Don't be ignorant, Covid-19 is real and harmful
Is it stupidity or plain ignorance - the comments attributed to US ambassador to SA that Florida heat will kill coronavirus?
Or the ekasi talk that Covid-19 is a rich white people's disease?
Or the Zimbabwe defence minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri who said God is punishing US and Europe?
Or US President Donald Trump calling Covid-19 a "Chinese flu"?
If the comments allegedly made by ambassador Lana Marks, President Trump and minister Muchinguri are true, we need prayers with such leaders. Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are hotter than Florida, yet have recorded Covid-19 cases and deaths.
As for the Twitter talk that black people are immune from coronavirus, it is pure hogwash.
The last time I checked, Africa has more than 1,000 cases in 37 countries.
Unless you tell me Ghana, Zimbabwe, Gabon and Senegal are not black enough.
Do we want to see people dying in Mdantsane, Zwide, Seshego, Soweto, Gugulethu, KwaMashu to believe Covid-19 is real?
SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing Covid-19, does not care about your colour, bank account or temperature.
If you think coronavirus is a joke, wait until you find yourself jobless and can't feed your family.
Black communities will pay the heaviest price.
It is a fact black people have the highest unemployment rate, TB and malnutrition.
Before the pandemic, we had 29% unemployment rate and around 50% among the youth. This will skyrocket.
The respected Bloomberg Business Week calls 2020 a lost year. The year is already over by March. Economists say the recession will be worse than 2008 financial crisis. The majority of small businesses won't survive Covid-19.
We are facing tough times ahead.
If we can prevent the virus from spreading to people with poor immune system in overcrowded areas, we can save the economy from collapsing.
Those who are malnourished, have TB or cancer, their bodies cannot fight the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen and will develop severe pneumonia and respiratory failure. They will need hospital admissions.
The virus spreads exponentially. It is contagious because one infected person who sneezes or coughs virus-laden droplets can infect the whole room or taxi.
We must prevent further infections by locating those infected before they infect others.
Banning mass gatherings worked in Mexico during 2009 swine flu.
There is no available vaccine, hence social distancing, basic hygiene and disinfection campaigns are critical.
We are now playing catch-up with the virus.
Forget about flattening the curve hashtag. Just straighten your attitude first. Covid-19 is not a movie.
Dr Lucas Ntyintyane, email
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