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#LockdownZim Day 4: Misred Said All Of it is Pathetic. We Agree

#LockdownZim Day 4: Misred Said All Of it is Pathetic. We Agree
Samantha Musa recently joined TikTok; that new video-sharing app that opens on a teen girl with half-green, half-black hair, a compact of pink blush in one hand and a brush in the other. “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna do what […]

Samantha Musa recently joined TikTok; that new video-sharing app that opens on a teen girl with half-green, half-black hair, a compact of pink blush in one hand and a brush in the other. “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna do what everyone thinks I’m gonna do,” the voice-over would say in the clip as she mouths along with the words, caking the blush on her cheeks and her nose. It makes her look like she spent too long in the sun. Pathetic!

Oh sorry! My bad. Let me try again. I meant to say media personality and social influencer, MisRed posted a very riddly-overstuffed tweet that has absurd Twitter mortals from all coasts of the country talking, speculating, and ruffing each other’s feathers. Delphic in a way, the five-worded post reads,

Now, as you know, Twitterville is a nasty space for people to get news, debate politics, keep up on sports and pop culture, instantly politicise tragedies, and to hurl personal insults at strangers with the benefit of anonymity. Some spiteful folks who are probably dying slowly of boredom and losing their sight from over staring the walls of their homes were riled by this tweet. They took our TL gorgeour through an incongruous task to explain herself by accusing her of cryptically expressing her unvoiced political affiliation, the ludicrous charges which she has politely denied oft-times.

What these grudge-bearing souls (who we love so dearly, BTW), slipped up on was that the post was basically about patheticism in general and as if to confirm that their levels of being pathetic were higher than everybody else, they fell for it. So, since Mis” clearly showed us that she doesn’t really have the energy to entertain such keyboard harlequinades, I kinda took it upon myself to travel back in time and wheedled Athena the goddess of wisdom, inspiration and skill to expose me to Misred’s stream of consciousness. The mission was to understand what exactly she was referring as pathetic when she put out that tweet. Here’s is what I found out.

That Even Introverts Hate Being Quarantined Too Is Pathetic

Twenty-one days of staying at home? Yes! COVID-19 has us stutter-stepping on our own stoop now, questioning whether it’s safe to go out or just drive to town. It feels like we are getting bullied by the clouds or the air outside our houses. This feeling is so damn unfamiliar. The silver lining here is that some of y’all are introverts, which makes you specifically equipped for social distancing, shutdowns, shut-ins and quarantines. While the rest of us are struggling to keep it inside, y’all are skipping around in your comfortable slippers and PJs; elated to be surrounded by books, Netflix shows and stuff and so much damn inside, right?

It’s funny sometimes when people write and say things about introverts like, just give them a book, a task, black coffee and a snack; they should be fine. This pandemic has allowed some of those misconceptions to fester and breed, but believing that introverts are uniquely built for this requires a misunderstanding of what matters most to them. It’s not quiet or space. It’s control. These folks just wish to be able to engage people on their own terms. If they want to talk, they want to be able to talk. If they need space, they want to be able to find it. Yes, social interactions can be energy-draining, but they want the power to dictate themselves when to be present and active, and when to be alone. It’s the difference between deciding a thing and having that thing decided for you.

Over and above, if you have kids, roommates or a partner, everyone in the house all day means everyone in the house all day. Household isolation cannibalises personal space; which is why, if you live with an introvert, you’ve probably noticed that they’re taking hour-long restroom time now. They’re not constipated, they’re just recharging on the toilet. And although working from home — if you have the privilege to do so — is optimal, you’re probably spending even more time on Slack, Zoom, Workplace, Miro, and WhatsApp now than usual. Before you could be an ashy, naked, psychopath all day long if you wanted to be, now you got to brush your teeth and iron a shirt for video conferences just because, us, your extrovert colleagues get antsy. Can you imagine what it’s like to be a homebody introvert and your non-essential job is still making you go into work and sit at a computer all day? Damnit, man! This sucks for everyone.

