Exposed to all kinds of challenges in many trying times, human beings have always survived. They have adopted and adapted the most difficult circumstances and learned to overcome challenges and move on.
We are in a pandemic calamity. The whole world doesn’t know what to do. Everywhere is chaos. Everyone has been racked. Many lost loved ones. Multitudes have been bedridden. Civilization and modernism have little or nothing to offer the much sought after remedies.
In just a quarter of a year since the end of December 2019, a deadly virus not known as attacking humans before called coronavirus has plagued the entire world and kept on engulfing countries. Poor and rich, weak and strong, advanced and developing societies all are taken aback.
The likes of the US have been unraveling due to the pressure they faced. The US is the most stricken nation by a coronavirus, is struggling to supply basic sanitary and medical equipment to the growing number of patients. Unfortunately, the country is plagued and 300,000 cases and more have been reported from the US alone. Worldwide, more than a million people have caught the virus. 100,000 more have died.
Basic supplies have become precious. Many people in the first world couldn’t get enough ventilators, face masks. They lack hospital beds and ICU wards. In the case of the USA, New York being the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities rattle every effort to save the lives of tens of thousands. Yet, they are overwhelmed. I couldn’t do much and sought help from elsewhere.
It holds the same to Italy, Iran,Spain, or in most of Europe and other places that relatively having advanced healthcare services and high end living status. With the magnitude and the galloping spread of the virus, their wealth and advancement has done well but very short of expectations. They have been tested and as it turns out, many countries couldn’t overcome the speeding infection rates. The hard-hit countries have lost the window of opportunity to contain the spread of the virus. Laying to rest the dead has become the perilous encounter.
It is so hard to believe. People are perishing in a speed of light. The world has no honor in it. We have seen how burring the dead has become a nightmare in Europe. Italy and Spain have remained the epicenters of the virus and flabbergasted with the numbers of infected and dead people. They have lost it. There is little left to honor the dead. There is no time and means to allow honorable and memorial services to the departed souls. That is the effect of the virus. That is the test bestowed on humanity.
While the world grapples, Africa is slowly catching up. The severity and the deadliness of the virus are yet to be sensed. Witnessing how the deadly virus has affected the rest of the world, several African countries have taken measures to control the spread. Some have introduced total lock downs while others have issued day time curfews. But the virus has got its way to slip into many places and caused deaths, too. Ethiopia as well is struggling. In many parts of the country, partial lock downs are put in place. Roads are closed. Authorities have banned movements of people within intercity, from city to city, and from city to rural areas and otherwise.
However, the basics are not yet been implemented in a mutual agreement. The generally recommended safety guidelines perhaps are practicable and doable even in everyday life. Frequently washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water is one of the basic hygienic methods that will help to reduce the spread of the virus. Avoid touching face, mostly nose, mouth and eyes, keeping physical distancing or avoiding social gatherings, at least a meter away from others are some of the highly recommended guidelines.
With the trending new cases of infections in Ethiopia, it is dreaded that adhering to social distancing requires a lot of effort and energy to meet safety objectives. In many places, people assume the virus is far away and it’s not coming to Ethiopia to kill. Cafes, hotels, groceries and supermarkets, even streets are packed with multitudes. Many safety guidelines seen practiced clumsily. We see hand washing across the streets being run-through in very awry ways. While educating the public to adhere to the safety guidelines, it is equally important for the authorities to be considerate of the consequences of their actions on the poor, the elderlies people living with disabilities.
Blocking roads may or may not serve the purpose of containing the virus. But surely, people will suffer. Daily wage earners, many in the non-informal sector will be hit hard as blanket lock downs and blockades become routine. Hence, acting and taking necessary steps is crucial but shouldn’t be costly and measures need to account for the unintended costs. Fight Covid-19 but fight it rightly.