What COVID-19 is doing to my dream
Essay from Jeremiah Lucas Opira Memorial Contest 2021
Author: Oboma Emmanuel Geoffrey
3rd runner up, Category 2
Background of COVID-19
The COVID-19 is a communicable respiratory disease caused by a new strain of corona virus that causes illness in humans. The origin of the corona virus is up to date not clear, but it was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. It then started spreading worldwide and in Uganda, it was first detected in March 2020, causing the onset of lockdown.
The mode of spread of the corona virus causing the COVID-19 is when an infected person with the virus coughs, sneezes or talks and the particles called aerosols carry the virus into the air from their nose and mouth. Anyone who is within six feet of that person can breathe it straight into their lungs. This is called airborne transmission mode. Research shows that the virus can stay in the air for up to three hours. Therefore, the transmission of the COVID-19 virus can occur by direct contact within infected people and indirect contact with infected surfaces.
The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include the following: cough, sputum, difficulty of breath, fever, loss of sense for smell, muscle and joint pain, headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of taste and diarrhoea. These signs and symptoms are categorised into respiratory symptom cluster, musculoskeletal symptom cluster and digestive symptom cluster.
Since its discovery, there are some methods of prevention developed to stop the spread of the corona virus which include social distancing of about two meters, quarantining infected people, proper ventilation of indoor spaces, covering mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing, hand washing with running water and soap for at least twenty seconds, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, use of alcohol based sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol to disinfect hands and regularly touched surfaces, avoiding crowded places, covering face masks whenever in public. There are also various vaccines developed to boost the body immunity against COVID-19 which include AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and many others.
The detection of the corona virus in Uganda in March 2020 led to the onset of lockdown in order to curb its spread and infection. The onset of lockdown led to closure of various sectors like the educational sectors and many others which let to the decline in Uganda’s economy.
The effects of COVID-19 to my dream
A dream is a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal set by someone to be achieved in their life. It can also be described as a goal, aim, object, or target set to be achieved by someone in life. As for me, my dream was to become a medical doctor and this dream could have been achieved through education. Therefore, the closure of schools in March 2020 led to us staying home for about two years and all this were due to COVID-19. The COVID-19 therefore affected my dream in the following ways:
There was lost hope in the education due to the long stay at home during the lockdown. This was because of closure of schools and other learning institutions, and leaving other workstations open like construction sites made many youths/students start working at those sites to earn money during the lockdown, including me. This made most youths/students to hose hope in education since they say they were making money and there is therefore no need for education which could have been used as a weapon to fulfil their dreams.
There was also shortage of funds to return the students to schools and buying scholastic materials. This was because the onset of lockdown left many parents unemployed leading to rampant dropping out of schools by the students, therefore hindering the achievements of their dreams.
There was rampant cases of early marriages and teenage pregnancies among the young people. This was due to the staying home that they stayed and lack of sensitization at home about the dangers of fornication. Due to this, youth lacked sex education which was given from various schools and so they entered into relationships with opposite sexes and therefore bringing about early marriages and teenage pregnancies. This made youth/students not to return to their various schools so that they can work hard to fulfil their dreams.
There was also rampant school dropout brought about by reckless lifestyles during the lockdown like alcoholism, indecent dressing codes, cigarette smoking, gambling, and many others. You will find that many youths became addicted to these acts, especially gambling and alcoholism, and they refused to go back to school to continue with their studies to fulfil their dreams since they say there is free money in gambling.
There was also increased level of laziness among the youths and students due to the onset of lockdown. This is because most youths/students were used to just staying idle during the lockdown which made them too lazy to go back to schools, including myself.
There was also shortage of learning materials for the youths/students for electronic learning like smartphones, radio and televisions and many others. This made it difficult for them to access the electronic learning system of education during the lockdown which could have made them focused in education so that they can fulfil their dreams.
In conclusion, COVID-19 is delaying the fulfilment of my dream and the dreams of many youths/students due to the onset of lockdown by closure of schools and other learning institutions. As centre for education which could have been used to fulfil various dreams, the closure of schools made youths/students lose hope in education. Not only closure of schools but also the closure of various workplaces which left many parents unemployed brought shortage of funds to take the students back to schools after reopening also led to the delay with the fulfilment of my dream and other youths’/students’ dreams.