DR MAXWELL ADEYEMI
THE death toll from covid19 in the past weeks has been distressingly catastrophic. We are no longer hearing death figures but seeing and watching friends, colleagues and family members snatched away by the cold hands of covid19-mediated deaths. The unbelievable departure of acquaintances, people we know, people with whom we interacted, friends and family members is being translated into real pain and anguish. The reality of covid19 is hitting home and our collective vulnerability has become palpable.
The death rates are escalating, the infection rates are astronomical for a small population as ours, yet some people are still behaving reckless with wanton disregard for health guidelines, the state of emergency (SoE) and its restrictions. People are compromising the population with their indisciplined and lawless actions and behaviour, having parties in the midst of a pandemic. Many arrests are being made during the SoE, a time when we are all advised to stay home in the interest of protecting and saving the nation from the pains of the pandemic. One must accept that it’s difficult for many financially, mentally and socially. It’s not an easy road, but there is no easy way out of this situation and some of us are making it worse.
For the sake of the children
While many of us may want to behave in a particular way and ignore the consequences, we should spare a thought also for the children – the future of the nation. For over a year they have been deprived of proper peer education, interactions and social skills, which have caused mental stress and depression in some of them. Some have been forced to drop out of school, while others have been lured into improper lifestyles due to lack of supervision, idleness, frustration or even financial hardships. The time and skill lost may never be recovered, and sadly, the effects of this may not be fully manifest until five to ten years later in the form of numerous social problems, crime and deviant behaviours. So if as adults you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your children. Let us do what is needed to take control of this pandemic.
Health workers’ fatigue
Health workers have been at the forefront of the battle for over a year, many of them working without vacations and some, even when exposed to the virus, have been asked to self-monitor for symptoms and continue working. Like many other front-line workers, health workers leave their families on a daily basis to risk their lives in the line of duty. Some have died and others have lost family members, yet they continue to fight on saving lives. The truth is, at some point, if they contain these levels of workload, they will reach a point of physical and mental fatigue – another reason for us to think and act sensibly to try to get the pandemic under control.
Seek help and isolate if you are sick
The advice has always been to stay home and isolate if your get sick. Unfortunately there are reports that some people who are ill are venturing into the work place and infecting other people. Others get tested and continue to move around while they await their results. Then there are those who are sick but are in denial, refusing to seek medical help and dismissing their symptoms as a mild flu, sinus or allergies. The symptoms of covid19 can be so varied and unpredictable, so if you experience any one of the symptoms, get tested.
Be mindful of social media junk
Social media is full of falsehood, fake information, idle expressions of non-scientific messages, in print and videos, that have the capacity to confuse you. Every day we are bombarded with a toxic flow of information which can us disregard helpful, scientific advice. Among the people pushing these narratives to discourage people from getting vaccinated are prominent public figures, journalist and even some health workers. Watch what you consume on social media, and if you are undecided or confused about the vaccine, call your doctor for advice.
Community mobilisation for vaccination
Around the world, vaccine hesitation is real. But, in order to get out of this pandemic conundrum, vaccination is our present hope. Encourage more people to get vaccinated by mobilising the community at the grassroots. Apart from using mainstream and social media to our advantage, one of the proven tools for community mobilisation is the political machinery that is well utilised by all political entities. It can be effectively used across all political divides in a united effort to mobilise citizens in the fight against the pandemic. We can also engage community leaders, village councils, public service announcers and church leaders to assist in the mobilisation efforts.
We need to vaccinate to get herd immunity, while we endeavour to keep adhering to the health guidelines.
Contact Dr Maxwell at 363-1807 or 757-5411.