The struggle to save lives and to keep society functioning amid the coronavirus pandemic means hard choices lie ahead for our national leadership. On Friday evening, President Emmerson Mnangagwa tightened restrictions on Zimbabweans a notch by ordering the Southern African country a 21 days strict nationwide lockdown starting next Monday as Government steps up to slow and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus which causes the Covid-19 disease. He said the decision came after his government was advised that the country faced “continued potential grave threats”.
In an address in Harare, President Mnangagwa said all non-essential services were expected to completely cease operations for the next three weeks, while shops and food open markets would operate under the supervision of health officials. During the lockdown, state and local authorities would ensure that all you folks stay home except to obtain food and other essentials, access medical care or do work essential to the functioning of society. Travel would cease.
Locking down the country would reduce infections and allow time for massive testing. With seven cases of infection confirmed and one fatality recorded as of Saturday, the empirical evidence for a lockdown couldn’t be clearer. The more stringent the measures to keep people physically apart and isolate those who have become infected, the quicker the curve of infections is flattened. Lockdown is a take-no-chances approach in which the clear priority is suppressing the growth of infections and saving lives. It acknowledges that when the number of people who need a respirator or ventilator outnumbers the capacity of the health system to provide one, far more people die. Lockdowns may vary a little from place to place, but they are compulsory; they have the force of both law and policing behind them.
But hey, we can all agree that most of us have been staying at home and self-isolated since the day HE Mnangagwa declared the badass Miss ‘Rona a “national disaster” and decreed a ban on weddings, church gatherings and foreign travels to countries worst affected by the rampaging disease. Well, the thing is here at #ENTHUSE, we are people observers and are also curious about what it is like going out and how people have been socialising during these pandemic times. I, for one, wondered if people were observing requests for social distancing, etc. Basically, what is outside like right about now.
I have learnt some new things and also made some interesting observations. I penned a song about it. Would you like to hear it?
Here it goes.
1. The Simple First Rule Of #DoTheFive Is Underrated 🤦♂️
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that we #DoTheFive simple preventive actions of hygiene which involves washing our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them thoroughly with an air dryer or clean towel. But believe you me, I’ve seen with my own two eyes people walk clean up out the restrooms without washing their hands. And it turns out that giving them a stinkeye does not make people see the error in their ways. Whew chile, the ghettoo!
Do you think you nasty people can just do your part and be global citizens for a month? Look, I want you to be good neighbours all the time, but right now it matters a whole lot. Covid-9 is real and all’s we are asking for is that we collectively do better. Wash. Your. Hands!
2. We Have Learnt Shocking Things About The Face😂
I know for sure that most of you are beautiful, pretty and handsome but we are now well into a pandemic, and you are likely aware that, among other measures recommended to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, we are all supposed to stop touching our faces. You are also aware, by now, that it is extremely difficult to stop touching your face, as many, many public officials have recently discovered. I cannot stop touching my face. Why is it so damned hard to do? Even when actively thinking about the fact that I can’t touch my face, I’m remembering to not do it as I touch my face. It’s ridiculous how difficult this is to do.
It turns out that on average people touch their faces 23 times an hour, a new study has shown. The study suggests that face-touching helps us to regulate emotions and is our favourite hobby even though we didn’t even know. Most of the time, it is unconscious, which is part of why it is so hard to give it up. But does it have to be your whole face, though? No. Health authorities are specifically concerned with touching your eyes, nose, and mouth because those are, “mucosal surfaces where these respiratory viruses can attach very efficiently and become a site of entry into the body.” But your forehead is not a mucosal surface, so what’s the harm in a quick scratch?
3. There Are Not Nearly As Many People Practising Self-protection As We Imagined There’d Be🙅♂️
Last week, Harare, like many other cities across the world, experienced a shortage of vital rubber gloves and face masks, compounded by measures to contain the deadly coronavirus. As you move around the city or go into a supermarket, you could count on one hand the number of people with them on. Most folks were grabbing shopping trolleys, not wiping them down, and going about their business. In your head, the bigass supermarket should look like a scene from a Netflix movie about an outbreak.
Well, it looked like a light morning; like any other day while everybody was at church, hugging, smiling and touching each other places. Also, my soul was disgusted as I literally watched a man sneeze in his hand and then grab his shopping cart handle with bare hands. My trumpet gently weeps for the people folks ain’t thinking about out here.
