Isdore Guvamombe Reflections
Back in my village in the proverbial land of milk, honey and dust — Guruve — we often stand on the compound of a coward, pointing at the grave of a brave man.
As we reminisce on the brave man’s heroic antics, the backroom of our minds inform us that, it is those unthinking heroic acts that led to his death.
After all we are talking about the brave man because we are still alive! At that point we start asking the question; after all, was it necessary to die for this and like this?
In the same village, elders with cotton tuft hair, say among all the birds, white-necked crows die less because they are cowards. The brave birds always meet their deaths faster.
The coronavirus also referred to as Covid-19 is upon us and it needs no heroic antics. It is real.
The Government has come up with a cocktail of measures to contain the spread of Covid-19 and all and sundry, should understand that this is in good faith; this is for our own good as individuals, as businesses and indeed as a country.
I have seen so many people in denial. I have heard many people in denial give all sorts of theories about Covid-19, some of them bordering on mischief.
Suffice to say, Covid-19 lockdown is not about the Government, the police or the army, it is about us. It is about saving our lives. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our country is not brought to its knees through a spike in infections.
It is our responsibility to make sure that we help our country overcome the spread of the virus.
In recent weeks, I have seen so many people who think they are being heroic by breaking lockdown rules, but unbeknown to them, one day such heroics might come to an abrupt end.
The unfortunate thing is that Covid-19 is spread easily through interactions and one person might end up infecting several innocent others.
The haulage trucks for instance, have been a major contributor to cross border transportation of people, at times, smuggling them. It is fact not fiction that many people, Zimbabweans and foreigners alike, have been smuggled from South Africa and Zambia by haulage truck drivers.
The sitting arrangement, am told, is such that people are jam-packed on the couch behind the driver’s seat where there is no social distancing at all.
People evading quarantine centres are also smuggled in haulage trucks. To them this is heroic, but this is very dangerous. No sanitisers, no fumigation no fresh air, no nothing!
I have done the rounds in the high density suburbs in Harare and what I saw there is very bad. Day in, day out football matches are being played. Day in day out netball matches are being played.
No one cares about testing. No one cares about social distancing. Worse still, these matches are watched by many men, women and children.
For as long as there is no police presence, they think they are being heroic and when police drive by, they scamper for cover and reground as soon as police leave.
It sounds funny and heroic to escape a police raid, but this is a recipe for real disaster. Monumental disaster.
Bottle stores, nightclubs and bars are open day and night. Revellers are shoved in through the backdoor and imbibe from inside. No facial masks. Sharing sips and hugs, dances and all. These are the perceived heroes and heroines of our time, but time they say, is a great teacher. It takes one infected person to spread to the rest.
I do not wish the worst to happen, but we are certainly creating breeding ground for the virus. We are creating good circumstances and fertile opportunities for the virus.
I was shocked while in a queue at one of the supermarkets when people exchanged masks, just to beat the door man. Well, this is another recipe for disaster. The face masks are not for grandstanding, they are not a fashion statement and indeed they are not worn for the purposes of beating security services.
By and large they protect you and the next person.
Many people think they are being clever by not following the laid down lockdown procedure, but they might be destroying themselves and many others.
There are many people sneaking through from foreign land and finding their way home without passing through health institutions and designated quarantine centres.
It sounds heroic to beat the system and join the family without going through the rigorous testing procedures and quarantine, but that is the way to go.
The whole system put in place by the Government is meant to curtail the spread of the virus and to manage those infected. This is a national issue and many people need to understand that serving your life and that of the next person is virtuous.
Many believers are still holding mountain prayers in groups. Many people are attending funerals in huge groups in towns and villages.
There are people who still doubt that the disease is real and flout lockdown rules.
Gold panners, for instance, continue to play cat and mouse with police in our rivers and mines and think the virus is only found in town. This is very dangerous.
There is probably need for change of approach.
There might be need to make people who tested positive and are willing to share their experiences, do so in public.
As we stand today, we seem to have the majority of Zimbabweans in doubt of the real existence of the virus.
Like we said at the beginning, you lose nothing by being a compliant coward than be a hero in your grave.
We lose nothing by observing religiously the Government’s Covid-19 lockdown rules and regulations.