KAMPALA, December 28, 2020 — 2020 began like any other year before. People had made New Year resolutions, they were looking forward to accomplishing great things. People were looking forward to expanding their businesses, getting new jobs, getting married, graduating and variety of other targets. It depended on who and where. However, after March things changed tremendously. They didn’t change for the better, they changed for the worse. It’s been a unique, problematic and a year that has puzzled everybody. While a few people profited from it, for the majority, it has been devastating.
Thanks to the creators of the Coronavirus. Coronavirus is not a biological gem. It is reported to be something produced in a laboratory. By the way, Coronaviruses have existed for long and are associated with respiratory infections. However, the particular strain named Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19 is a particularly dangerous strain. Those who produced it had the audacity to do so and their intentions were all evil. It is devastating the world. Our countries did not know what the virus was and indeed the entire world did not know what the virus was until March when countries started locking down their economies with the view to preventing the spread of the virus. It is reported that it had started in China in November 2019 with the United States help! But it hadnt spread yet so widely as it is now. So many countries didnt know the impact it would cause! Other previous viruses like SARs were contained before they spread in 2003. SARs affected only 8089 people and killed 774.
In Uganda, the President addressed the nation on March 18th, announcing the famous lockdown of the country. This followed the Declaration by the World Health Organization in January that the Coronavirus had become a Pandemic in the sense that it was not controllable and was going to spread throughout the world. A virus is not controllable it, will spread throughout the entire world on its own.
As it started, there were many interesting theories behind it. Where it originated, who originated it and why. Since it is believed to have been generated in a laboratory, there were conspiracy theories why it was created; to destroy Africans, Chinese, to reduce the population in the world. A biological weapon. All these kind of speculations were made. Others were that, the virus was intended to control people in the world. The virus was created so that a vaccine would be found, as the vaccinated you, they are able to insert a chip in your body and this chip will enable whoever controls data to be able to control you, know where you are, know your bank balances, know everything that you do and know your health. Among the key suspects was the wealthy Bill Gates, who when went visiting Belgium was welcomed with rotten eggs because of his suspected role in creating the virus!
As technology has been raging in the world, peoples privacy has been reducing. Recent advances in technology including internet, cameras, and all the Artificial intelligence products have been reducing peoples privacy. Now this reported vaccine was supposed to remove the entire privacy from Human kind. We don’t know what it is about. We don’t know where it originated. Some theories are; it originated the United States in early 2019, and it was exported to China! Others say, it was originated in China and exported to the rest of the world. There is speculation that it was being developed as a biological weapon. World Super Powers develop weapons to safe guard their interests and wealth. This may have been one of them. We can only speculate. Those who know the truth can never say it now. If the intention was as evil as it appears, one day, there will be payback.
Whatever is true, it doesn’t matter anymore. The point is, some evil people planned this and it has taken the World by the storm. It is also said that pharmaceutical companies that belong to the stinking rich wanted the virus so that they produce a vaccine and cash in on it. The whole world has to be vaccinated! They can make a lot of money out of it.
What happened in Uganda was that on March 18th, His Excellency The President announced a lockdown of the country. He didn’t say we are going to lockdown the country for six, eight months! He started off with three weeks, and after three weeks, two weeks after two, one month. There after he stopped talking! He would only ease things as we went by. Nine months later on, we are counting the country is not fully unlocked!
The whole economy started getting problems once the lockdown was announced. Of course at that time, the virus was not in the country yet and the numbers that were being counted were those that came in from abroad. The virus was in Europe, North America, Asia, and it was not much in Africa. In Uganda, the virus started coming in through foreigners, returning residents and Lorry drivers as they came in through the borders bringing in goods. There were controversies over the Lorry drivers. However, the virus spread slowly but surely.
The first six months were not difficult socially because the virus was not in the community yet. Up to about October it was safe for you to go to a function, to go out and socialize. Of course, you still had to observe the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) wearing a mask, sanitizing and trying to keep social distance from other people. Full observation of SOPs was not done as people relaxed. They had not witnessed a death. While socializing was a little easy, the economy started deteriorating. Businesses were closed, people laid off. The economy started biting those laid off. The educational system with its 14 million people grounded to a halt. The whole economy that evolves around educational institutions went into limbo. We thank God as Uganda, the only thing that nobody pays attention to remained functioning. Peasant agricultural production producing food for the poor Ugandans! Imagine if majority of Ugandans had to buy all the foodstuffs they used day to day!
