AMH Voices: Lockdown, what lockdown?

Image courtesy of AlJazeera

Life is still normal in residential areas especially high density suburbs.  People are roaming all over the streets and the so-called ghetto youth, you can see them sitting on the bridges.

By Lester Rusike

People are still queuing for water on solar driven boreholes and bush pumps, since power cuts are still being experienced. There are no awareness campaigns, no health workers, no NGOs, most people in these areas don’t even know what they are supposed to do or why they should stay at home and why it is good for them.

They have no idea what COVID-19 is, and some are still believing conspiracy theories that the virus is for the rich or the whites. Most or even none are taking this virus seriously. Commuter omnibus have stopped operating; only buses are ferrying people to town.

What has changed so far is that all tuckshops have been closed but most people are still selling through the backdoor. Products are now expensive as the few people selling products are charging ridiculous prices, for example, a single lemon now costs $5 and an onion now costs RTGS$10. Also gas for domestic use now costs US$3 or ZWL$90 (cash) per KG, up from USD$1.60 per KG

The police and the army usually take part in one operation, clearing people off the streets at around 4 to 5pm, but as soon as they leave, people return to the streets. What I say is the government is doing nothing to combat this epidemic.

We don’t know, maybe some people are already infected and some are showing symptoms and some are not but because of lack of information, people may think that they are still okay or maybe they have a common cold. Nobody has information of where, why, or when to get tested. We seem to be on our own.

From my understanding, the purpose of a lockdown is to stop or minimise infections, while at the same time people get tested and those found positive are put on quarantine and those that made contact with the positive will be tested regularly and are advised to self-isolate.

At the moment I think we are just wasting lockdown days because there is a lack of seriousness from the government. If this situation remains unchecked, we could see horror in the coming weeks.