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Coronavirus! Coronavirus!

Coronavirus! Coronavirus!
2020 has been a tumultuous year and it’s only March. We have lost legends, nearly had a third World War, Australia was on fire and now, Coronavirus – which went from epidemic status to pandemic– has spread far and wide. […]

2020 has been a tumultuous year and it’s only March. We have lost legends, nearly had a third World War, Australia was on fire and now, Coronavirus – which went from epidemic status to pandemic– has spread far and wide. I know full well that we’re all asking 2019 to take us back!

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From news reports to memes and pickup lines, it seems COVID-19 is all we can talk about these days and trying to get the masses to calm down is becoming increasingly moot. However, since you might be able to ease any worries you have about contracting the virus, I got you! 

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Many of us know the basics; where the virus originated, it’s symptoms, etc. but a little recap wouldn’t hurt.

According to WHO (World Health Organization), Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause maladies which range from your average cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Anywho, Miss ‘Rona (COVID-19) was only just discovered in 2019, in Wuhan, China. Because the virus is zoonotic – meaning it can be transmitted between people and animals – it is believed that the original host of the virus was bats which spread the virus to the animals (i.e. fish and birds) being sold at the billion-dollar wildlife “wet market” in Wuhan, before going global.

No one actually ate bats in Wuhan, because bats ain’t a delicacy. Yet images of Chinese people or other Asians eating insects, snakes, or mice frequently circulate on social media or in clickbait news stories. These prejudices can fuel fear and racism. As the virus spreads, the Chinese as a group are more and more likely to be blamed for its incubation and spread, and I think we need a chill pill, and here’s why.

Firstly, we are paying way too much attention to mainstream media rather than those with actual medical facts. 

Peopleneed to believe. And nowadays, they’ll believe anything. It’s easy to fool people when they’re already fooling themselves. – Quentin Beck (Marvel Villain)

Why do we believe in the media so much? Many great things have been a result of technology and the media’s existence, for instance, the ability to spread awareness about a new disease outbreak. Sadly, this has proven to be just as detrimental with the spread of false news and people believing anything and everything they read on the internet.

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I implore you all to stop fueling what is already a huge flame, and so does Dr. Drew. He was big mad because the human population is choosing opinion over fact when numbers never lie.

Thanks to Worldometers.com, a site that provides live statistical updates about the virus, we know that globally, there’re 471,794 COVID-19 cases, 21,297 deaths, and 114,703 people have recovered, as of Thursday morning.

Most governments here on the African continent have had a laissez-faire attitude towards the outbreak because let’s be honest, we were chilling ‘cause just this once, the disease outbreak had nothing to do with us (remember the Ebola jokes?). Naturally, the tables turned and we had to keep the same 16th-century energy our ancestors were given!

Furthermore, with people all over the world turning to their faith for hope and guidance, Zimbabwe’s Defence minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, said COVID-19 was God’s way of punishing the United States as well as other western countries for imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe. 

“This coronavirus that has come are sanctions against the countries that have imposed sanctions on us. God is punishing them now and they are staying indoors now while their economy is screaming like what they did to ours by imposing sanctions on us,”

Muchinguri-Kashiri said at a rally in Chinhoyi.

We were so chilled that the World Health Organization had to tell us to ‘wake up’; the climate of the outbreak has changed as numbers of deaths and cases continue to rise. We are all in this together. There’s simply no time for the blame-game or thoughts of karma seeing as we are now in the fight for humanity. Throughout the continent, 46 countries have been infected and the rest of the eight are virus-free with over 1,400 confirmed cases.

With borders closing in neighboring countries on top of the lack of adequate equipment to test for the virus, can Zimbabweans really afford to stop working with the state of the economy in shambles?

For starters, the answer is no because the hustle and bustle of Harare has yet to come to end. Moreover, bank lines seem to be getting longer each day, as well as a gross unemployment rate, inflation, and families with mouths to feed; it is simply impossible to stop people from doing the things that need to be done. 

This, however, does not mean that one should disregard their safety and that of others as well. Should you feel unwell, take it upon yourself to stay home, self-quarantine for 2 weeks as recommended and do not, under any circumstances, go to the hospital if you know that your symptoms can be treated at home. If you are to secure the bag, please do so with extreme caution and stay safe

Surely amid the virus stress, anxiety – which is known to be contagious – is bound to be through the roof.

Here are some things to remember, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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  1. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Let’s not be too judgemental. 
  2. Read facts before reacting to anything you hear. 
  3. Practice good hygiene all day, every day.

Most importantly, let’s try to stay positive in these trying times and keep our thoughts with those who risk their lives to take care of our loved ones. Lastly, please do not go in for the hug or handshake, a verbal greeting will suffice

Remember to #DoTheFive all the time.

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