EDITORIAL: WE ALL NEED TO TAKE THIS PANDEMIC SERIOUSLY

Sunday July 25 2021

Covid-19 is a threat to all, not just the government. However, there has been vivid laxity and a cavalier attitude demonstrated by citizens towards adhering to the basic precautionary measures as directed by the Ministry of Health and other global health bodies.

This is more than an everyday malady, it is a threat to our very existence as we know it. Judging by the number of people who have succumbed to the disease globally we get a picture that Covid-19 needs to be curbed on a more extreme measure, lest we end up losing every loved one we know.

This track of thought might be too grim, but it is the reality, compounded by the fact that we fail to even pay attention to the most basic of preventive measures. What this means is that we are building our own graves and there might not be anyone left to bury us.

But, amidst this worrisome state solutions are plentiful, that only we can put into effect. As it has been perennially communicated by our own ministry of health, the preventive measures laid bare that could greatly impede any further spread of the mutating coronavirus are: wearing a face mask, avoiding large crowds, avoiding physical contact, washing hands with soap and running water, and sanitizing. These are all within our means as they do not require a lot of effort, but even if they did, our lives are on the line so this is a small price to pray for good health and life itself.

The other preventive measure is more science-based and might be the most effective of them all, though, again, it should be reiterated that all these precautionary measures count. But, when we talk of vaccines, we refer to acquiring immunity. What vaccines present us with is an opportunity to provide mass protection to the rising number of infections across the globe.

Tanzania might have taken longer than other countries to accept reality and turn to science in combating the deadly virus, but we are here today, and that is what counts. What we decide to do and how we decide to do it from hereon will determine the end result of our fight against the pandemic.

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Cavalier response

What has been alarming, however, is the level of response from the general public. Most Tanzanians have almost turned a deaf ear and blind eye to the plight along with precautionary directives attached.

What is more worrying is how people continue to gather in large crowds, show total disregard to wearing face masks or washing their hands – these are all omissions that fuel the spread of the virus. Now, is it up to the government to enforce these directives? I think logical reasoning comes to play here, and the government cannot be faulted for everything.

It is high time that everyone plays their roles right: the government should continue providing guidelines on how to beat the virus, citizens need to ensure that these guidelines are observed, because again, Covid-19 is a dangerous disease.

We need to be mindful of the repercussions that come with being negligent and completely offhand when it comes to the crucial act of following directives from authorities and health experts.

The pandemic will only be deterred if everyone plays righful their role that will ensure the spread is curbed. Tanzania, just like the rest of the world faces a tough road ahead, let us be mindful of the risks associated with each decision we make.