I WILL never forget May 26 2021.
Fear struck me right down to my core.
I had received my COVID-19 tests results.
And they were positive.
I had COVID-19.
I was terrified.
Was I going to die, many people I know had succumbed to the virus.
I thought my life was about to end.
My positive diagnosis came after we had taken in, for isolation, my sister and her three children who had contracted COVID-19.
They were isolating in my home village, Chirimuuta, Domboshava.
We faced a big challenge with my sister’s three-year-old son who would cry and seek every means to leave the isolation room to play outside with my little son.
I strongly believe that it is my little nephew who spread the virus at our homestead.
The horrendous virus ended up attacking six more members of my family.
All the affected received treatment at Makumbe Hospital and also used traditional remedies and they recovered.
The lethal coronavirus attacked me a fortnight later after all my family tested negative.
It began as a fever and dry cough.
I never suspected it was COVID-19.
And then the fever and dry cough was accompanied by diarrhea and persistent colds which violently shook my body.
That was when I went for COVID-19 tests at Makumbe Hospital.
The positive result shook me.
I was advised to go home and live in isolation while taking my medication.
The isolation alone was unbearable.
It was a very lonely dark time.
I could see my children through the window looking sorrowful; it was psychological torture of the worst kind.
I only had my cell phone to entertain me as my thoughts spun all over the place, imagining the worst.
I felt like a condemned prisoner on death row without any hope of surviving.
Food would be left by the door, but eating was a big problem.
I had no appetite.
The odd thing about COVID-19, in my experience, was that I felt almost fine during the day, but, at night, like a monster of legend, the virus would roar into life.
I would steam with water mixed with lemons, alloy and zumbani in the morning, afternoon and in the evening, before I slept.
I would also drink a two-litre concoction of zumbani, makoni tea and gavakava (aloe vera), our local traditional herbs.
I went for a review after two weeks and the virus was still alive in me.
I kept drinking my concoction and praying.
During prayers, I would pray for my soul — I was not fully convinced that I would pull through.
News of people succumbing to COVID-19 did not do me any good.
Then my miracle began.
My situation began changing for the better.
The dry cough and diarrhea stopped.
That is when I regained hope.
As time went on, I started feeling better and better.
I was cured.
I felt relieved when I went for my medical review a fortnight later and tested negative.
I don’t know what cured me; the medication I received at the hospital or traditional herbs.
But l guess all helped.
And also I had been vaccinated which I am sure helped in my recovery.
I am glad that I survived because many people who are succumbing to COVID-19 have, like me, various underlying conditions.
However, what delights me is that Zimbabwe is one of the leading countries when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination.
According to Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe’s national vaccination programme remains the leader in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The country has since hit a number of milestones that include the number of fully vaccinated with both doses now over 1,7 million.
At the same time, the infection rate continues to fall.
Unfortunately, there are some people who are not taking this pandemic seriously when it comes to preventive measures.
In my home area, Domboshava, beerhalls and bottle stores are operating at full throttle till late, with no action being taken by the relevant authorities to bring to book errant operators.
People are now moving around without masks in public places.
Also of concern is the prevalence of illegal bus operators carrying prohibited numbers of people without masks, putting the lives of many at risk.
As a people, we should be serious and not lose the gains we have achieved in fighting the pandemic.
I would also like to encourage people who are not yet vaccinated to do so.
It has been proven that the chances of recovery for a vaccinated patient are higher, especially those suffering from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, blood pressure, cancer and heart diseases.
COVID-19 is real, painful and deadly.
Kukurukura hunge wapotswa.