As the world, especially our G7 global door-keepers, start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and talk recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m worried for mother Uganda.
The main topic of conversation for the rest of the [G7] summit is Covid recovery, including “a stronger global health system that can protect us all from future pandemics”.
In Uganda, we haven’t witnessed in a long time, if ever, as many deaths in a week amongst the middle class known to us in person or indirectly, as we did the week that has just ended.
Uganda is all over the news – not about good news but the dire situation the country finds itself in. Deep waters my mother Uganda finds itself. Not the time for wanting to be the leader of this country. And no wonder that we aren’t the leader. It takes quite a bit of skin-depth to be in that leadership space now.
- A COVID19 positivity rate in Kampala of 17-20%
- A hospital system that is bursting to the seams and can’t take in even critically ill patients
- A corporate sector that is hit hard by the pandemic and leaking productivity
- Level 3 to 4 COVID19 pandemic rating, which means contact tracing, isolation and metrics management aren’t possible any longer- it’s a ‘painting in the dark’ affair.
- The worry that the normally ring-fenced rural population will soon suffer the same fate as Kampala’s courtesy of students that recently left school, some COVID-19 positive, and headed back home.
The above situation is a matter for escalation to the gods of Uganda. Yes, we need the intervention of none other than the Ugandan gods – note: not god, but gods.
And when we escalate matters to Uganda’s deity world, we do so wholeheartedly that we give up on acting at the human level. We say, in Busoga: ‘biino muuna tiibisobooke, aye tulingiliile tuboone’. Translated: the situation is so bad that all we are left to do is watch and wait to see how it all ends. Human intervention is deemed not enough, if not a waste of time.
We tend to give up when the above happens and wait for the verdicts of the gods. The latter is common amongst the income deprived when dealing with the very ill upcountry, COVID19 or not. The poor souls are left to heal or not at home. Yet our gods are fair; they have judged us so kindly that the very sick at times turn things around and recover.
So, shan’t we survive COVID-19 too?
Indeed – we shall also survive COVID-19. Whether it’s courtesy of the Ugandan gods, the colonial yet ‘real’ God, following COVID-19 SOPS, vaccination, or a combination doesn’t matter. We want you safe. As a matter of fact, we at the Effectiveness lab are already looking to the future.
But what shall we be left with to build on post-pandemic? Anything? Nothing? Something? What do we learn from this horrendous situation? Do we even have the choice of not learning from this?
Where, how and when do we start to build again? Can we build back better (BBB)?
See you next week, and please remember to follow MoH. COVID-19 SOPs