IN NAMIBIA WE went into lockdown with very few Covid-19 cases, thinking it would be quick and we would be back in business in no time.

For the first time since independence our government had all the power, with a state of emergency called. The old saying goes: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Our already struggling economy has almost come to a standstill. People are losing their jobs and businesses are closing their doors. Yet as far as I know our government ministers and employees have not taken a reduction in pay, although you struggle to get service in some departments, because of the state of emergency. Instead of using this time to catch up on the backlog in some departments, people saw this time as a free holiday. The result is that efficiency has declined.

But we have to be positive, it would appear as if Covid-19 is in fact a miracle, as no one seems to die of any other disease any more. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, dementia, the common flu, even old age doesn’t seem to kill people any more. Once we have a cure for Covid-19, there will be no more disease.

Enough sarcasm.

How do we get out of lockdown? The simple answer is: We can’t. Covid-19 is here to stay.

The only solution is to either stay isolated as a country forever or go back into lockdown every time someone enters the country who shows symptoms. Goodbye economy as we know it, we will all have to get used to less.

Importing anything from anywhere will become too expensive to buy, due to all the regulations to sanitise transport vehicles, and drivers that will have to be quarantined after every trip. So, what we can produce is what we can afford.

What is better: dying of hunger or fighting a flu-type virus? Keep in mind we don’t produce any medicine in Namibia, so medicine will be very expensive, and if we stay locked down, we will not be able to afford medicine. Let’s look at those countries which did not follow the norm. I could be mistaken, but I think it was the Netherlands, Sweden and Belarus. These countries trusted their citizens to be responsible, use their intelligence and make decisions for themselves. Something very few people do these days as governments think they have to think for their citizens, with the result that people stop thinking for themselves or take responsibility for their actions.

The Australian prime minister, and if I am not mistaken also the minister of health in the UK, has said the models used for Covid-19 are wrong. That 98,3% of the population would experience mild or no symptoms for the virus, and that of the remaining 2,7% who would be seriously affected, only 1% would die. Now their hospitals and healthcare systems are presumably better than ours in Namibia.

So let’s speculate and say 95% of the Namibian population would show mild or no symptoms, and 5% would be seriously affected, of which 2% would die. The people affected would presumably be old or vulnerable. We know who they are and they could be effectively provided with resources.

So, 5% of 2,5 million would be 125 000 people affected, of which 2 500 may die. As things stand now, everybody’s standard of living will have to be lower and at least 50% of our population will suffer from hunger.

Hindsight is 20/20 vision, and yes, it is a very difficult decision to make for any government, because no matter what decision they make, there will always be people who will say they were wrong. Sometimes being a leader is about being unpopular.

I would suggest educating people and trusting them to be responsible and use their intelligence.

Open up Namibia, and let the virus take its toll, it’s going to anyway.

This is an opportunity for Namibia to grow and flourish.

Everybody will be better off, and yes, we will lose some loved ones, but I would rather give them a fighting chance than see them die hungry. – Anonymous

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