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By Dr Mbuyi Masuwa

CHIEF of Police for Montgomery County, Charles Moose, and his officers were busy looking for two white adult males in a white van in connection with the three-week coordinated shootings that left 10 people dead.

The shootings took place in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia in 2002. The media dabbed the assassins “The DC Snipers.”

The whole country was shocked when the real assassin was apprehended. It turned out to be then 17-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo, a black teenage boy who was driven and indoctrinated by John Mohamed, a 41-year-old black male.

The two were caught in the car they used for all the murders. It was not a white van but a blue Chevrolet Caprice which the police even stopped several times and let it go because it and the occupants didn’t fit the profile of the killer they were looking for. Indeed the police could not have been this off.

But before we judge the Police, I am sure we too have been caught in a similar situation, were we are so wrong about something we thought we were so sure of.

If not, well, the rest of us either have now or have been and still are being deceived when it comes to who the real culprits are behind the Covid-19 infections.

Most people up to now still wonder where they or their loved ones, friends etc, got the infection from. They just don’t remember anyone coughing in their face and as a matter of fact, most have just been in the comfort of their home almost all the time. So where could the virus that infected them come from?


Covid-19 is usually classified from asymptomatic to critical. And for most people, they think that the only patients who are severe and critical are the ones who are infected because they display obvious signs and symptoms. And are usually the ones hospitalised.

 Covid-19 is usually clinically classified as follows:

1.   Asymptomatic…these are infected but show no symptoms.

2.   Mild…These are infected, show very mild symptoms and are stable.

3.   Moderate…These would have progressed from the first two and have more signs.  May need minimal Oxygen support.

4.   Severe…These are very sick, hospitalised and on oxygen, high levels.

5.   Critical… Very sick and are hospitalised usually in ICU, probably on a vent, majority of people infected with Covid-19 are actually the first two, the asymptomatic and those with mild form of the disease.

And it is these two that have made Covid-19 even trickier because they can easily pass   the infections without notice. They are the real innocent assassins.

And mostly it is people who are young and healthy who are likely to be in group one or two (asymptomatic or mild).

Asymptomatic Covid-19

Multiple sources suggest that 1 in 3 people who have Covid-19 have no symptoms. It seems that this occurs more often in the healthiest and the younger age groups, including most children.

Most smiles I have spoken to during this period have shown that the majority of the adults could have gotten the disease from their children, especially the school going ones.

Being asymptomatic means that you have no symptoms. If you live in a house with people with a Covid-19 infection and you have no symptoms, you may be an asymptomatic case.

And at this stage you might just be pre-symptomatic awaiting for symptoms to show or you may remain asymptomatic with no symptoms ever showing.

And while people with asymptomatic infection are less likely than those with symptoms to spread the disease, it doesn’t necessarily mean the asymptomatic can’t spread the disease.

Remember, this entire pandemic probably started with one case. Don’t be a spreader.

Mild Covid-19

SARSCOV2 mainly affects the   upper respiratory tract, primarily the large airways. Key symptoms are temperature (but may not always be present), a new, continuous cough (which may also not be there) and/or a loss of your sense of smell or taste.

So patients with mild illness might have flu-like symptoms as follows.

With mild Covid-19:

1. Have a fever, including one that doesn’t reach the 37.8°c mark.

2. May lose your sense of smell or taste.

3. May have tiredness, muscles aches or a headache.

4. Are not highly likely to have sore throat or runny nose, but they do occur in some cases.

5. Do not have marked breathlessness.

6. Self-care, cooking, eating and drinking are not affected.  Appetite is normal or fairly normal.

These symptoms typically seem to last about 7-10 days.

Also remember that most (81 percent) of symptomatic Covid-19 cases are mild and remain mild in severity. However, patients with mild disease can deteriorate, sometimes quickly, and this is more likely in at-risk groups.

I hope we do not forget

The curve will soon plateau and might even go down, schools will eventually re-open at some appropriate time. Even workers who have been working from home   will be back in their offices, campaigns will kick start with a bang as all political parties will be trying to catch up the lost time.

And even the general public will be out trying to catch a much needed relief after having been quarantined during this passing cold weather. The warming up of the weather will encourage more socialising.

I hope we do not forget this time. I hope we don’t forget that there are so many admissions and so many deaths. I hope we don’t forget the sight of many cars by the Nationalist Road, I hope we don’t forget that in one day we had over 70 deaths, that burial permits in a week were over a thousand.

I hope we won’t forget that we have not really won the fight, not everyone is vaccinated and indeed not everyone has developed natural immunity either. So SARSCOV2 could and will strike again.

As we get back to normal, please let us remember our enemy is still around and being carried around by people we feel so comfortable around, our friends, our family members, our workmates, the pupils, students, lecturers, teachers etc.

These are the innocent assassins that can without notice strike you with the lethal Covid-19 bullets. I don’t mean we should hate them or even fear them but let us be very cautious as we interact even with those in our comfort zones.

Please kindly continue masking up, kindly continue observing hand hygiene and socialise accordingly.

And please consider being vaccinated if not, you don’t know who is standing next to you and what arsenal of Sarscov2, the virus that is causing Covid-19 they could be carrying.


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