Reflecting on Covid-19

Pumza P Tuswa

St Pauls Environment Action Team & Mothers Union

There are 6 things that have intrigued me around Covid since the first lockdown:

  1. The origins of Covid-19? Was it human engineered, made somewhere on a laboratory table? Is it a weapon to depopulate the world? Is it related to mobile network 5G wireless technologies? Is it deliberately created to sell vaccines/ make us dependent on vaccines? There are more conspiracy theories that continue to flood the social media space.
  2. Is mother Earth revolting? : Outside the conspiracies, I was intrigued by the causal link between Covid 19 and environment.  The assertion is that the earth is revolting against its abuse and degradation by human activity. The earth is “tired “of assault and mistreatment of her essential life systems and is revolting? (I find this theory plausible. We have already experienced the effects of climate change – e.g. catastrophic droughts, wild fires, floods etc-).   On can also listen to ANGLICAN ALLIANCE “Prophetic Indigenous Voices on the Planetary Crisis” videos for a good glimpse!
  3. Are the herbal concoctions useful in fighting Covid- 19? Since the first lockdown, we have been inundated with hundreds of expert advice on concoctions and practises to keep Covid-19 at bay. Typical grocery lists these days will include some of the following concoction items:  lemons, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cloves, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, bicarbonate, onions, umhlonyane and steaming items like Vicks, eucalyptus, and gumtree leaves etc etc!!!  .   A Minister of Health in South Africa at the height of HIV and AIDS pandemic once advised the nation to use some of the listed herbal products.  The only missing item is beetroot!  Any way I continue taking the concoctions. At least they kept the flu at bay last winter!!!!
  4. Covid and heat issue. We have been convinced (via social media) that Covid-19 and heat are enemies. The 2nd wave in mid-summer must have come as a real surprise!!
  5. Wearing /not wearing of masks. Most people wear masks. They understand that mask wearing is an essential component to stopping the spread of the coronavirus, including social distancing and hand hygiene. Masks can be uncomfortable. Also, have you noticed that masks also mask our expressions? They hide the facial expression of joy/ pain/anger/friendliness/spite/anguish etc,).  In some cases, it is difficult even to recognise the people you know when they are masked!!!  But we can forgo all these if masks help us to be safe.

While most people (I think) are responsible and wear their masks, we sometimes see people without them in public spaces. What do you do if someone without a mask comes closer to you? Should you remind him/her to be responsible?  Or do you just move away??  Or do you yell at him/her???? Do you sometimes wonder what could be the reasons??  Is it defiance? Is it ignorance? Is it something else?? I remain curious to know. I never gathered courage to ask!

  1. Then comes the Vaccine debate. The debate has been on the table but it reached a crescendo in November/December 2020.  Anti-vaccine sentiments and doubts are expressed about the speed at which it has been developed, the efficacy, safety, the intentions (conspiracy theories again!).  The debate made me wonder if our parents (I am talking about parents of over 55 -year –old adults here!!)  were equally anxious and apprehensive of our first vaccines in the 1950-60’s (remember there was no social media then, even landline telephone was something out of reach for many!!?) I asked a few friends and  here are their unedited direct responses  :

 Siwa : “ I do not know how my parents felt about it, however, I do not have any recollection of them anxious about the vaccine. We as children just loved that round stamp on our upper arm after BCG.”

Nelo  “ We got sweets after the stamp—very exciting times for us!!.  Even after the polio drops on our tongues, there was always some reward!!

Rapu :  “ without looking down upon our parents, if something was compulsory according to authorities, they did what they were told. Compliant people those, not too many questions especially if it was sold as something that would help. ( at least I am reflecting on my parents)!

 We will see when the vaccine hits our shores . How many  will want to jump the queue???

May God bless and keep you safe!