THIS PANDEMIC THROUGH THE EYES OF VERA.

         The coronavirus hit the world like an unannounced guest coming to visit and leaving chaos in its wake. News of the virus spread like wildfire, schools, places of worship and all outdoor activities were cordoned off to control the spread, but the numbers rose at an alarming rate.

           The effects of the lockdown began to be felt at Ernest’s home, as supplies ran low and all saved-up funds were depleted, there seemed to be no way to replenish them as earning opportunities were not favourable at that time. I had hoped that since the lockdown on health facilities was not severe, the dispensary would sustain us, but day after day, Dad came home with the same sullen look that meant no turnover and stirred the fear factor in our hearts.

I decided to turn to social media as a substitute for activity and a means of distraction, but it turned out to be counterproductive as it was filled with a lot of negativity at the time, with stories like that of the one million boys who used the order to stay home as a way to invade people’s homes and loot their property, but the masses took up arms and decided to be their vigilantes, stopping the heinous activities before they became deadly. The looting and desperate struggle for the relief materials sent by the government to the communities was another spectacle to watch as those responsible for distributing the materials decided to hoard them for themselves, causing unrest among the people. 

     The safety measures recommended by the WHO to reduce the risk of contracting the virus became a mantra we all learned to recite: wash hands regularly with soap under running water, cough or sneeze into disposable wipes, use disinfectant regularly after touching a surface, stand two metres away from the nearest person, avoid physical contact and touching your face, wear a mask everywhere.

    As the pandemic showed no signs of abating and market prices were driven up, it became difficult to eat the way we were used to, from three square meals to two a day, if we were lucky, no more frivolous spending could be done as the future was uncertain and every penny was needed to support the family, and we learnt to economise on those things that were not essential for survival. 

     Although this pandemic was a world-changing experience, it revealed the vulnerable state the world was in and yet it forced us to adapt to the new status quo, work from home and move business and services completely into cyberspace, resulting in many technological advances. This pandemic is a real eye opener that has set the world on a new course.

Although we are past the worst, it is still imperative that the vaccination programme is propagated as the world works towards complete eradication and prevention of the Corona virus. 

Every person is advised to get vaccinated through the health centre in their area as this is a free service to ensure individual safety and protect society from further outbreaks of the disease. 

On 14 June 2021, the Japanese government announced that it will provide about US$39 million to UNICEF to develop cold chains for vaccines in Nigeria and 31 countries in Africa and Latin America affected by COVID-19 (from UNICEF website). This will help create better storage facilities for the COVAX vaccines and support their distribution in the countries. 

UNICEF is using all its resources to ensure that everyone is vaccinated, especially in third world countries that have higher population rates. 

Your job is to get vaccinated and educate everyone around you to do the same, spread the word about vaccination and dispel myths around the Covid 19 vaccine.

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