By Irene Namaganda, BeadforLife Manager, Uganda
Before Uganda had its first Corona case and a ban put on public transport, my boda driver said, “It’s like people have gone home for Christmas,” because that’s the only time you will find Kampala without its usual noise and traffic. I thought that was funny, especially that he noticed the change when things still looked normal.
Now, no one knows normal anymore. The focus put on prevention and containment measures is affecting the way of life by the minute.
Social distancing has its advantages and disadvantages like when one cannot get the critical help they need, for example, medicine. Also, we’re experiencing that we cannot be with loved ones in times of mourning. Beatrice, our Inventory Supervisor, couldn’t find the means to travel for her dear grandfather’s burial.
My sister, who works at government health centre in the HIV section, said, “HIV patients have to walk long distances to get to the centre, but due to some medical staff not able to get to work, they have to go back unattended.”
Soldiers and police have been deployed in many areas to force people into obedience. Most businesses have to remain closed and curfew hours respected.
People who depend on daily earnings without any savings feel they are at a crossroad. I heard a man who was sad to close his business say, “Whether I die of hunger or Corona, both will be dead bodies”. Many are living in the hope that the government honors their word and gives relief to people during this difficult time. The biggest hope for all, however, is that the Corona situation soon comes to an end throughout the world.