FROM THE LOCKDOWN DUNGEON: We defy the odds, we deny the virus

By Thomas Kagera
On 2 April 2020 at 02:59

Dear Kamanzi,

I do not want to contend that you are getting used to the lockdown. You should only be committed to fighting the cause of the lockdown. I just want to believe that we all consider this as a war, not a horror movie in which we are characters.

You see, my friend, to this coronavirus, life is an offense, and economic prosperity is treason. But me and you have got to continue defying its rule and denying it continuity, by staying at home, washing hands and following other guidelines issued by health experts and political leaders. That way, we shall ‘flatten the curve’ when it can no longer find ‘fuel and the dry grass’ to rage on.

Where I am, dear Kamanzi, we are contending with many issues; conspiracies about the virus, misinformation, stern orders, crude actions by implementers of orders and indolent but deep-seated fear.

I think you have, by now, heard of the coronavirus origin theory: Manufactured by US or China as a biological weapon? China has used it to capture US and European stock markets? Africans will be killed in millions by the virus? [Much as we do not have deaths near to the exponential curves of Europe, China and the US of A]?

A disequilibrium has already created disarray; supply, demand, availability, and necessity no longer see eye-to-eye; each is facing in a direction, not where it is needed but where the storm has whirled it to sit and settle.

The petrol stations, banks, pharmacies hospitals, and clinics remain open but how workers get to and from work remains a challenge as all forms of public and private means of transport are banned.

Kamanzi, as you know, I am, among other trades, a poultry farmer. I had invested some savings in raising about a thousand birds. Croilers. I was targeting the Easter season. Today, I can neither get poultry feeds nor can I be mobile enough to take the birds, at that pre-mature stage, to the market.

And who would buy when all potential buyers are tacked at home without earning? And would they afford the luxury of buying chicken when even other low cost foods are hard to come by? I am that stuck. But not desperate. Still, like you told me in your previous mail, hopping towards hope.

My and your way of life seems to have forever been changed.

This situation has humbled us all as equal human beings, on earth and before the Lord. When all public transport was banned, those with private cars never wondered how the vast majority of the people were surviving. Now that private cars are banned, the owners have started seeing their world collapse. "How do we get to work", "to the bank", "to KFC" and "to the supermarket"? I wish they had all asked those questions in support of those whose only choice was public transport. Because they all seem so completely insensitive to others when they only start whining now.
And with this virus that is offended by the existence of life, the rich and peasants have to be treated here, at home. The affluent and elites, political giants and peasants, face the same wrath, same facilities. They will not be flown to some 5-star hospital in the West.
Do you think this will open willingness of some of our leaders to invest in medical facilities here at home?
They better learn and act.
By the way, Kamanzi, how are you holding with false news on coronavirus those ends? Misinformation about the cure, vaccine, effects, contagiousness and strength of Africans to resist the pathogen?
Misinformation at times becomes too much. There are times when you just have to shut to the world, and let false news pass. That is why I have today had to shut and instead spend some time tending to my vegetable gardens. Seeing them sprouting into vitality gives me renewed energy. How they effortlessly blossom and bloom gives me hope for a good future. A future free of coronavirus.
These are not normal times my friend. Let us pray like we have never prayed before. We keep each other in prayer.

Thomas Kagera