OpinionsSomaliland

Let the Coronavirus Come !

I got infected

I think I got infected with Coronavirus sometime on March 20, 2020. Where I got it, I do not know. The Place where I live, which is Hargeisa Somaliland, has not closed down and has not implemented any social distancing measures or related discourse whatsoever. In this part of the woods, no such thing as closing restaurants, market places, commuter buses or work site closures, or safe distancing is a possibility and the government did not bother to implement any. Praying in Mosques for all prayer times ( 5 in total per day) continues unabated. And now it is Ramadan, prayer gatherings are even more and the throng of devout worshippers doubly anxious to line up shoulder to shoulder with no masks on their breathing apertures.

As for my miserable self, I suffered during one long evening on March 25, five days from when I got infected. All my body ached and especially the joints. I had an extreme fever and had to gulp one Tylenol tab, 500mg, the only anti-pain I had in many years. Heat emanated from every muscle or bone in my body. I was sweating profusely and someone suggested I take garlic and black seed oil and  I quickly obliged.  As day-break came I was left with a sore throat and was nauseating. I left the house and went for my car. It was sitting in the 35-degree centigrade heat. I sat in the car and did not open the windows. I baked myself for some 15 minutes until I had a torrent of perspiration from every skin cover. The profuse flow trickled over my entire body. I could feel being relieved of my pain. Being of an advanced age group, and well aware of my vulnerability, I went for a Kat chewing session afterward. I chose a warm spot and chewed to my hearts full with a gallon of liquid and plenty more to wash it down. That evening, I felt no more pain but my desire for food and drinks did not matter, as I lost appetite.

The misery of a virus pandemic in an impoverished country

Realizing the predicament I am in, I went to the hospital ( the only government-owned hospital) seeking advice and equipment to safeguard myself and protect others from the infection I carried. The staff simply kept their distance and gave me misdirection to where I could seek help. In nutshell, there was none to be found. There were no masks, no disinfectants, no gloves, no ventilators, no quarantine places, no guidance for people to follow, ..and no …and .. no…

This is probably why nobody blames the government authority for any of the responsibilities a normal government mandate would dictate. The government’s limitations are understood and the belief in faith and predeterminism explains the remaining dilemmas the society here finds itself in. Allah would either make you sick or leave you unharmed. Allah is the culprit… Blaming Allah even for evil things such as viruses manufactured in American labs and blamed on the Chinese or vice versa!

For the following fortnight or so the virus in my body waned except for a few hick-up surges from time to time. I could feel the headache and sore limps once in a while. The garlic, the black oil seed and roasting my self in the car were the only remedies I utilized. I must admit that I kept myself a distance from others for the most part but such an effort is futile when you live in a household of 10 persons and you use a common kitchen and limited toilet facility .None of my family members got infected. I can’t attribute that to my precautions but there is something else at play. I must have been quite lucky for the terrible disease to part with me this mildly. I would be categorized as asymptomatic in comparison to what others suffered. I do not in any way propose that my routine would suffice to remedy anyone infected with the virus. For the fortunate ones, like myself, who got off easy, I  cannot serve as an example to follow or replicate. The disease is horrific and dangerous and safeguards should and must be taken as prescribed by doctors and health professionals and not that of ideas off-handedly spelt out by dreamers like myself and the narcissistic Donald Trump, of all people.

The pandemic had been in Somaliland before the Chinese

Since 2019(Oct thru Dec) Somaliland was struck with the same virus and thousands perished as a result. The virus had been equally deadly and the local name coined for it( Kuududiye) shared similar symptoms to corona-19 in every aspect. The local name describes .’ a hunched up or immobilized person suffering from the disease’.

The respiratory tract clogging, extreme fever, nausea-like feeling, loss in appetite,  and fatigue have been experienced. In Burao and Somalia[lanf at large many perished, mostly the elderly and others with corroborating sicknesses like high blood pressure, etc. Visitors from outside the country were shocked at the rate of death of such a small population sample.

The hundreds that went to the grave were dead of the Coronavirus pandemic before it was declared as such in November or December last year, 2019. Someone affected by the Kudu( short form) went back to the UK in February 2020, and got tested for Corona-virus.

The UK resident was informed that he had been exposed to the Corona-virus and got healed. Whether the USA president blames China for the spread of the virus or not, the Somaliland territory was infected with the Coronavirus long before either country experienced the disease in earnest. The infections first hit the Somalia territory in Mogadishu and then later spread to the North. I asked WHO what they know of this spread and they seem to ignore any enquiries regarding this. WHO knows but they don’t want to divulge any info.

Submission to fate

Whether it is worthwhile blaming the Somaliland government or not, I think our experiment with the virus is just fine. Indolence or not, there is very little we could do in terms of safeguards. No health facilities to cope with the pandemic, no government financial capability, no sufficient qualified personnel, no economic cushion to mitigate public needs and support mechanisms, and so on…Our motto is to let the epidemic come, kill as many as it can and see the after-effects.

The last measure which government put forth halve-heartedly regarding Kat importation was only agonizingly allowed. The Kat industry is a major employment sector and the government’s meagre revenue is very much dependent on the levies at the customs in Wajaale at the border. This in itself would not contribute to curbing the virus spread.

We have already passed the flattened threshold in actual terms and the pandemic would soon end. By doing this, we would not be worried about a second wave or seasonal recurrence. I am a living sample to report that being immunized after exposure is working and I already know I won’t get sick from another exposure, at least for the short term. The Swedish experiment is much more rational than other European exercises regarding the Coronavirus pandemic. Their numbers as per 100,000 deaths may be higher. But their survival rate from the oncoming second wave would be better.

In conclusion, you should not listen to pseudo-scientists like the narcissistic trump or myself, an apologist for inaction, for what we just say. Your health professionals are the best bet. Let the Coronavirus come, It already killed as many as it could!

Ali Ege Duale

April, 29,2020.

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 

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