Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly in the country. Unfortunately, the capacity to test and contain the spread is not equally rising; it is actually diminishing. The government has recently announced some measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and its risks even though the measures have been put on hold pending a judicial review on the same. Still, others like mandatory wearing of face masks are being enforced by government ministries, departments and agencies apart from private entities.
However, there is one factor that is derailing the fight against Covid-19 in the country aside from the fact that we did not go into total lockdown like other countries when the risk became clear, and aside from the fact that some people use their own myths and uninformed evaluations about the disease; the issue is attaching emotion to the disease.
In short, Covid-19 does not care whether you trust or love or know someone; it will not have any impact on the person’s susceptibility to the disease and it will not mitigate the spread. Simply, someone will not be Covid-19 free because you know them, love them or trust them. Someone will not prevent transmission because of the same.
I have observed that people still hug those that they know or are emotionally associated with in some way e.g. friends and family and colleagues when they meet without even wearing a mask and will proceed to speak while holding each other and standing 0.2 metres from each other. There are also gatherings between close friends and family that take place without any safety measures at play. We have prayers in households where people meet without any precautions. We are living dangerously and flirting with fire every single day.
One thing we need to keep in mind is that we are all potential victims of Covid-19 and none of us should at any point be confident that we are virus-free nor should we assume that the next person cannot be us. Most people who have the virus are not showing symptoms but this does not stop its spread.
You also do not know where everyone was and who they met, neither do you know what you encountered that was a potential risk, a person, or a surface; let us not limit transmission to only contact with people. Remember contact with surfaces, exchange of documents and items and what about the keys you left with the guy who washes your car who also got into contact with someone else or other keys. Stay safe, do not take unnecessary risks!
Let us also remember that our loved one might not have the same immune strength; so while you might be positive and not show symptoms or recover quickly, that relative or friend of yours you interacted with freely out of trust might have underlying conditions and die from the virus. Another factor we need to keep in mind is that not all of us are aware of the underlying conditions we have in our bodies, it is only when we are infected and our systems fail to cope that we realise this and sometimes it might be too late.
At this point it is actually fine and pertinent to be paranoid about Covid-19, go the extra mile to keep yourself and those around you safe. Paranoia might as well be what saves us at the end of the day. We also need to be vocal and bold about staying safe, if someone comes close to us unnecessarily or talks to us without a mask, speak up. It has become a basic right and responsibility combined to protect and be protected. People who are not adhering to safety measures need to be taken to task; this is a matter of life and death.
As much as certain levels of interaction are inevitable and transmission will still happen, let us not relax or allow issues to escalate because of sheer recklessness. Let us also STOP stigmatising Covid-19 patients, this is detrimental to awareness and progress. There is no reason to stigmatise anyone for getting the disease.
Let us stay safe and remember that no matter how much we trust and love those around us, we have the responsibility to protect ourselves and equally protect them. Actually, keeping your loved ones at bay during these times is the ultimate display of love because that keeps them protected. Call your friends and relatives for now; a time will come when we will meet and dine together freely again. Stay Safe.
I rest my case.