Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Mieke Mmeya
“If it is true that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, isn’t it also true a society is only as healthy as its sickest citizen?” — Maya Angelou
As we continue to protect ourselves against the coronavirus, I would like to remind you to also take care of the vulnerable in our community, especially children and the elderly. We are lucky to be living in an era when access to information is easy, a thing that has proven instrumental in the fight against the virus as people are able to get important information wherever they are. However, receiving and understanding the COVID-19 awareness message is different for children and the elderly. Children cannot make an initiative to adopt the recommended measures of hygiene without having positive role models or without being supervised. On the other hand, it is difficult for many older people to change their lifelong habits on a whim. It is important to remember that the immunity of children and the elderly is low because children’s bodies are still building their resistance against infections, and immunity declines as a person grows older.
Defeating the outbreak is not just about protecting oneself from getting infected but also making sure that we stop its spread entirely. Even if you successfully avoid catching the virus, there are still people getting sick. One would still feel the effects of the virus because governments would still be forced to direct resources towards containing the virus. The pressure that health care systems are facing right now would continue and it would be difficult for someone to access good health care services if one were to suffer from other diseases.
We must therefore make sure that the fight against coronavirus is not just about us but also about the people around us. Let us set a good example for the children in our communities so that our methods for survival should become their way of life. Let us gently educate our elderly so that they will understand the importance of adopting the recommended measures of protection against the virus.
Until next time, stay safe.