Florence Mwaba is a lecturer at the University of Zambia and a PhD student researching hematology and infectious diseases of humans and animals. She shares her experiences of research during the current pandemic.
When Corona Virus (COVID 19) was first reported in Wuhan and Hubei in China, I just thought to myself, it is one of those common viruses that probably will come to an end in no time. Immediately it started being reported in Europe, America , Africa and the rest of the world, it made me realize how severe this virus was as fear gripped me - and worse when a local transmission and death were recorded in Zambia.
Currently there is a lot of speculative information on Corona virus especially on social media on its source, transmission, age and races of people being infected and methods of treatment. Initially it was believed that it was only infecting the Chinese and Caucasians; this has proved not to be true as non-Caucasians and non-Chinese are also being infected severely by the virus.
COVID 19 has affected us economically, emotionally and socially.
Economically, a lot of people are not working now; only essential workers are reporting for work. This is in order to maintain the social distance at places of work to reduce on the spread of the virus. This has made some companies slow their production and some people have lost their jobs.
Socially, people cannot gather for social events such as church, weddings, parties and funerals as only limited numbers are allowed to assemble. A lot of people have lost loved ones to this virus and some are still infected, and this has instilled fear in many people and has an effect on emotions.
As a researcher, my research work has been affected because I cannot go out in the field to collect my research data. This will affect my PhD study negatively because I will not complete my studies in the stipulated time frame.
In this lockdown period, the only thing I can do is read articles, review papers, study online courses and perfect my research skills, make lecture notes and keep on hoping that the vaccine will soon be found so we can go back to our usual lifestyles.
I can only urge people to adhere to the instructions that we are being told by the governments and ministry of health and together we shall fight and eradicate this pandemic.