The Covid-19 pandemic has mercilessly disrupted our lives in many ways never seen before.
The fallout, as a result of the virulent pandemic, has also led to high levels of distress, boredom, social isolation and frustration among people.
To put it bluntly, the pandemic has been one big emotional rollercoaster. With governments doing everything necessary to desperately contain the virus through strict measures such as lockdowns and night curfews, staying at home remains an effective method to protect yourself and others from this virus.
Although the development and the subsequent rollout of effective vaccines offer some hope, the reckless conduct of many Namibians leaves a lot to be desired. Seemingly frustrated by the behaviour of some citizens, the health ministry gave a sharp reprimand, complaining about the lack of compliance with public health regulations.
“Recent weeks have witnessed a steep spike in the numbers of new Covid-19 infections around the country. On average, Covid-19 infections are reported in all 14 regions daily. Of concern is the fact that more severe cases, a higher number of hospitalisations and deaths have been recorded. Increased hospitalisations have exerted pressure on the available capacity of intensive care treatment, both in the public and private sectors. In this context, and the observed lax compliance with the Covid-19 public health regulations in all parts of the country, the ministry strongly cautions all members of the public to strictly comply with all Covid-19 public health regulations to suppress and prevent the further spread of Covid-19,” the ministry said in a widely circulated statement.
The reality is that the reckless behaviour of some in our society is hindering the country’s progress in its fight against the pandemic. There has been a blatant breach of Covid-19 regulations, which has seen parties spiralling out of control, with no effective measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.
Funerals have also been blamed for spreading the virus.
It is rather disappointing to note that many young people have adopted a lax attitude towards wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. This has also been exacerbated by poor implementation of containment measures, which could easily also be attributed to pandemic fatigue.
Yes, it will be practically impossible for law enforcement agencies to police every event happening in the country given the capacity at hand. However, the moral obligation still lies with every single citizen to stop the possible spread and prevent more deaths due to Covid-19. Sadly, we have lost over 740 lives and for us, one life lost is one too many.
We also want to use this juncture to appeal to the authorities, especially the health ministry, to come up with more effective sensitisation methods to urge more Namibians to be vaccinated as well as debunk several vaccine myths doing the rounds on social media.
There is no doubt that misinformation is one of the most serious threats to public health.
It can, therefore, not be allowed to fuel vaccine hesitancy among locals. The fact remains; vaccines are effective in saving lives and a great measure to control transmission. We are still far off to achieve herd immunity considering only a little over 56 000 Namibians have received their first doses compared to nearly 160 million Americans who have been vaccinated in the US since the start of the year. We must do what is right as a country and as citizens, we must guard against anti-vaccine sentiments, which takes us several steps back in this critical fight.
Make yourself available and get that jab if you are eligible. It is the right thing to do.