Golooba Richard: Change social discipline to win COVID19 Battle

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OPINION– Ever since coronavirus broke out in Wuhan, China, in November 2019, and subsequently declared a global pandemic by world health organization in early 2020, the proven weaponry has been social discipline amongst citizens, in countries where indiscipline is high the extent of the spread has been high and deaths scary.  

Governments across the globe has urged citizens to do social distancing, testing, lockdown, self isolation, quarantine, isolation centre, hand sanitizer, face mask, ventilator and  hand washing. All these were and meant to save the world populations, and ensure life gets back to normal. However, people across the world must be having the same gene as they are big headed and bent on failing the measures as they have exhibited high degree of social indiscipline. 

Social indiscipline which to an extent in this case, is the antonym of social distancing, is defined in that special dictionary as: the act of disregarding every rule of reason given by experts to keep you away from the deadly Covid-19 for your own good and safety. The special dictionary will also let us know that the word Social indiscipline has its origin in Africa and it has severe consequences. 

Considering the lockdown and the social distancing rule in the first place . Lockdown and social distancing were put in place to contain the spread of covid-19 because its transmission is human to human. 

Therefore, the ability of individuals who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, to spread the disease, explains why social distancing and lockdown are part of the protocol. 

Uganda had taken a big step ahead of others and in the first attempt it was spot on, but the population with parallel leadership of the ‘i know more’ spread their propaganda claiming the virus was a hoax, this gave leeway to make our cities epicenters of the pandemic, empowered by free entry and exit from town to town, porus borders. 

During the first phase of lockdown businesses were shut down, people could not go out, a lot of people that depended on daily earnings to feed and cater for their families were in a fix and more families were starving. The most vulnerable sect in society, the poor, decried great torture in the face of a seemingly tougher anti virus measures, hunger. Just last Sunday, the president institutes a new nation wide lockdown for 42 days and a grace period of a week for SOPs reform, and no cities or district connection.  

It was assumed that during the period of lockdown, the people of Uganda had been sensitized enough and prepared for socially responsible conduct which would be the new normal. Those who assumed so were dead wrong. We have gone back to our old ways as if we are in normal times. 

It was shocking to see mammoth crowds in kikuubo, markets, public transport parks, schools and offices, security personnel who had struggled to contain them, relaxed and very few wore face masks. In some other scenarios, people had returned in droves to drinking bars, social gathering arenas and other areas of public activities. 

People had started to host meetings and parties with several others in their private homes, while passengers who boarded public transport just made things worse as they packed themselves full without observing any form of social distancing. With all  institutions that were enforcing the lockdown, seemingly relaxed alongside the lockdown.  

Social indiscipline cuts across all classes as if indiscipline is the major DNA of our gene and it is one misdemeanour that could ruin the gains we had in the past months. It is my belief that whatever strategies the government adopts in tackling the virus, it would have guessed that the immediate reaction of the citizens wouldn’t have been any different from what had been playing out throughout. 

We owe to change our social discipline to over come the pandemic, there is no need of relying on the taskforce or medical teams, we have to beat this second wave by all us being taskforce members and act without expecting any pay, but survival of all of us as a nation. 

We have entered the phase of India, Brazil and urgently need a sober, focused and determined efforts by government and citizens to over come, Uganda now needs a robust public relations team to handle domestic and foreign fronts as slowly but gradually countries have started locking us down like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Rwanda among others. 

The level of neglence exhibited by schools for failure to report cases in their schools, must not go unpunished at the end of the day. 

As for now government needs to recall all retired medical personal and depoly the army medical unit, ensure supply of the much needed oxygen in the health centres and for private service providers to be considerate not to over charge patients.

We have had praises for our LC system, but of now they seem not to be playing a leading role in the fight against corona, they should be fully engaged to ensure social discipline in the localities. 

© 2021 Golooba Richard