We remain committed to following government rules regarding the multi-stage lockdown. However, we feel obliged to ask the question for debate: Are our cures/prevention remedies for the pandemic worse than the disease itself?
The latest articles and commentary seem to agree that this virus will never ‘go away’. It will be in our world always until there is a vaccine or cure. Shall we stay in a state of emergency forever?
With rich countries ready to pay for the vaccine or cure, big pharma (global drug companies) is moving like Usain Bolt with research and testing. A treatment/cure/vaccine will now come onto the market in record time. But, can we wait for that? It is our hesitant view that we need to begin salvaging Namibia.
We were on our knees economically before the pandemic burst onto the scene. Now, we are in a hole so deep, those on the rim of the hole can only see the tops of our heads. The ropes the government is throwing down to rescue a few of us are too thin. They break when inevitably, too many people grab on all at once.
Three new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. Two asymptomatic females and one man returning to Namibia from South Africa two weeks ago have it. Nevertheless, this country is NOT a Covid-19 hotspot.
We agree with the Health Minister Dr Shangula, when he urges no panic. The three new cases came from the outside. We need to assist those who are sick. And, we must stay focussed on those who are being repatriated. They must continue their quarantine and we must trace anyone they encountered. We are doing the right thing. Let us please not over-react. Those wanting continued lockdowns and extreme efforts are NOT those who are losing their jobs. People are getting desperate, we need to re-open or begin consuming ourselves when the bread runs out.
This pandemic is not like Ebola; instant bloody death is not the outcome. We must not forget that 14 of the 19 cases have recovered. No one has died.
Indeed, there are high risk groups in danger if they are exposed, but isn’t that already the case with HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, Hepatitis E and other diseases? We submit there are more deaths due to other infections and lifestyle diseases (obesity, excessive red-meat eating, and smoking) well above what could be projected to be COVID-19 fatalities should Namibia re-open internally.
We have been lax in our serious attention to preventative measures on some key levels. We are doing ‘Namdemic’ protections against the disease.
The masks people are quickly making in their kitchens are well below the standard needed to block transmission of the virus. People may as well put a sock over their faces; it is equal to what is being done.
Many people are still not wearing masks and don’t really care. People are sneezing and coughing and touching everything afterward. Public hand washing was slowed down tremendously.
Social distancing in our African culture was joke from Day 1.
The police seem to harass only black and poor people without masks or having parties or standing too close. They must believe that only black or poor people can catch or spread the pandemic.
This country has poor general population virus testing efforts. This means that we have no statistically provable idea about the ‘real’ level of infection in our society.
It is time to consider stepping back to take another look at what we are doing.
Alcoholism and substance abuse are never solved by a ban. Let’s get serious about addressing the real roots of addiction and stop being superficial about solutions. Open stores for purchases of alcohol to take home. Then open bars a bit later.
Some street vendors are opened, while others cannot (on what thumb-suck basis was that done?) Let the ladies sell for goodness sake! Fatcakes will soon be all that some of us can afford.
Schools are partially opening for 11th and 12th graders on June 1st. Where is the scientific evidence that upper secondary school students are less likely to contract the disease than 4th graders? Open all classroom doors as soon as possible.
Let us mind our closed borders, but stop the internal state of emergency as soon as feasible.
Why not open the construction industry if they still have money to pay their workers or order building materials.
Let’s get the restaurants and cafes (and their bars) opened again, if they still can.
Of course, we do not advocate recklessness! Officials must watch the results. If local cases crop up, then let’s plan for that and act on the basis of evidence.
We must decide if Namibians will suffer and die of poverty-related illnesses to a larger degree, while the country boasts about low COVID-19 infection numbers.
Right now, we must ask ourselves if the cure is worse than the disease. Let those with more information dialogue openly on these points.