‘Heart of the matter’ this week carries a series of some comical moments occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic. In as much as we are obsessed with the dreadfulness of this diseases, we have had some light moments at times. Some of these were brought about by ignorance over the novel coronavirus while some just arose from peoples’ creativeness. Coping with the overwhelming precautionary measures pronounced by the World Health Organisation as COVID~19 protocols, required some sense of humour. And knowing the human mind, they did not disappoint. In fact, the extreme social distancing protocol (lockdown) that lasted for almost two months was bearable by non-other than the amusement actualised by related jokes.
The first one I remember dealt with the use of none contact infra-red thermometers. While queuing on a line going into some shop, the security officer was responsible for screening entrants. He correctly used the instrument and recorded accordingly. While at it, the lady in front of me recorded 37.8 degrees Celsius and was allowed to go in as if all was normal. Then I tried to enquire from the security officer, ‘Is it not that when the temperature reads 37.5˚ and above, we ought to be isolated and referred to the relevant health officials’? The security officer calmly responded by saying ‘Nnya, ke dira jalo hela ha selo sateng se lela’ (no, I only stop you if this instrument makes some noise). In as much as I found this funny, I realised that the officers responsible for screening needed some further orientation on their new mandate.
One other story that is rumoured to have happened in the southern part of this country where COVID~19 cases seemed to have been rampant, was on two friends (male and female) who happened to get lock-downed in the same house. They have since realised that they have fallen in love with each other. They have even informed the relevant authorities of their intention to get married. One of the reason why they decided to accelerate such a decision is that they believe that coronavirus might wipe-out all human life from planet earth. So they want to do the right thing before they depart from this planet earth. Whether or not this couple is married already I am not quite sure, I will investigate. While still on the issue of family, it is believed that lockdown will fast-track population increase. Already names have been thrown around as possible name candidates for the babies. One pregnant lady has already decided to name her unborn baby ‘Sanitize’. Her surname is Matsogo, and therefore I assume the complete child’s name will read ‘Sanitize Matsogo’.
Measures that were preached as preventative ways for the frightful disease also could not be left behind in causing laughter. Alcohol based sanitizers were said to be one of the effective ways of cleansing hands. The teachings were understood to mean that the sanitizer literally kills the virus. It followed therefore that even if one was found to be COVID~19 positive, one could simply just consume these sanitizers in large quantities as medicine to cure the disease. But of course, while this logic made a lot of sense, sanitizers remain foreign and toxic to the internal body structures. In the same breath, the word ‘alcohol’ signifying the type of sanitizer to be used for cleansing had its own share of causing confusion. I overheard a conversation by a group of middle-aged men discussing how they could attest to what they believed was a fact that alcohol cures COVID~19. ‘If alcohol can be attached to some liquid to help kill the coronavirus as one cleanses their hands, then alcohol is medicine to this situation,’ said one member of the group. They even wondered why alcohol was prohibited during the lockdown period. Believing that alcohol is a cure, people resorted to unfamiliar recipes of alcohol production like mixing apples, oranges, watermelon, brown sugar and rooibos. The concoction is a recipe for a ‘savannah’ kind of alcohol I am informed. In as much as this brought about lots of laughter, the developments were hazardous to human health.
I really enjoyed the sense of humour that was as a result of lockdown due to coronavirus. The situation was bearable as many people resorted to comedy as a form of entertainment. By extension, a lot of people got to realise their talents in that field.