential solution or solutions become ever-receding mirages.
Worse still, if a group of countries in a region or regions are at the centre of the chaos aforesaid, it may become difficult if not near impossible to restore economic or political pieces together again for normalcy to see those affected again going full steam ahead with their various life activities.
The case in point in this discourse is the reported, recent discovery in South Africa and Botswana of Omicron, said by the World Health Organisation to be the Covid-19 fifth “variant of concern”, with the result that virtually all of southern Africa has been walled off by most of the world with direct flights banned and those flying in from these countries forced to undergo compulsory quarantine.
But has it been scientifically and therefore authentically verified that Omicron originated in the two southern African states or that it was a baby dumped in our region from some of the countries abroad which now regard virtually the rest of southern Africa as anathema?
More sadly, and ironically in the purview of international relations, are we not seeing in the case in point above a replay of Big Brother politics in which smaller countries are being blamed for Omicron being made cry-babies?
If that is not the case, why was not the rest of the world subjected to the same hullabaloo when American scientists working with Boers in South Africa developed the Aids virus in a lab with the intention of it to wipe off the black race but instead the killer virus did not discriminate against colour or when the coronavirus first reared its ugly head in the East before rampaging across our global village?
A need appears imperative in the case of Omicron as in the resurgence of Aids and the coronavirus for countries on the globe to not adopt totally isolationist policies but instead apply and co-ordinate scientific and other rescue measures with countries that find themselves in dilemmas such as Omicron.
On the home/regional base, countries in the Sadc bloc in which Zimbabwe is included must avoid panic in their handling of Omicron which might have serious repercussions on economic development, political unity and the overall welfare of members of the economic development community.
Which puts the onus on every patriotic Zimbabwean, as on other Sadc residents, to follow all World Health Organisation and Government protocols in preventing the spread of the Omicron variant and of its parent Covid-19 virus.
This suggests that co-ordination at border crossings should be given the necessary priorities to minimise suffering by the travelling public while back home, relatives and friends should ensure that everyone is protected health wise through vaccination to escape the Omicron and Covid-19 scourges.
Those who avoid vaccination for reasons personal to themselves but against WHO protocols should find life virtually impossible to live in defiance of health regulatory rules.