By Dr Johannes Marisa
Many people have developed Covid-19 fatigue and mentioning this virus is just viewed as monotonous.
However, ignoring it will not give any favour except that we will be caught unaware. The world has lost 5 million people to this calamitous virus that continues to take lives daily.
Africa has lost at least 214.000 people officially recorded but considering the undocumented numbers, it is not surprising that the number is double.
Covid-19 will be among us for a long time and we should always keep guard. So many people have lost their lives to many diseases and some of these ailments are avoidable, however, complacency has played a significant role in the spread of the diseases.
Covid-19 started as a joke with few people being isolated in China but within months, the whole world was in tears with millions of people losing their lives.
Today, close to five million people have gone and thousands more are succumbing to the virus daily.
What I have noted is complacency is a serious enemy that ought to be tackled all the time.
Zimbabwe has fought Covid-19 quite well with its team of dedicated health workforce that includes both public and private health care practitioners.
It required dedication, diligence, love and knowledge to tackle the diabolical virus. The resources are always limited in many African countries but we made use of what was available in order to conquer.
Public health measures like masking up, social distancing, sanitization, hand-washing all played significant roles which will go down memory lanes but we should not forget that the war is not yet over.
We are blessed that we have our government securing vaccines for everyone which is very much appreciated, alas; people are running away from the vaccines.
We should be rejoicing that the vaccines are readily available and it is not pleasing to note that only 15% of the entire eligible population has received full vaccination.
If we are to achieve herd immunity by December 2021, then we need to move with speed to vaccinate as many people as possible before year end.
It is almost definite that we are getting the 4th wave of the Covid-19 some time this year and this is the time to prepare ourselves for the attack by making sure that our inoculation is up to date.
We need vaccination as much as we can and Covid-19 wars can only be won through such measures as vaccination.
Sooner than later, the world will run short of ideas if the trends of attacks are going to continue the current ways.
This is alarming and the threat to humanity is quite unprecedented in the midst of new mutant strains that are emerging. That is Covid-19 for us and we ought to learn seriously about the calamitous nature of the virus.
In August, Zimbabwe used to record at least 30.000 people coming for the first jab which has plummeted to less than 10.000 lately, a signal that many people are now reluctant to be vaccinated.
This will surely backfire on us as the degree of complacency is unprecedented and the emergence of the 4th wave will shake many who will be caught unaware.
There is a lot of mutation going with many more strains being found like the C.1.2 which is also suspected to be associated with increased transmissibility and an increased ability to evade antibodies.
Mutations are first classified as variants of interests by the World Health Organization and once they are identified as being more severe or transmissible, they are termed variants of concern.
The emergence of such stubborn mutants is a signal that we are still far from over from Covid-19 and it is imperative that we do not become complacent as surely more waves are ahead of us in the immediate future.
With many restrictions being scrapped, it was going to be sensible to capitalise on this silent time to get vaccinated.
We are not yet out of the health quagmire but we have high chances of mitigating against the virus by following some public health measures. The loosening of restrictions does not mean that Covid-19 has evaporated away.
Whatever you do, just know that the virus is on the other side of the ball and anytime, we are hit again.The 4th wave is imminent and for sure it is coming before the end of the year.
Vaccination will reduce seriousness of disease, reduce hospitalizations and even mortality.
In view of how things are moving concerning Covid-19 and the numerous mutations that are emerging, it is wise that people take advantage of the available vaccines and get inoculated without the unnecessary misinformation and disinformation that are associated with vaccination.
Compared to many African countries, Zimbabwe has done well in terms of vaccination with a national coverage of around 15% for both doses against a target of 60% by year end.
It would be good news for the nation to achieve herd immunity as soon as possible so that we remain protected as a country. People should know the following
n Vaccination which is haphazard and sporadic can result in flare ups. As people move slowly to get vaccinated, the fact that there are vaccination gaps in terms of time of inoculation may allow for mutations to take place in between and the unfortunate cycles of misery will persist for a long time. Mass media houses should play significant roles to deliver health education to the masses about vaccination. Get your jab today!
n Your health matters and it will does not need someone to speak on your behalf so that you get vaccinated. In as much as you are very wary about so-called human rights violations in terms of vaccination demands, just know that it is your health that is being protected.
The nation needs you, your family needs you since you still have many things to accomplish and it is time to encourage your neighbors, friends, companions to at least get some protection from the vaccination.
We are facing a serious 4th wave down the year that may have at least four mutant strains in one basket. The coronavirus is merciless for sure and we need to take this time to prepare ourselves for battles ahead. Do not be caught unaware.
n Let you know that Covid-19 is still a menace and USA is proof that the virus can strike us anytime, taking as many lives as possible. Opening of public places should not be viewed as a declaration that Covid-19 is gone. The virus is a menace.
Let us support all those who need vaccination. Do not buy vaccination cards from the streets to evade arrest by police.
Vaccinationis for your safety and the nation at large!.
Make sure those that are sick are detected easily so routine temperature checks are important.
Symptoms of Covid-19 include cough, headaches, joint pains, loss of appetite, hot body, tiredness so make sure you are safe!