The Covid-19 virus is a newly discovered infectious disease transmitted via droplets created when an infected individual sneezes, coughs, or even exhales. Due to their weight, these droplets quickly fall on a surface. The virus is revealed to have originated from Wuhan, China, from which it spread to all the corners of the globe. I first encountered the virus on television, where the public was being warned of a new infectious virus. I had just come from the store to attain the groceries necessary for my grandmother, who I had lived with all my life, and me. Upon arrival, I found her seated inches from the television, grasping her chin in her hand. “Have you heard?” She asked with a voice of concern. “What?” I answered, yet again with a question of my own. As I sat down beside her, I could hear the news reporter state some of the most common symptoms that come with the virus, such as fatigue, dry cough, and fever. Other less common symptoms were nasal congestion, nausea, diarrhea, joint pain, and many more. The reporter also states the elderly as the most prone individuals to the disease due to their reduced immunity.
My grandmother fell under this category, as with 64 years of age, she was indeed among the elderly. Additionally, she had lived with asthma for the last thirty years, which added to her susceptibility to the virus. Due to these two reasons, I became worried for her as she was at a huge disadvantage. So like a good grandchild, I began customizing our residence by employing the necessary stipulated measures to ensure my grandmother would be safe from the pandemic. I started by separating seating positions in the house to encompass social distancing. Aside from this, other measures and equipment were necessary to ensure the safety of both my grandmother and me, but because it was late, I had to wait till the next day to get the supplies we would need.
A few minutes later, my grandmother was worn out and retired to bed. I was left staring at the television where the virus was being discussed on all the TV stations. Here I learned that the best thing for people like my grandmother was to ensure their isolation. The older individuals were more prone to the virus, and minimizing their contact with others was a sure way of protecting them from the virus's effects. Her safety was important to me as she was the only family that I had left. I remember that night I had a nightmare where zombies had taken over the world. It resembled the movie The Walking Dead, where a virus had created zombies out of the infected humans. This shows how much the whole idea of a virus roaming free in the world was getting to me. Most were yet to see what anyone infected looked like.
Early the next day, I left the house for the store to attain the necessary supplies to help with fighting the virus. I had to take extra caution because I was living with an elderly person, unlike most people in my town. Due to her susceptibility to the virus, I had to take extra caution around her, as my constant movement increased my risk of transmitting the virus to her. In the streets, you could feel the post-apocalyptic frenzy in the air with the chaos that had quickly erupted as a result of people hurriedly trying to get home. The city was going to be locked down, and those residing outside wanted to get home to their families before the time had passed to do so. The law enforcers seemed to have had a hard time controlling the masses, with some taking the opportunity to loot and destroy property.
The stores were also packed with families taking stock of foodstuffs and toiletries that they would need while in lockdown. The government had announced measures to lock down the city and prevent the unnecessary movement of people, thus the need to bulk up. People were stacking up toilet paper like it was more important than food. The isle for sanitary goods was so full that I had to find a less congested store for my purchase. Even here, goods like tissue paper and sanitizers were dwindling quickly as the demand skyrocketed. It seemed like the end of days with everyone seeking to gain the little control they could from an exaggerated perspective.
I remember the bus ride back home having its drama when a blonde middle-aged lady seated a few rows ahead of me began coughing. Everyone seated around her began moving to find other seats at the back. The lady was suffering from a different kind of illness, and people on the bus had overreacted. Everyone was uneasy and seemed to associate any illness with the recently announced virus. Who could blame them? At the time, no cure or form of treatment was available. Everyone was still misinformed, and behaving as they did was justified.
Fast forward close to a year later, and the virus is still around. It has killed throughout the globe and hugely stressed the entire world's public health, work, and food system. It has devastated society's social and economic functions, where millions are at an increased risk of falling into dangerous poverty. Also, it is identified to increase the current 690 million undernourished individuals by close to 132 million. The pandemic is also estimated to render about 3.3 billion people in the world jobless (WHO, 2020). This I can attest to first hand. Before the pandemic began, I worked part-time at a nearby hotel as a waiter. Most of us had to be laid-off due to a fall in revenue from the dwindling number of clients, as well as the enforced closure of public gathering areas.
Aside from the hospitality industry, other jobs have also been affected. For instance, healthcare has had difficulties diagnosing and handling those suspected or confirmed to carry the virus (Haleem et al., 2020). It is also highly burdened as patients suffering from other diseases are neglected. Taking my grandmother for her regular checkups got to be quite a hustle with the hospital full and the doctors looking mostly tired. There was also a need for high protection for the doctors and other patients, showing the Covid-19 cases seemed to be a top priority. The pandemic has also resulted in the cancelation of sports events and other festivities. I love going to the cinema, but having the virus around has made this impossible. Some of my favorite movies were scheduled for release anytime this year, but this is yet to happen due to the pandemic.
I am aware that my losses are minimal to what some have had to go through since the start of this pandemic, as most, if not all of us, have something. I am grateful that I still have my grandmother around and that with time we can say goodbye to this terrible calamity humanity has had to endure. I cannot wait to finally vibe to the song Mask Off, even though I normally would not.
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World Health Organization: WHO. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 on people’s livelihoods, their health and our food systems. Who.int; World Health Organization: WHO. https://www.who.int/news/item/13-10-2020-impact-of-covid-19-on-people’s-livelihoods-their-health-and-our-food-systems#:~:text=The%20economic%20and%20social%20disruption,the%20end%20of%20the%20year.
Haleem, A., Javaid, M., & Vaishya, R. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 pandemic in daily life. Current Medicine Research and Practice, 10(2), 78–79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmrp.2020.03.011