A number of Ugandans are living in denial of COVID-19. Partly because the government mishandled the fight against Covid-19. I wrote about how the citizens withdrew their trust.
Unfortunately this has also caused second-order effects. Covid-19 denialism is what’s currently killing most Ugandans.
In the past few weeks, I have had friends lose relatives to COVID-19. I have had friends who have successfully beaten Covid-19, some coming too close to death.
It is only after Covid-19 hits nearby that Ugandans begin to confess; “Covid is real.” Covid has always been real.
Denialism is manifested in people refusing to take tests. By the time most find out, it is always too late.
One of the symptoms that has become more common among patients in Uganda is the muscle pain, that funny fatigue akin to the malaria one.
A friend spent days treating malaria. I even made fun of him, how he was too weak to be put down by malaria. But the symptoms lingered on. The body was still fatigued. He took a test and it turned out positive. It is not just patients denying COVID-19, most doctors are. Doctors will insist that their patients do not have COVID-19. They will keep treating them in close contact, at the same time, proceed to deal with other patients. Hospitals have become some of the supers-spreaders. Then you have friends and family. People let down their guard once they are with people they know.
We must accept that Covid-19 is a possibility. That none of us is immune. That when you notice symptoms, it doesn’t hurt to take a test. Encouraging people to test early could be the magic that saves them.
And when people die of Covid-19, we shouldn’t shy away from announcing it. Funerals should be used to pass on awareness messages. We shouldn’t invent new causes of death and hide facts when people die of Covid-19. We should be honest.
The fight is down to personal responsibility. Test. If you are positive, fight as much as possible and try to protect others from it.
A friend who just recovered from Covid-19 confirms that the concoctions really work. He came to the point of shortness of breath. He got the ginger, the lemon, the garlic, the salty water, all those things. He just kept at it every single day. He fought on. Until he recovered.
For now, we don’t know much about the long term effects of covid. It is possible you win the fight but with reduced lung function.
The other thing to beat is the stigma. It is not a crime for someone to get covid. And when someone heals, we must not label them. We must accept them back into society without any fear.
The fight is down to the individual. Play your part. That’s how we break the spread. At the individual level, do the right thing!