Pathetic Is Believing That Lemon & Bicarbonate Cures COVID-19

I have seen you rumour-mongering, WhatsApp-messages-forwarding-ass uncorroborated agents sharing in groups that the cure for the C19 virus or the way to eliminate it was achieved in Israel where the “virus did not cause any death.” The recipe is simple, you said. Lemon, bicarbonate…mix and drink as hot tea every afternoon. The action of the lemon with hotter baking soda immediately kills the virus and completely eliminates it from the body. These two components alkalise the immune system since when night falls the system becomes acidic and defences lower. That is why the people of Israel are relaxed about this virus, you continue. They drink a cup of that shit, as this has proven to kill the virus. Wow!

First, that Middle Eastern country you’re spewing lies about has not been spared by the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the nation’s Health Ministry on Wednesday raised the tally of people infected with the coronavirus to 6,092 and recorded its largest single-day jump yet in new cases. The number of dead in the country from COVID-19 is 25. Ultra-Orthodox Jews failing to comply with government instructions to contain the coronavirus are causing it to spread so quickly that officials are considering blockading entire communities to protect the wider population. Although they make up only 12% of Israel’s population, the ultra-Orthodox account for 40 to 60 percent of the coronavirus patients at four major hospitals, hospital officials told the press. Experts attribute the proliferation among the ultra-Orthodox to overcrowding and large families, deep distrust of state authority, ignorance of the health risks among religious leaders, an aversion to electronic and secular media that they believe is mandated by religious law, and zealous devotion to a way of life centred on communal activity.

Second, doctors have debunked as false the claim that drinking bicarbonate sodium and lemon juice reduces the acidity of the body and the risk of getting infected with COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no specific cure yet for the new Coronavirus.

“There are no specific treatments for COVID-19, and treatment is based on clinical presentation. Most cases are mild and self-limiting, and treated symptomatically”, WHO said.

There is no published, medical proof that drinking bicarbonate soda and lemon juice could help prevent the coronavirus. In fact, to protect ourselves from the new coronavirus, WHO recommends that people frequently wash their hands, cover their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and avoid close contact with those who are sick. So, if you’re the type of person who believes that coronavirus can be cured with soda and lemon coolaid, your belief is definitely dangerous, and you probably need some help because you are a legitimate social health danger.

Pathetic Is Desperately Needing A Haircut Right Now But You Know Well That You Are Going to Get It After 21 Days

This social distancing and state-wide lockdown thing got us only leaving home now for daily walks and maybe to take the kids to an open parking lot behind the house. So, if you’re the boujee type that’s used to getting haircuts in barbershops in town every week, we see you fam. Underneath the hats you’re wearing all the time now, and the hoodie you refuse to take off is the hair that COVID-19 has forced you to neglect. I’m hopeful that you’re still washing, combing and brushing it. But since those weekly trips to the barbershop are gone, so are those sharp lines, exquisite twists, luscious beards, and transcendent blends. Your face feels greasy and itchy—like you stuck it in a vat of lukewarm lamb grease—and it’s even crueller now because you’re told not to touch it or you’ll die.

Okay, we are only a few days in, so maybe it’s not that bad, yet. But you feel that way, right? Each time you look in the mirror and you don’t recognise yourself. I mean, it’s you, kinda. You’re fiending to get back in that chair, thirsty for the cape wrapped over you, the clippers on your skin, the peroxide on your neck, and even your barber on your back. It’s funny what you miss when it’s gone. You’d even settle for a cut from bruh in the back, whose skills are so shaky that he’s only allowed to cut kids, your country folks and old people. Pathetic!

Pathetic Is Not Knowing the Real Names of Folks in Your Family

This quarantine game got most of us reaching out to erstwhile family members, only God-knows-when last we interacted with them. Not because we care about them so much, (I mean we could have called every other holiday if we did) but because we don’t have anything essential to do, so we are scrolling up and down our phonebooks to keep ourselves sane. There is always that one number you stumble upon and you’ll be like, wait a minute, let me hit it up. As someone in his late 20s, it’s only this week that I learned the real name of one of my uncle, who for my entire life I knew as Dema. As it was told to me on Monday, my uncle’s name is Nicodemus.

