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Malawi - Reminiscences of COVID 19

by Goodwell Kaipa (Malawi)


The Covid period (2020-2021) was a period of great anguish for most folks on earth. Both the rich and the poor were hit hard. People were dying like flies on a daily basis. Cemeteries filled to the brim. The economy was in clutches, wobbling down. Both the rich and the poor were affected.

Young girls whose schooling was put on a repose were also most affected. Due to the prolonged closure of schools many girls ended up being enticed into sexual escapades by men. These resulted in unwanted pregnancies which further culminated in early marriages. The unlucky few ended up getting infected by Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) including HIV. It was a worrisome ordeal. By the time things started normalizing (early 2021), most school going children had already lost interest in their schooling. School apathy was in the air as manifested by children who could be seen loitering about town aimlessly instead of patronizing classrooms.

The world economy suffered the most in this period. Factories closed. Unemployment was on the rise and yet the paradoxical part of it was that retrenchments were on the surge too. This just escalated poverty levels among the already poor. Yes, governments put forth cushioning measures aimed at lessening the masses' financial woes, but these were never enough. People suffered and the financial turmoil Covid 19 brought to the masses could be seen and felt even today.

Due to the prolonged lockdown which the world at large faced, people's mental health also suffered. The feeling of being indoors always, cut off from the rest of the world, plunged people into the depth of depression. It felt like the world was on the edge, about to end. People wanted a breeze of peace which made them succumb to suicides. And after the world started opening up, we realized we had lost a significant number of us, not from the pandemic itself but due to a proliferation of mental illnesses which dovetailed into many suicides.

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