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    Tuesday, 5 May 2020

    Covid 19 – Do you feel what I feel?

    Dr Herbert Zirima. Registered Psychologist & Senior Lecturer, GZU.
    By Ellen Mlambo
    Thousands of people returned to work yesterday after four weeks lockdown.
    A discussion among workers at a law firm during their first meeting yesterday can be telling.
    One person started it all when he said to another employee that you seem to have a flue. The other explained that he has been having a sore throat for sometime but not bad.
    Then another came in and said, “exactly what I feel, a sore throat and occasional headaches. I have been drinking guava tree leaves and boiled lemons”.
    A casual atmosphere set in and the 12 workers in the meeting opened up. Nearly every one of them said he or she felt one thing or another that made them suspect that they have Covid- 19.
    “I feel a lump in my chest,” said another.
    They looked at each other relieved and worried.
    Are these just feelings or we have Covid-19? Is this just psychological?
    These occasional or even persistent symptoms are rampant among people, according to a random survey carried out by The Mirror. Without test kits the question becomes is Covid infection not widespread in Zimbabwe to alarming proportions or these are just symptoms of ordinary flue?
    No one can ever tell without adequate testing.
    There is great worry that what if one day this goes boom!
    A nurse in Chipinge says she usually gets a sore throat each time after she leaves town for shopping.
    Dr Herbert Zirima, a registered psychologist and senior lecturer at the Great Zimbabwe University said anxiety and worry can exacerbate the feeling of Covid – 19 symptoms.
    “With anxiety you will relate every other little symptom to Covid -19 and this is exacerbated by stress caused by the lockdown. You will realise that such symptoms have always come from time to time before Covid-19 so sometimes it is better to ignore them, they will disappear the way the others have disappeared before them. However, it is always prudent to get tested,” said Zirima.
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    1. The real big question is why is Zimbabwe not testing aggressively to make sure covid-19 is not spreading. We should not be waiting for the "boom"!

      Zimbabwe imposed the 21-day lockdown on 30 March 2020 with 7 confirmed cases of covid-19 and having carried out a 100 or so tests. There is no way the regime knew how the virus was spreading from that data! Even today the country has only done 14 000 tests or so when the government had promised to do 30 000 by end of April.

      Zanu PF does not want the nation to know covid-19 is spreading and killing people because this is a very secretive regime, like the Chinese, that is scarred stiff of criticism. But by failing to test and getting accurate data the regime is only helping the virus to spread and kill even more people!


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