I am putting this pen to paper in an attempt to change the mind-set of the thousands out there who have suddenly allowed the novel coronavirus to start dictating terms and conditions of their daily living. Growing trends are that a covid19 patient should be treated like an outcast. That they don’t deserve to co-exist with fellow human beings. We are making it seem like falling prey to this scourge is their own making, and somehow they are reaping that which they had sawn. We are already undergoing a very painful trajectory path as families and as a nation at large, yet the behaviour and attitude that we are displaying towards our covid19-positive brothers and sisters is not helping at all. If anything, it is just exacerbating the already agonizing situation.
I once visited a family who had just lost a loved one due to this scourge. Upon my arrival, I could tell that the family members were shocked at my bravery to enter their compound. In company of my supervisor at work, the family members thought that we were from the health department. The social distancing that they afforded us required that we speak on top of our voices in order to hear each other. The four members seemed to live in isolation from the entire village. In their narration of what transpired and the turn of events thereto, they said that neighbours do not even attempt greeting them. When a child in the neighbourhood waved at the counterpart in their compound, we were told that that child was spanked for waving at a child coming from a coronavirus-ridden family. The believe is that somehow the virus miraculously flies from the waving hand to the next. It has even become a taboo to look into the eyes of those family members.
Just recently I was informed that a father to a child who tested covid19 positive refused to go visit his own child within the same village. Rumours has it that he believes that being covid19 positive is as good as death. Therefore, he wouldn’t risk visiting a covid19 sick person. Like I said, it is a story I have not verified yet. But if it is true then we have lost every sense of humanity left in us. We ought to seriously do some soul searching within ourselves. How we expect our brothers and sisters to survive without our care and compassion is really baffling. If now we are at that level were a biological father would consciously refuse to visit his own covid19 positive child, then we might as well forget about winning against the disease. Even worse, we are re-defining what it means to be having relationships with other human beings. Maybe blood is not that thick after all. Covid19 is thicker.
We have given coronavirus too much respect to the extent of compromising if not foregoing our humanly values. We are respecting the disease so much to the detriment of our human relationships. A human being is a social being. Without socialising, we are bound to suffer from other ailments that would prove even dreadful than covid19. Why attach so much stigma to a disease which is not necessarily of our doing? To make matters worse, even patients who have now tested covid19 negative are treated with so much suspicion. Instead of observing covid19 health protocols, we don’t want to meet them completely. We would rather have them isolated until economic isolation effects start hitting them at a personal level. This is not right and it doesn’t seat well with our national vision 2036.
It is my take that indeed covid19 is real, and that it is very dangerous. As such we need to pay attention to all necessary precautionary measures as advised by the medical experts. We need to observe social distancing, constantly wash our hands, and cover our mouth and nose. It is also important that we treat each other as covid19 positive all the time. In that way, we are going to be vigilant in the manner that we observe the laid down health protocols. But, let us not neglect our fellow brothers and sisters when they test positive. In fact, that presents some rare opportunity for us to demonstrate our love and care. The strength of the mind to exist is natural medicine. I still believe that blood is thicker than covid19.