Numerous challenges started affecting the country as lockdown started pinching. There are people who live hand-to-mouth, those who work in markets, people who sell their goods day today. These people could not stay in their homes for very long. Many ate the capital! Well, there was an attempt to distribute food in urban areas, this was this was not very successful. The distribution of food was based on the assumption that the ordinary people who lived hand to mouth no longer had money to feed themselves. This was true to a great extent, but the scheme failed for the following reasons One, government didn’t have the money and two, the way government system works in the country.
As the economy slowed down, tax payers stopped paying taxes because of low economic activity. Government therefore didnt have the money to buy food to distribute. It started asking the public for money!
The second reason is to with anything government does its business these days. Anything will be subjected to abuse and indeed some people abuse the system. It is reported that food was supplied to only approximately 1.5 million people in the country. Of course, there was a little more effort by very private institutions and individuals to distribute food to various parts of the country. There are reports that food was not bought, other reports are that, the food was sold! It is difficult to know. The President had to bring the army to distribute and to ensure the food was not stolen. However, distribution of food this could not be sustained, the people started streaming back to their workplaces. The people on the street started walking back to be able to start working and earn a living and life went back to normal. People thought so. As a result of the difficulties people resumed work forgetting the virus existed.
Schools had been closed, the education system in the country is said to have about 14 million people and all these stayed home. This is a whole economy that was grounded. However, the elite especially at the different levels in primary and secondary schools, started having e-learning programmes to teach the children. Later on, in October government announced that the final year students could return to schools and be able to finish their studies. Those of us in universities, we also took on the final year students, Third years degree, Second years in the diplomas and Second years on the Masters degrees. Even at that time as we opened, the Coronavirus infection challenge appeared not to be tremendous.
In the month of November and December the COVID -19 appears to have been widely spread in the community. It is affecting literally everybody, initially the older people and those with long standing health problems. Those above 70 years if exposed are passing on. I personally lost my great-uncle, The Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Kirunda Kivejinja. I lost two uncles and a close family friend on the same weekend. We had four deaths in three (3) days. Since then, every day there are reports of somebody not only one but several people dying with COVID-19 related diseases.
It seems, the election campaigns have opened the gates of death. Thousands of young people have been on the campaign trails without masks. Clearly no social distancing. While young people are more resistant to the disease because of high immunity, they subsequently interact with others who are vulnerable. They too will get sick finally. We are committing mass murder unknowingly. Besides there are people who didnt believe COVID-19 existed. There are people who just didnt give a damn. There are those making money out of elections and COVID-19 cannot be a stumbling block. The consequence is the virus raging in the community knocking off vulnerable people. Next it will take those who are exposed and poor. Thousands of youth may lose their lives out of the political enthusiasm, naivety and poverty. Leaders riding the election popularity storm appear not to care. Leaders should caution their followers. This is not happening. Prescription for death.
The problem is in our midst. Where is it going? Where will it end? Its scaring right now. COVID-19 must be defeated. But how do you defeat it? It is said that the defeat must come through the vaccine because there is no cure. The vaccine has controversies. There is a vaccine made in China, Russia, Britain, United States, Germany and India. However, the Western countries will not promote vaccines made in Russia and China. Of course, the Chinese will not promote vaccines from the Western countries. This is unfortunate because it is the world health at stake and ideology has come in to punish the ordinary people by denying them the solution to the problem. Ideology is the cause of the problem and the stumbling block is the solution. What a world!
While it is said that the vaccine may be controversial because its intentions are not clear, its the solution now at least from reports from the developed countries. This may be a way to control people, its also possible that a genuine solution may have been found. It’s not easy to say whether it had been found or not. As we close the year, I believe there is no family that has not been affected in the country. Literally all families have lost loved ones succumbing to COVID-19. All families have been affected with somebody being treated for COVID-19. Meantime, Be Safe. Take all Precautions.
What are the solutions Part II?