The Covid19 numbers and statistics are turning into faces we know.
With the death toll increasing, social media timelines are flooded with messages of condolences. As people bid farewell to their loved ones.
That has been the case since the beginning of the year. At this point, everyone has lost someone or knows of someone who has succumbed to the virus.
The effects of Covid19 are hitting home as Zimbabwe experiences the second wave of the virus.
Some of the fatal myths people held on to have been dispelled in a painful manner.
Unlike what some believed during the first wave. Zimbabwe`s comparatively warm weather is in no way a proven defence against the Covid-19 spread.
One would imagine that recent deaths and awareness efforts will inspire behaviour change, but that has not been the case.
Social distancing and proper wearing of masks remains an issue.
Thousands have been arrested for violating Covid-19 regulations and this is testament to the level of complacency in communities.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Paul Nyati said, “The most worrying concern is the issue of people not wearing masks, the issue of unnecessary movement.”
State of hospitals in Zimbabwe
Public hospitals which have been in bad shape for decades, are booked to capacity and the requisite consumables are in short supply.
During the first wave, which hit Zimbabwe from around March, the national response was marred by tension between the Health Services Board and medical professionals.
Nurses were on strike decrying inadequate protective clothing (PPEs). They also asked for medical supplies and better salaries. However, the employer was not interested in the conversation.
In the event of an infection and aggressive symptoms, there is more chance of survival at private hospitals. However, the cost is beyond the reach of many.
A bed with a ventilator could offset one up to US$2500.
What is worse is that Zimbabweans are not health positive. They do not like the idea of visiting hospitals even after exhibiting symptoms.
There is a belief that home remedies may help. Although it has held true for others, some have presented themselves to hospitals too late.
Mpilo Hospital acting Director Dr Solwayo Ngwenya has been encouraging people to seek medical help immediately after testing positive. This is so that the management can be advised from an informed perspective.
However, the distrust between the health system and citizens has created a tricky prospect. Many fear they may contract the virus at the hospital some fear they may die alone without adequate healthcare.
Despite the challenges, all hope is not lost for the ordinary folk who have resorted to home remedies such as steaming and use of herbs as a protective measure against the virus.
A teenager born in an urban setting and never frequented rural areas, now knows what Zumbani is.
It is one of the common herbs being used to steam and also taken as a tea to boost immunity. Traditionally this herb has been used to cure coughs and minor colds.
While other nations roll out the vaccine, talks and efforts to secure our fair share are snail paced.
Critics say Zimbabwe may not afford to buy the vaccine and may have to rely on well-wishers, our friends from the East or West. Whoever chooses to be our friend on this.
Despite the pace, parliamentarians have the boldness to make egocentric remarks and jostle to be high on the list of those who will receive the inoculations first. Get the latest COVID-19 Stats from https://www.covidzw.info #OpenCovidContracts
COVID-19: When statistics turn into faces we know