Coronavirus: We either swim or sink together

By Apollo Higiro
On 25 March 2020 at 08:41

We are confronted with a cataclysm so destructive in the way it kills its victims and, most atrociously, the way it numbs entire economies, withers social transactions and maims business arteries. Coronavirus outbreak has meant a shutdown unseen in living memory.

But then, as life dulls into a lull, there are quite a number actions and lessons we get from this outbreak. First, we really are all in this together and our shared sacrifice should be to solve this common problem, consistent with Rwandan values; values that make Rwanda a great nation.

Remember, on the entire African continent [and the world, I can say] Rwanda is a country that represents and personifies hope.

The Government is making us feel safest by confronting reality and moving proactively. That is why lockdown and ‘stay at home’ actions came in effect when the cases had not got in the tens before it makes irreparable inroads... But because COVOID-19 is feared more for its contagiousness than for its lethal severity, it’s easy to be seduced by the desire to retreat into denial or try to avoid accountability altogether.

We need to remind ourselves that the pathogen first got out of control in China because of their government’s impulse to hide the truth. Denial is lethal.

Rwanda has proactively taken the lockdown and other measures basing on smart, science-based decision-making to drive government action against coronavirus, as denial would only make things worse; because the scourge is a serious life or death struggle. It is a challenge that requires responsibility from all citizens. Overcoming it will not be a quick fix — it will take time, innovation and sacrifice. But we will get through this, emerge stronger and wiser.

Let us do this

When we “STAY AT HOME”, we are actively supporting a "FLATTENING THE CURVE" anti-pandemic global policy/action, designed to minimize loss of life while maintaining proper functionality of the country and its health system plus normal continuity of the state and the economy after the pandemic.

Flattening the curve advocates for a technic similar to a "Scorched Earth" policy against the advancing virus so that it finds nothing to survive on wherever it reaches, can’t find anyone else to jump on to, and thereby quickly dies out. It is therefore apparent that we need to start flattening the curve early before we are overwhelmed like Italy.

We all need to understand what the effort is about so that we fight this together as a country.

The citizens’ part is simply to stay at home for the stipulated quarantine period. That’s all.

This is the time our country needs all of us marching together against this macabre global pandemic. This is the time for patriotism with a heart.

Do some more

Is all doom and gloom? Even as we await what lies ahead? I would say no. Sequestered at home with our families — away from the mad dash of social gatherings in the name of social distancing — we’re reminded that they are what really matters.

Playing catch in the backyard, reading a book, talking, cooking, laughing — these are the real joys of life. We should savor the simple things despite whatever fear we may feel.

This is the time our country needs all of us marching together against this macabre global pandemic. This is the time for patriotism with a heart.