This is a humble message to the LGBTIQ community especially those that live in Uganda. We did not survive dying of HIV/AIDs in the 80s and 90s to die of COVID-19 in 2021. This time we can protect ourselves from COVID-19 without being discriminated on grounds of our sexual orientation and gender identity. You can go to a health center and nobody will ask you about who you love or who you are. All they need is your national identification card and you will get the COVID-19 jab free of charge.
Myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine.
There are many unfounded myths about the COVID-19 jab, including allegations that when you get the jab you are marked by illuminati while others say you will die just two years after vaccination. While I am not a medical expert I assure you that all these are just myths. According to World Health Organisation, people who are immunized have a higher chance of surviving COVID-19. Now would you rather listen to myths or safeguard your health?
Disclosure of Having COVID-19.
Another thing that I have found to be quite dangerous is the failure of some people to disclose that they have been exposed to COVID-19. Due to the partial lockdown some people have time on their hands and have chosen to use this time to visit their friends. You hear someone coughing and sneezing and their excuse is, I just have allergies or sinuses. It is important that you immediately get tested when you get symptoms and inform others when you have COVID-19 so that they too don’t spread it.COVID-19 doesn’t have any descriptive symptoms, even if you have some fever or you feel like your blood pressure is up, go get tested or immediately begin self-isolation.
Gender Based Violence.
Unfortunately isolation due to lockdown has led to lots of Gender Based Violence-GVB because people who may have usually not spent so much time together are doing so because of lockdown. Please try to use this time to talk through the things that trigger your relationship to such instances. Which leads me to my next point.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
Try your best to find something to do during the day, during lockdown most of us have time to indulge with alcohol and drugs which will eventually lead to serious mental health issues. It is important that you maintain a routine. Wake up in the morning, do something and then later in the day you can relax and maybe listen to music or watch a movie. Do not stay in bed past 9:00AM. Trust me the rest of the day will be okay. Also drink lots of water, this way the craving for alcohol or drugs will be at bay. Most of the GBV abusers are usually great people until they use drugs or alcohol and that is when the abuse their partners especially when it comes to physical and verbal abuse.
Food and Nutrition.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are genuinely not able to get food because you are down due to COVID-19 lockdown call up any LGBTIQ organization and they will help. The LGBTIQ organizations in Uganda are here to serve you and they would never refuse to help a queer person in need. Please reach out.
Many desperate Ugandans have turned to herbs to a cure or relief for COVID-19 some of the most used herbs include ginger, red pepper and honey that are mixed together and drunk as a concoction or infused in warm water and inhaled. Other herbs being used are aloe-vera. Kuchu Times Media Group cannot verify if these herbs truly work.
Wear your mask.
What I have noticed with some people is that they wear masks when outside but when they arrive at a gathering they are going to, they remove the mask, keep it on at all times.
Avoid crowds, unless it is for work or a life saving event that requires you to physically be there. When someone invites you for a party ask yourself is it really worth it? When you get COVID-19 right now how will you or your family handle it? Can you afford treatment? When you get arrested because you were at a bar are you being fair to yourself or your family?
When you get back from the shop, sanitize everything. From the door knobs to your padlocks, keys, light switches, basically carefully sanitize everything that you occasionally touch including the Television remotes, earphones, phones etc.
See you on the other side when it is safe and COVID-19 free.