Apollo Alice Merinda: What COVID-19 is doing to my dream

What COVID-19 is doing to my dream

Essay from Jeremiah Lucas Opira Memorial Contest 2021

Author: Apollo Alice Merinda
2nd runner up, Category 2

Unforgiving as the course of justice, inerasable as my scars and fate my heart burns with rage of unquenchable taste of vengeance towards the spell cast upon my dream by this pandemic. Lonely as an old town road, my dream is abandoned and filled with delusion. First and foremost, 18th March 2020 is the day in my diary marking the rebirth of the third pandemic in Uganda being invisible yet deadly and bringing to date Lucky Dube’s prophecy made ages ago: “There will be no school, no nothing”. Oops, we thought, unknowing that time reveals all things.

All I smell is rotten eggs when I turn my nose towards the horizons. Oppositions ganging up to battle flat my dream making what I yearned for eighteen years being smushed and squished. Frankly, absence makes the heart fonder and bit by bit the hopes for my dream are wandering away like ashes while slapping my dream in my face. It freaks me out! Although they say wishes are for fools, traveling while reporting and disciplining the true meaning of Africa hastily is all I ever wished for, a lifetime of peace of soul more than a mere dream for I can’t even strike back at the pandemic for your sake. Ooouch! What a plunk, my eighteen years of great expectations are being shattered and scattered like morning dew fading away.

"Lonely as an old town road, my dream is abandoned and filled with delusion."

Ooh! Humans are like flowers with shoulders wearing wrinkly skin and eyes demanding spectacles with petals that have grown tattered in just a blink of an eye. Fascinatingly, it tickled my chin most that I am growing into a little freezing spider with arms and legs gathered in the chest. Even though I lay down at night accompanied by screeching sounds of deaths, it wears my soul. Oh my God, time waits for no man and I am soon becoming my mother with hands always smelling of onions. It is a history that I am called the school girl. Ballerina is what the hordes say when they refer to me. Months ago I was as raw as a green mango with eyes stuck on my dream. Alas! I am now ripe as a paw paw and my demeanor is all I currently care about, not even a flashback of my dream. Grrr, pandemic, my heart boils with bitterness at the mention of you, the couch alongside the hard time breathing, for you mercilessly wipe away people’s life as a tornado wipe the earth’s surface.

Pathetically lonely confined in a dungeon as a home I am bound to battle alone with the motion of destiny while teachers, career guiders and mentors are all behind scene one the side. Fifty-fifty was the struggle but a hundred now is the battle and lonely my brain aches all day long. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Often we organized career guidance, interschool retreats and from our role models we grabbed ideas, inspirations towards one’s dream and as fast as lightning. I was getting drunk in love with my career. Eech! Everything was on track, speaking skills at the climax alongside intercollege retreats perfecting myself from within steadily and self-confidence while aiming for a part time job during vacation at the age of eighteen.  

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."

Boom! Out of the blue, for the first time ‘lockdown’ crossed my ears and all hopes shattered not knowing that a devil can recite a scripture for his own purpose, retreats audibility and self-confidence to the mud all vanished pathetically, luring career guiders and mentors to survive on the slogan “Buy Uganda, build Uganda”. You want career guidance, drop your coins and notes or join Stingy Citizen Association Uganda as they dictate and make delusion drown my soul. A dream once held high like a castle now lies beneath the feet like a shoe sole. Nevertheless, the heart wants what it wants and jotting down information aren’t only my dream but my peace of soul pandemically trying to be smothered by and squished by COVID-19. I won’t admit defeat so easily. Pandemic, be it wearing a mask, vaccination or sanitizing in order to flinch out of there and learn the skills that I need and then come back and narrate the African story from the African perspective with an African voice. Challenge on! I will forever say die to your negativities towards my dream. Fiercely I fought the 2000 pandemic that emerged on the 8th October and conquered it. 

“Covid-19, take not pride for the 2000 pandemic threatened my dream once but I overcame. If you forever kill my dream then I will admit defeat butfulfill my dream and I will emerge as a winner and history will repeat itself”.

JLOF works to improve opportunities for disadvantaged, vulnerable communities.


Stockholm, Sweden


Box 398, Kitgum, Uganda