Whenever we experienced a shutdown or stay way in Zimbabwe, this scenario takes place. Some people stay away while others don’t. The ones that stay away get angry at the ones who don’t support the cause and begin fighting against each other and blaming one another, saying things like, “You mustn’t complain that things remain bad”
With Covid-19, the same thing is happening. Some see the importance in exercising precaution by washing hands, using sanitizer, social distancing and are doing what they can while others are just carrying on with life as normal.
Getting everyone on the same page is incredibly difficult. Especially when you are in place where things don’t appear to be harmful… yet. In Zimbabwe, Covid19 is generally not spreading like other places, as far as we know, and what we see is just media reports and stories of cases around the world and therefore don’t think it will affect us. However, we will be foolish not to take the warnings from other nations seriously. I believe we need to take action with great urgency.
I have thought about conspiracy theories, which may or may not be true about Covid-19. However, one thing is for sure, when things like this happen, FEAR creeps in and causes division. Whether its fear to keep your self safe, or fear to keep your business going. We think the worst and try and solve all the problems by panicking and worrying and getting as much as we can to self-preserve.
This week, we have had orders cancelled, events cancelled, church gatherings stopped, schools closing early, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair has been postponed and different industries are reporting huge cancellations due to Covid-19. People’s livelihoods are taking a knock and nobody knows how to deal with it. The easiest response is to panic.
Just like a shutdown, some people feel like they can’t stop working so that they can provide for their families, while others feel it’s an important sacrifice to make for the long term. It is not a great place to be and extremely difficult to map the way forward.
We must learn to see the bigger picture and trust that this crisis needs our combined support. Whether it’s dealing with Corona or other matters. The bigger picture impacts the future of our families, our workplaces, our cities and our nations. What will we see in 30 years’ time if we are not united about taking care of the environment, our health, our cities, our lives? What hope will our children have if we are not concerned about dealing with real issues now, which affect us on a day to day basis?
As Zimbabweans, we have been in many uncertain positions before. Where we are in a dark place and can’t see the way out. We have learnt to take one day at a time. It is not easy and it will require courage and faith, but it is possible.
Lives are at risk. The problem with us people, is that we think we can keep doing what we want and nothing will happen to us. Even if you feel like you are healthy, you can still spread the virus to someone who doesn’t have a strong immune system as you have. We can be more responsible by changing our approach and altering it with others in mind. All our routines have rapidly changed and will continue to change. The sooner we can accept the hygiene and social distancing changes and adapt, the better.
The shops don’t need to run empty. The early church according to Acts 2:44 and Acts 4:32 succeeded because they understood the principles of sharing what they had so no one had lack. Some have learnt this principle of sharing and its extremely powerful to see in action. One of the things I love about our community in Bulawayo in times of crisis is that people will share their bread, or milk or eggs or toilet paper, or whatever it is they have. On the other hand, others will see this as an opportunity to sell at black market prices and overcharge because they have what you need just to rip you off and make a profit.
Sadly, selfishness and greed is still present in our world today, which is driven by fear. It doesn’t have to be that way. Lets not be so short sighted. We can be generous and considerate. We can get through tough times if we have strong relationships that are built on love and consideration for our neighbour. Jesus said, “Love your neighbour as yourself”. How things could be different if we treated people with decency and kindness instead of cheating and ripping them off. Treat one another fairly. When things change, and they will, people will remember how they were cheated and not help you in times of need. Plant good seeds now that will have lasting fruits in the future.
Covid-19 will come and go if we all work together. But more challenges lie ahead and we will be foolish if we don’t recognise how fear enters, causing panic and selfishness, resulting in division. 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect LOVE casts out FEAR, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” . Let us do what we can, in love, to be considerate to others by not hoarding, sharing what we can and encouraging others to take the necessary precautions in beating this virus.
A people driven by love and unity is a powerful force. That is the side I want to be on.
#StaySafe #FlattenTheCurve #SocialDistancing #BeatCovid19 #LoveCastsOutFear