Editorial

Embrace self-discipline

ZAMBIANS must fervently espouse self-discipline in observing health guidelines instead of waiting for enforcement from multi-sectoral teams.
Coronavirus is truly a fast-spreading killer disease that can only be eliminated with full cooperation of all citizens without necessarily having to be forced to wear masks, observe social distancing, regular hand-washing and other measures.
Therefore, preventive measures must start at personal level whereby citizens deeply reflect and embrace self-discipline instead of waiting to be forced to take measures that are, in fact, meant to protect their lives.
It is becoming increasingly worrying that adults have to be “sweat-talked” to preserve their own lives, yet they crave to live longer in a safe and healthy environment.
Is it a question of not understanding the gravity and impact of the disease or is it utter foolishness?
It is deeply shocking to see a group of elderly men with face masks dangling below their chins casually walking towards a supermarket liquor outlet.
They only pull their masks on their faces upon reaching the entrance manned by an uncompromising security guard and after coming out, they loosen their protective garments while clutching beer bottles firmly in their hands as they strut across the car park.
Grinning among themselves as though Covid-19 awareness has not been enhanced, the men would get into their car, tinted windows scrolled up to evade security and they start gulping alcoholic beverages mercilessly.
The small vehicle is stuffy, but they don’t mind; they keep their eyes on the bottles and would momentarily make their way to the public toilet to empty their bladders. What a risk!
This is an everyday occurrence in many shopping malls around the Copperbelt and elsewhere.
In overcrowded townships, children are spotted darting from their houses to meet in the play-grounds or on the roads in large numbers without masks while their parents also go about their chores unconcerned.
Women also take their turn exchanging pleasantries by way of hand-shakes and gather in small groups to chat about other issues, without a single mention of coronavirus.
Still in highly-populated locations, men are seen sneaking into bars and taverns through the rear doors, after getting a signal from the bartender or waiter.
As they get in, the steel doors are quickly locked with a squeaky sound, which also saves as a signal to the barman that more customers are getting in.
Inside, they start imbibing pre-packed bulk beer from one sachet and take turns puffing cigarettes from the same butt.
The worst case scenario is that of commercial sex workers who are accosting truck drivers in quarantine centres.
The ladies are not bothered about contracting or spreading Covid-19, even with awareness campaigns and news of how the pandemic is decimating humanity in other countries.
Obviously, the key to this malaise is self-discipline, care and empathy for others rather than waiting to be pushed or coerced to protect one’s life and the lives of others.
To take a casual approach towards Covid-19, is as stupid as attempting to touch an electricity cable knowing too well that it is live.
The foolish disposition by some people is very frustrating and therefore, obedient citizens must take the trouble to report misbehaving elements to law enforcement officers.
Self-discipline and looking out for carefree characters should be everyone’s responsibility.

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