Beyond question, Covid-19 has negative ramifications on our society. Most of the time the economic impact is acknowledged and quantified but the social cost is forgotten. The social cost of Covid-19 is what I would consider the most significant and most damaging of them all. Human beings are social animals and Covid-19 has impacted negatively on our social lives. I seek to highlight the social cost of Covid-19 and the role of Namibian citizens in curbing it.
The Namibian government has put in place restrictions in almost every sphere of citizen lives in a bid to protect citizens’ health. This move is commendable but the social cost has been unbearable countrywide. Our society is not functioning the way we know it. For instance, we cannot travel freely from one point to another unless, for essential reasons, children have not been attending school, families have suffered separation, jobs have been lost and members at social events and gatherings, for example, funerals and weddings have been reduced. We have had to make painful adjustment to the way we know life. The push factor behind this has been the rising cases of Covid-19 in Namibia.
One classical example of the social cost of Covid-19 is a family of five. The father was admitted in quarantine in an approved facility by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. Resultantly, he could not attend his work and continue his parenting role as a father to his children. His wife and the children were distressed because of the anxiety associated with Covid-19. Since the father has been a member of the local society for years, the community was traumatised due to his circumstances and the department of social services continued to receive reports of stigmatisation of the family from the community. Covid-19 has devasted not only the family in question but thousands of other families in Namibia.
A closer examination of today’s society would show that substance misuse and domestic violence at the community level continue to increase as a result of social stress due to Covid-19. The result has been the tearing apart of families thereby affecting the fabric of society. Family is the most important unit of society. The impact of family destruction has serious repercussions for the future of Namibian society.
So how can you lessen the social cost of Covid-19 on the society? How can you play a role in lessening the impact on society? In the Namibian National Anthem, we affirm that we are the land of the brave and though it is not easy during Covid-19, this is the opportune phase to show this bravery. We can do this by strictly adhering to the set regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19 thereby lessening the social cost on the society.