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COVID-19 UGANDA: knowledge is power, patriotism now

COVID-19 UGANDA: knowledge is power, patriotism now


1. As of today, there is no effective treatment for this virus. Greedy people will try to sell you cures etc. Please remember the lies that were merchandised in the early years of HIV/AIDS - including Nnalongo's "anointed soil" in Masaka; the steroids by self-styled "Dr". ECT Sebabi (he had been a laboratory technologist at Mulago); Mariandina pills by Dr. Charles Sssali (a real, excellent doctor/teacher of Ears, Nose and Throat surgery who should never have ruined his standing with these concoctions); various herbs from Zaire (Congo); and who knows what else. 

2. Whereas you MUST always call your Public Health Department and your doctor if you think you have COVID-19, bear in mind the signs and symptoms that have been reported from China and other hard hit regions:
(a) Fever in 98.6% of cases;
(b) Cough
(c) Chest tightness
(d) difficult breathing

Intestinal tract symptoms have been reported in 10% of cases.

3. There is no evidence that commonly available masks protect you from COVID-19. Yes wear one if you are caring for someone who may be infectious or if you are in the high risk category and are in an enclosed space such as a bus. However, never depend on the masks. Wash those hands and do not touch your face or the front of the mask. Masks may reduce the chances of an infected person spreading it easily through coughing. THEY DO NOT ELIMINATE THAT RISK.

The mask that is really helpful is of the caliber of the N95, a high filtration one that is quite expensive. You'll see health care workers wearing them. Above all, remember that there is a worldwide shortage of masks. Please leave them to the healthcare workers who face very high risks.

4. Air sprays to disinfect the air are NOT effective.

5. Hand sanitizers that have less than 60% alcohol are not helpful and may be more harmful than not using them. Whenever you can, please wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or as long as it takes you to sing three stanzas of Tukutendereza Yesu or Oyonkye nkusherekye iwe mwana wangye or, for those who prefer Mozart's music and English poetry, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Miriam Akello Tumwizere, please give us a similar song in Lwo that we should learn.

5. Here is a sobering thought: SARS, which first showed up in November 2002, took 8 months before the worldwide epidemic petered out in July 2003. SARS was not as widespread as its latest relative. Consider this as you plan your lives. 

6. As serious as the COVID-19 pandemic is, fear is an equally important consequence that we must fight. We do this by reading and listening to evidence-based information, not to vendors of lies and guesswork. And as a Christian, I have complete trust and confidence in Him who said in Isaiah 41:10: 

"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

8. If you struggle with anxiety, please do not hesitate to call a trusted friend or other person whom you know will support you through this. 

9. People who are refusing to self-isolate or observe social distancing are playing with fire that may consume, not just them, but their loved ones. Stay at home unless you must absolutely go out. My wife and I have been indoors for 7 days now. And I mean indoors! And it's OK. 

10. Finally, wherever we are, we should all rally behind our leaders in this situation, as they work to secure our world from the unknown that this virus portends. As Ugandans, we should rally behind President Yoweri Museveni and his ministers of health who are doing a great job on this docket. Tough decision they must make. The president has impressed me in his handling of this very difficult crisis.

Be safe my friends. May the Lord continue to bless you.


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