With most countries under curfew as a response to slow down COVID-19 spread, it is a different story here in Tanzania, life is as usual, though we are imposed into washing hands with sanitizers and flowing water, social distancing, self-isolation and wearing masks practices, and above all spirituality-we are reminded to pray as much as possible, churches and mosques are open to everybody but numbers and all other precautions observed. The three days of national prayers for the plague have ended recently.
Since the upsurge of COVID-19, the communal life ‘‘the third world life’’ has drastically changed. Social life has changed; no trust between each other, hospitals will abandon patients. In recent days if you get sick from Malaria, influenza, or Urinary Tract Infection(UTI) to mention a few, those cause high body temperatures you are in trouble, you will be asked to transition from one hospital to another until the situation is critical. A former co-worker died of this.
Again, the post-mortem services have turned out to be a very complicated service to wait for several days for the dead has to be examined before the funeral. Gatherings are restricted, few members will be involved when the body tests negative otherwise it’s the government’s job and you all know how municipalities bury, this increases apprehension among the community.
As a public servant, the ‘‘no gathering’’ government ban, meaning no office meeting, no public holidays (Workers Day) has a negative impact on my life, it indirectly prohibits per diem, facilitation, and sitting allowances offered. Looking into a perspective of extended families as the case is in most third-world countries, my family chains are automatically affected.
With a little experience in the aviation industry, I have seen the global impact caused by the novel COVID-19. Apart from contracting the virus, fear among employees, and redundancy, the flight cancellations dismantled the cargo and tourism activities that in turn collapsed the airport operations. This is to say, the industry’s economy is in ICU.
As an employee with extended family, I see myself in total darkness, chances are high that, there won’t be salaries if the situation persists for 6-9 months, the aviation industry could keep deteriorating to total shut down. The entrepreneurial activities I invested in, all are in recession, waiting for a shutdown! Having all these in mind, I presume to be imposed into bankruptcy which will cost me interest and penalties sometime later. Banks, Higher Learning Board, and a Savings and Credit Co-Operative Society (SACCOS) all owe me money.
Stress is everywhere to me!
Where will I go?
How could I sustain my extended family chain?