Oh, how did I find out what his name was? I texted my auntie asking her to ask Uncle Dema how to spell it because this coronavirus thang got me contemplating on writing a family memoir. It was then that my mother was like,

“Oh, you mean Michael’s dad? His real name is Nicodemus.”

Mindblown! Realise, I only know this now because I asked because I had a random rumination. Pathetic! I wish I could say this is the only time this has happened, but the previous times just aren’t as egregious as a damn near a 20+years’ ignorance.

Pathetic Is Finding That the Homie Who Said Was Down with You Is Backstabbing You

How do those eggshells feel under your feet? You know, the ones you’ve been walking on to keep your friend happy? He or she is not so bad really, but they have no other friends. In your mind, you think they are just misunderstood. It makes you wonder how someone could be so misused and misunderstood by everyone they come into contact with.

And yet, there is something about them that makes you uneasy. They give you a compliment, and you feel like you have been slapped. They are only happy with you if you let them win at everything. They flirt with your love interests and are jealous of your other friends. They make you feel ugly, stupid and unlovable. They seem coldly calculating. They are extremely vengeful of perceived slights. Fellas like this are found everywhere…home, society and in politics too. Pathetic! All of it! Yes, I said what I said. Period!

Pathetic is Wishing that All the Worst People Gets Killed By Coronavirus

The compulsion to convince ourselves that bad things will eventually happen to bad people can be seductive and cathartic. It’s also embedded in most of the lessons taught to us as kids. Children’s stories and fairytales usually end with the “good” winning and the evil receiving some sort of punishment. The concepts of fair play and sportsmanship imply that righteousness will eventually lead to success. Most African history textbooks are written with similar narratives, reverse-engineering a world where the good regularly defeats the bad because of our latent goodness (poetic justice).

These lessons even stalk us into adulthood, despite the brutal realisation that the world isn’t fair. Most of the content we consume follows a similar edict, and our frequent misunderstanding of karma repurposes it as a lurking weapon waiting to deliver evildoers a fitting comeuppance. With the world getting ravaged by a global pandemic, the idea that good — people, institutions, acts — will prevail and evil will fail can be reassuring. Embedded in that hope is the desire for COVID-19 to disproportionately affect the worst people, especially those the culture has “cancelled”.

Unfortunately, this belief requires a misunderstanding of how the world works. As a matter of fact, when such sadism takes over your pulse, think of Biggie Smalls‘ words…“I would never wish death on nobody, ’cause there ain’t no coming back from that.”

Pathetic is Trying to Be Happy When You Come from a Country that Ranked 3rd on the World’s Unhappiest Countries

Of all the ways social media can be bad for you; one of the worst is the ability of Instagram, and the like to induce envy. You see your friends posting smiling selfies at exotic destinations looking like they are about to be on the cover of Vogue, and humblebragging about their professional and personal accomplishments, and you end up thinking your own life doesn’t measure up. Of course, intellectually we all know that our real-life selves and our highly curated online selves differ hugely, but it’s still easy to fall into the trap of letting other people’s perfect social-media profiles convince you that you’re somehow falling short.

Well, if you’re Zimbabwean, please stop with the digital hoodwinking. The dark realities behind our ‘perfect’ online presence have come to the world’s attention. According to the 2020 World Happiness Report, an annual survey of how satisfied people worldwide are with their lives by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, we ranked among the saddest citizens in the world, only higher than the war-ravaged Afghanistanis and South Sudanese. Yikes!

Launched in 2012, the report ranks countries using the Gallup World Poll and six factors, levels of gross domestic product, life expectancy, generosity, social support and freedom and corruption income. It is a public secret that we are experiencing an economic crisis in a decade and Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said the report showed that the people were unhappy with the country’s economic direction. Couple that with COVID-19, and you get a gross mess.

Now you know what Misred meant when she said that all of it is pathetic!

Happy 4th day of lockdown.

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller/Critic at Large in Culture at Enthuse Afrika

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