How do we celebrate our blessings, seeing that COVID-19 has receded?

30Jul 2020
The Guardian
How do we celebrate our blessings, seeing that COVID-19 has receded?

​​​​​​​ANYONE doubting the validity of how the government has handled the coronavirus pandemic scare and the steps it has taken before allowing public activities to continue in a normal way have faced a moment of truth.

The Thomases will have assessed what the governing authorities have been saying of the situation and their own doubts, but all have the privilege of making conclusions to their liking.

Tanzanians of all walks of life have participated in household, church and stadium gatherings during the one-week mourning of former president Benjamin Mkapa, without any visible signs of being alert about spreading Covid-19.

This was a sort of miracle if one stood outside the country and watched on television what was happening, as many of our compatriots abroad and those with interest in Tanzania must have genuinely made an effort to look closely at these activities. It would have been difficult to point at a scary health incident.

There were reports that some of our neighbours were still wondering whether we were really free of the coronavirus, and some of the discussion was audibly heard this side of the border, doubtless rattling a few feathers.

Yet, seeing is believing – as nobody could have covered up a health incident here or there when the funeral processions were being broadcast live. These were perfectly normal days in the country, with plenty of sunshine, moments of cool weather all over.

Generally, all this ought to be counted as a dimension of blessings, first in the direction of the coronavirus situation and in the weather when the public was engaged in the collective outpouring of grief, which involved movement to all manner of places.

These weren’t public off-duty days, but people made an effort to do their daily activities and still find time to render that service to the public by their presence. As seven days is a long time in coronavirus anatomy, some kind of impact would have been noticed already during the period.

As President John Magufuli has repeatedly said, what ought to come first in this situation is to thank Almighty God for these showers of mercy and blessings, and make an effort to do what is right – in line with testimonies as to how intensely the late former president sought to fulfill his duties and leadership mission in trust, open and fair accountability ethos.

Blessings arise largely from faith and conducting oneself in line with that faith so that what a country is doing gains favour before the deciders of destiny.

It would be only fair for us to congratulate ourselves on this achievement of marking a sad week in peace and harmony as well as conducting all needful activities without fear of contracting or spreading a dreaded infection, while much of the world around us pains and toils under gruesome conditions.

If we in Tanzania may not totally merit all these blessings, we ought to strive to keep them by being fair and just.