In the next few days we are going to bring you the different aspects of how the Corona Virus pandemic has affected the people of Uganda in the different ways and how people are embracing the new normal as it is widely perceived.
Picture this, it is 20h45 in the evening and you are stuck in Jinja town. You look for the last boda to take you back home, but all in vain. They are either already carrying someone or they are not brave enough to ride to Walukuba. That my friends, is the dilemma of the current times. Things have changed so much since the pandemic started that, 20h45 feels like 02h00 pre-pandemic time. A change in the routine is one of many that have been naturally imposed on people not only in Uganda, but the world over. So, the question is, “how do you cope?”
Change by its very meaning involves a modification or alteration, either positive or negative. Regardless of whether you consider the change positive or negative, you need to figure out the best way to have this change work in your favour.
To say that it has been easy to cope with the changes that the pandemic has placed on people would be a lie that even Wetesula (the biggest liar I know) would never tell. People had to find and explore new ways of living and/or doing things. An evening out with the boys was totally out of the question. I will share a few success stories that I have personally observed from people I know, who explored ingenious ways of thinking and doing things.
At the beginning of the lockdown, 20th March 2020, people found themselves stuck at home with nothing much to do. One such person was Egetu Timothy. On one of the many occasions where he played FIFA 2020 on his 32” Hisense TV screen, he imagined what life would have been like without the TV. In that moment, he realized how important a TV was going to be for so many people during the lockdown. An idea popped into his head, and he went around his neighborhood to find out how many people had TV screens in their homes. I have no idea how he did this. Knowing him though, I believe he went peeping door to door and asking with his weird voice in Luganda, “Gwe, mulina TV?”. His research methods, however unorthodox, yield one overwhelming conclusion, that there was a huge need for TVs in the community. He immediately embarked on a journey to supply TVs to anyone he thought needed it. His first customer, a certain Godfrey (not me) in Kireka had refused to buy despite repeated attempts to convince him otherwise. Fortunately for Egetu Timothy, Godfrey received a call from his long-term girlfriend and she had finally accepted to move in with him. Now, Godfrey had to either buy the TV or endure the more daunting task of continuously entertaining his new unofficial bride. Just like that Egetu Timothy made his first sale. This spurred him on and he entered the world of electronics business, leaving behind a rather promising career in ophthalmology.
A full piece on Egetu Timothy will come another day when he finally delivers that 55” TV he promised.
It is no doubt that the pandemic has mostly affected the players in the tour and travel business however, it is a common notion agreed by almost everyone from the different walks of life that everyone has been affected in one way or the other. Hence for anyone planning to travel to Uganda either on a Guided Tour or a Self-Drive Vacation, please take note of the curfew time. Some people will even try to tell you that oh it is not really serious but once you are caught all alone after 21h00 that is when you would actually realize the severity of the fact that observing the stated curfew restrictions is an important element in the country.