By Fungai Jachi
While local Covid-19 statistics might be alarming, there is a lot of hope as the majority of those who contract the virus survive it.
Contracting Covid-19 can lead to social stigma and symptoms can persist for weeks or months.
For 45 year old Elton Mapinge a family man, farmer and politician, the only way to break the stigma around the virus is to talk about it and share personal experiences.
“I am one of those who contracted the virus without thinking it would happen. I think I got the virus when I travelled in a car with friends and we closed windows and used the air-con. Little did we know that despite having masks on closing windows like we did was dangerous for us.”
“After some days I started feeling weak and my condition got worse I couldn’t breathe properly and was taken to the hospital. I first went to a private hospital but it became expensive for me and decided to go to the provincial hospital where I was put on oxygen and given medication to help me with the pain I felt.”
“I was tested three times but my results came out negative. I had other tests run but the fourth time my results came out positive.”
“Then I was sent home for isolation. I stayed with family but had my own room and they sanitised the toilet and bathroom whenever I used them. It was made easy because my family was supportive.”
“I get worried when I see people who do not take the pandemic seriously as some are still going to public spaces drinking beer and not bothering to take precautions. Let us be serious in fighting this diseases.”
Elton’s wife Alice, says being supportive to a Covid-19 patient is key on their road to recovery.
“I know it is difficult to accept but I was given hope by testimonies of survivors I heard. It is important to stand by each other through difficult times because it is part of the healing process. Resilience and endurance through hard times makes people stronger. It will not be the end of the road to test positive to Covid-19, people can survive.”
Some people still deny the existence of Covid-19 while others are going about their usual business without taking precautions but the advice coming from survivors is that we should not let our guard down as the fight against the virus continues.