HealthTips & Advise

Economist Chibamba Kanyama Recounts His Covid-19 Experience

1. I caught COVID the week of 14th -18th March, 2021; probably at one of the lodges due to a crammed training room. Make no mistake: COVID is a horrible disease.

2. Just on early symptoms, and only symptoms I had (headache, fever and serious body fatigue), I left the venue and went into isolation (my core facilitator for the program caught it too a day later). This was due to strong advice by Pastor Gladys Banda, wife to Dr Bishop Joshua Banda who immediately concluded the symptoms I was describing were a sign of COVID. I had to alert family and hospital about how I was feeling. Tests were the next step for whole family and all domestic help staff (they were all clear).

3. The immediate challenge was cancelling ALL appointments. Journalists were most difficult to handle because they still wanted to squeeze an interview even when in isolation, ‘But we are already at your office, Sir. It will just be one minute.’ I told them, ‘That one minute is a serious danger to your health. I am unwell friends.’

4. On testing positive and feeling the above symptoms, a medical doctor and family friend who heard of the situation, Dr LM took over the process (he is uncle to the twin many call ‘tukuwa’ on my whatsupp DP). He had us access basic medical kit for regular monitoring of various indicators (oxygen saturation; blood pressure/pulse; body temperature; sugar levels). He used the assessments to manage medications and any other things I had to do i.e. regularly exercising my breathing etc. He also had to know what else I was taking including the other ‘home therapies.’; regularly urging me to drink and drink and drink water.

5. The challenge with COVID for busy people is how to LET GO (money opportunities) and re assign everything to your colleagues (It was extremely hurting to miss the funeral of my dear dear brother, Dr Roland Msiska who did so much for me). I suspended all academic work (except two exams I wrote with extreme difficulty. My Indian examiners were even watching me write using a live camera). There were numerous work related phone calls during the period, which I all ignored. Some later came as emails or text messages, ‘Mr Kanyama, please, get in touch. It relates to the tender of August 2020; your company has been successful….’; ‘Please, we are trying to get in touch with Bridges. You have been awarded the tender for….’ ‘Mr. Kanyama, we need Bridges to undertake a very urgent assignment….’.At that moment, your priority is your health; nothing matters to you more than your health (and I deeply appreciate the Bridges and Nexo team members for taking over all assignments. I have not even met two of our new hires who joined the Nexo team).

6. We informed very few colleagues and relatives about my situation. This was to enable us go through recovery without too much pressure. Colleagues like Dr Lubinda Haabazoka, Rev Walter Mwambazi, Glen Mwika, Hjoe Moono, Felix Banda Galamukani; Maimbo Nyanga, Ekene Bache, Webster Twaambo, and a few others we told, were very supportive during the period. I avoided telling my Beloved MacPherson Chanda! He was going to travel and seek to see me even in isolation!

7. I am still restoring my energies, avoiding calls and text messages (lost some significant weight and will need a few more days to restock). Am not yet 100 percent though I can outrun a chameleon from Western Province. I want to ensure when the Lozi girls see me, they will lay a Red Carpet, dancing, ‘Our husband from Mutwiwambwa has come!’ and the Luvale girls will fly me in the Joseph Malanji Chopper.

8. In CONCLUSION: let us not drop the ball, not even for an iota of a second, in our fight against COVID. This is a horrible disease that paralyses you in every way it can; to the extent recovery seems an impossibility. It’s a horrible, horrible, horrible disease.

Brethren, keep your guard, protect others and be vigilant the way we wade off the devil, ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 1 Pet 5:89.

Happy and blessed Easter Holidays dear friends.

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