By Mumtaz Saley-Moosa
I recently watched a video that concluded with the line: “The virus will end, but the effects of racism that has been brought, will be felt for generations to come.” This was indeed profound, and I carry this with me.
The reality is that the virus has not only caused illness, but it has brought to light many social ills we have been hiding for far too long. As I stood in a queue buying items I needed for the week I watched as an older lady went to everyone asking for a tin of baked beans as she needed it for a dish she was making for dinner. No-one took heed to her request for assistance. In no way possible was she asking for a free tin she was just asking those in line who could spare one tin from their shopping cart so she could pay for her items and leave the store.
I felt the loss of humanity at that moment, I have felt the loss of humanity spark when the entire world started going into lockdown.
Is the virus telling us that we have become selfish, that racism still exists? Why is it that, in times of adversity, we forget that kindness is what we need?
While we have been searching the black market for hand sanitisers and moan in the same breath that taxi ranks aren’t closed, let us take a moment to stand for kindness and ask ourselves what can we do to help those who are not as privileged as we are.
Reach out to the elderly in the community - ask them if you could help them with shopping, picking up their medicine or just a cheery phone call if they are living alone.
Reach out to uGogo selling fruit, offer her a small bottle of hand sanitiser and share with her the correct information about hygiene, the coronavirus and how to protect herself and her family too.
Talk to the helpers at home and educate them to what is fake news and what is real as many of them rely on WhatsApp for advice. Misinformation hinders the work done by our medical teams and others to curb the virus and can even exacerbate the spread.
Look deep into your soul, look at the world around you and ask yourself: "What is this virus trying to tell me?" "What are the important lessons for me to learn and share?"