Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Margret Chavula
The world has been hit by a pandemic that has disrupted what was considered the normal way of living. Covid-19 has affected the social lives of people as interactions are limited and controlled as well as the economic status as businesses and trade have been controlled. When our neighboring countries registered positive cases of COVID-19, most people in my community believed that the disease did not affect black people. They felt safe and immune to the disease. However, when our country, Malawi, registered its first positive case of COVID-19, people in my community began to worry and stress about whether they will survive the pandemic or not considering the rise in deaths due to Covid-19 around the world. Schools were closed, travel controlled, borders closed and businesses negatively affected. People in my community began to stress about how best they can avoid contracting the disease while at the same time finding ways of engaging in their daily activities and routines for survival. Life had to go on amidst the pandemic.
Because most people in the community have limited access to correct information, as a CorpsAfrica Volunteer I took part in sharing information on Covid-19, such as signs and symptoms of Covid-19 and where they should report or the hotline they should use if one is showing or experiencing Covid-19 signs and symptoms. I also shared preventative measures that people were to follow to protect themselves from contracting the disease, such as observing social distance, frequently washing hands with soap, and wearing masks as they carry out their daily activities.
To complement the messages on preventative measures, CorpsAfrica, with funding from Mastercard Foundation, gave me an opportunity as a Volunteer to work with my community and provide resources and materials that the community can utilize in protecting themselves from Covid-19. The materials provided were masks, tap buckets and soap for washing hands in places where people frequently meet such as churches, mosques and market places. I have been very impressed with the people’s efforts in utilizing these materials and following the preventative measures because life has to go on, but as it does, they have to be protected.