On this World Health Day, we are highlighting our generation's most unprecedented health crisis, the SARS-CoV-2, or Covid-19 epidemic. We have officially surpassed the 1 year mark since entering the global pandemic and life as we know has forever changed. There is no going back to normal as we will now face a new normal, one with major societal changes and impacts that will be felt for the next 100 years (if Climate Change hasn't wiped us out yet).
Today: we discuss the plight of the Malagasy people in face of Covid-19. It seems that in the past month, the public consciousness of the death toll of the Covid-19 pandemic in Madagascar has finally started to really sink in for people. If you are Malagasy and stay connected with family in Madagascar, you will know of someone who has caught Covid or unfortunately died from it.
Initially, the Malagasy Government and people were optimistic and had so much hubris about the virus. With our history of dealing with the bubonic plague which reoccurs every few years as well as Malaria, there wasn't a diseases that we couldn't handle.
However, to add a pandemic that was afflicting the world into the mix, well it's definitely no bueno.
According to Reuters, there have been 25,737 infections and 457 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began, numbers which are steadily rising.
On this World Health Day, our thoughts are with our Tanindrazana and to Malagasy living around the world to remain vigilant and a reminder that Covid still exists and remains a major risk. Please try to observe the regulations in your country around Covid such as the 6ft/2m social distancing, limit non-essential outings, sanitizing hands after using high-touch surfaces, and continue to wear masks because they work.
Seeing as how Malagasy people in Mada were flouting Covid rules such as attending large gatherings and traveling between provinces for example, this has led to the now imposed strict lockdowns to prevent further numbers from rising.
This article doesn't address how 75% of the impoverished Malagasy population is able to cope with Covid or adhere to the strict Covid regulations when they live under $2 a day. According to the World Bank:
COVID-19 pushed 1.38 million people into extreme poverty due to job losses in key manufacturing and service sectors, as well as the sudden loss of income for informal workers affected by lockdowns in major cities.
Poverty is a health crisis and are inextricably linked in Madagascar. We have to do better and beat this epidemic together by actually following rules, watching out for your health safety and that of others, getting vaccinated when you have the opportunity, and continuing to wear masks. No Covid conspiracies here plz.