Last year, there were fewer flu cases observed.
This was mainly attributed to the wearing of facial masks. During that period, Botswana had registered low cases of the virus.
A year later, another winter is upon us and this time around authorities have warned it could lead to more cases as the virus can rapidly spread. It is for this reason as a nation to double our efforts to ensure that we stay alive and safe.
It has been stated in the past that COVID-19 symptoms can be mistaken for those of flu. It is hence critical that we avoid even simple flu because we can never be sure what the problem is without visiting health facilities. This could then lead to our health facilities being overwhelmed with people wanting to test.
That would mean the government has to spend more money on required resources including human resources. This could also lead to some people not visiting health facilities and staying at work risking the spread of COVID-19. We also unfortunately know of employers who would not allow employees to stay home when they have flu as has been advised by the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force. It is therefore important that we keep warm and observe COVID-19 protocols.
We also call on employers to be reasonable and allow employees to work from home where possible. Employers should also treat flu-like incidents with required seriousness to avoid spreading the virus when mistaking it for a mere common cold or flu.
We also call on parents and guardians to ensure that little ones are warm at all times to avoid catching a cold. We know the little ones can be reckless and not wear warm clothes, especially when playing with others.
Letting them loose and interacting with others as they normally do could be riskier in the winter and parents and teachers ought to work together to keep the deadly virus at bay. We also implore the government to ensure that health workers, schools and other government offices have resources in place to help fight the virus.
The government should also ensure compliance by private companies in terms of COVID-19 protocols as well as protecting workers who are at times exploited when they are in isolation/quarantine. The government must also ensure that people in public transport wear masks and follow all the necessary protocols. This could go a long way in helping fight the virus, especially since there is no social distancing in public transport. The fight against COVID-19 is for all of us. Let’s do what is right and consume garlic, lemon, ginger, citrus fruits amongst other things to boost our immune systems.