When 2020 arrived, everyone was so excited to welcome the New Year and just like in previous years, those who believe in setting up resolutions jotted them down as they looked forward to what was supposed to be an exciting year.
But that was never going to be the case as 18 months down the line, most of what they had hoped to achieve by the end of last year, remains only wishes due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With Covid-19 on the rampage, massive job losses, shrinking of economies and loss of livelihoods, particularly for women, weakened social protection systems and left many of the poorest and the most vulnerable sections of society at the lurch with no safeguards to weather the storm.
This was mostly the result of a string of lockdowns which have been implemented by the government in its bid to arrest the positive cases of Covid-19 which were increasing at an alarming rate.
Since its first positive case in April last year, Lesotho has registered over 14, 000 positive cases and over 400 have already succumbed to it.
The pandemic-induced poverty surge will also widen the gender poverty gap – meaning, more women will be pushed into extreme poverty than men.
The resurgence of extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic has revealed women’s uncertain economic security.
Women in most cases, typically earn less and hold less secure jobs than men. With plummeting economic activity, women are particularly vulnerable to layoffs and loss of livelihoods.
Some time back, one of the big companies in the country operating in Thetsane Industrials, Nieng Hsing announced that it will be retrenching over 2500 workers and another retrenchment has been looming in other industries. (https://lestimes.com/massive-job-losses-loom-at-nien-hsing/)
It is a known fact that most of the industrial workers are women, so this is a fallout of Covid-19.
These are indeed bad times and the government needs to be up on their feet and save the nation before it gets too late. Yes, there has been an introduction of the vaccine with a hope that things will get back to normal once a certain percentage of the nation has been vaccinated.
I applaud the government for the steps it has taken but are there enough capacitating programs informing people about this vaccine? The truth of the matter is that there has been a great deal of negative feeling about these vaccines and there is still a lot of work to be done to make everyone understand the crucial importance of taking the vaccine.
By the time Covid-19 becomes history, its impact will forever live in our minds, the beloved family members and loved ones lost to the deadly virus will be a wound that will take time to heal. It will be like a tale in the coming generations when we tell stories to our grandchildren, the same way the stories of World War I and World War II sound like fabricated stories to many.