4. Which Part Of Social Distancing Don’t You Fellas Get?🤷♂️
On Thursday, I walked into eggs and other dairies aisle. As I’m in there checking out some fine purchasables, a woman just walks like a foot away from me and stops next to me. I looked at her and quickly assessed that her “f*cks given” level was much lower than mine and I damn near pulled a Ngonidzashe Makusha out of that aisle and watched until she was gone. She then walked towards me. I wanted to scream “Security” but I felt like that might go wrong and when viruses are trying to kill us I’d hate to go out on a misunderstanding. I thought she might be a lone wolf sickness spreader but I saw way too many people standing way too close to one another. Not in motion, but stationary. Do our people just suck at social distancing?
5. You Folks Are Just Slaves To Panic Buying, Period!🙌
I get it that when sh*t goes bad, you stock up. But again, I’ve been confused by the items that are being stocked up. Like, the stocking up of toilet paper would make me happy as it means that some of you peers who are not washing their hands are at least wiping your butts. But as panic about the virus and lockdown escalates, the middle and upper classes are hoarding food, supplies and medicines without a thought for the millions of poor who stand to starve and die that government spox Nick Mangwana had to remind them that there was really no need for panic buying or hoarding because supermarkets will be open.
We are living different realities in Zimbabwe. Whilst some are stocking, some don’t even have to buy today’s meal. They will only have to watch as some fill up car boots and empty shelves. As you argue for certain positions, think about the reality of our different circumstances. pic.twitter.com/f6FSP2NPBD
— Vashe 🇿🇼 (@PTChimusoro) March 28, 2020
6. Speaking Of Which, There Are A Lot More People In The Streets & Shops Than Recommended🙆♀️
A homie of mine went to a liquor centre on Sartuday evening and she was half expecting to show up and see a sign that said “Closed. You Know Why.” Boy oh boy, that didn’t happen. Fellas are still queering for booze like it’s some Unplugged or Madirirano weekend. Would you guys ever stay home, or do you even like the homes you live in, despite the fact that there is probably no clean water and power? Stay. Home!
7. I Really Don’t Trust Any Of You & That Is Why I’m Self Quarantining 😎
If it’s not you, then it’s me, right? Like, I see you on the sosho media chastising other people’s hygiene but do I really know you do what you say you will? I do not. I love you but it’s best if we just keep our social distance and keep playing #ViewFromMyWindow or #QuarantineAndChill. My line is open, y’all!
8. That Whole “If I die, I Die, It’s God’s Time,” Movement Was Cool Until Zororo Happened 😭
Some stupid college student I saw on my TL said she had booked three flights across the world. Itching to death to travel, she’s one of many people staring the deadly virus in the face and saying, Whatevs; it’s a high-risk and high-reward trip.
“I feel like if the coronavirus would get even more serious and like wipe out a large amount of people, I might as well be somewhere having fun,” she said.
Whose child is this? I mean no judgment. People are dying anyway but get those planet tickets and live your life. Just realise living your life does not happen in a vacuum. Dress in a bubble-wrap outfit. Zororo Makamba was robbed from us last Monday, man! At least be a little bit more #Enthuse-iast about life.
9. When Faced With Disaster, New Music Don’t Mean A Thang To You, Right?😏
There isn’t a single part of the music industry that has not been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The most obvious are the high profile festival cancellations and the big stars who are having to postpone tours, but beneath them is an entire infrastructure of aspiring musicians, session players, sound engineers, booking agents, record shop owners, DJs, labels, tour managers, event staff and more whose livelihoods are at risk with venues closing their doors.
Basically, the brisk pace of the Covid-19 outbreak is causing chaos in every sector of the entertainment industry. But festivals aside, people just appeared like they are so hardwired to the “impending disaster” to even give a hoot about new music being released, save only for really good music that’s pandemic-related. Jah Prayzah dropped. So did Ammara Brown, Enzo Ishall, Garry Mapanzure, Gemma Griffiths, Buffalo Souljah, but none of y”all is cheerleading them like you used to. What happened to love and loyalty, Ammartians? Or U.O.E.N.O that they have new stuff out? Damn #ThatRona!