Editor’s Comment

While the move by the government to relax regulations on the mandatory wearing of masks is plausible as it comes as a huge relief to many Zimbabweans who have been fatigued after two years of wearing masks daily, people should not get over-excited.

It is true that many longed for the day they would freely walk the streets and meet and mingle without the irritating masks, but it must be noted that our vaccination rate makes the risk of COVID-19 remain, as only a small percentage of our population has received the three doses (6%).

This means that the rest of the population, around 94%, is still in danger of contracting the virus and infecting others as they do not have full protection.

Figures of new infections might have dropped, but that is not to say that the virus is gone; the sad reality is that the pandemic is still with us; thus, the need for people to remain vigilant and protect themselves and others from this deadly pandemic.

It is disturbing to note that while everyone wants to get over this pandemic and start their normal lives again, not many of us are eager to do the right thing that would make our dream a reality.

The coronavirus, deadly as it is, can be contained or even eliminated completely, but that can only be done if we, as individuals and communities, play our part.

The government has said that is has enough vaccines for every Zimbabwean citizen, administered free of charge and easily accessible even to those in the remotest parts of the country and all we need to do is go to the nearest vaccination centre and get the dose.

Yet for unknown reasons, many have not heeded this clarion call by government for all those eligible for the jabs to get them so that the country can at least reach herd immunity, which is about 60 percent of the population having been vaccinated with all the three does, including the booster shot.

The current statistics of vaccinated people are not encouraging and call for each and every one one of us to seriously consider our safety and that of others around us and get vaccinated.

It should be remembered that the new regulation on the wearing of masks only exempts those who have had the three doses, meaning that the majority would still be not only putting the lives of others at risk, but would also be committing a crime which could get them arrested and liable to a fine.

It therefore, makes sense for those citizens who love their freedom to avoid unnecessary hassles with law enforcement agency by getting their jabs and the freedom not to wear masks everywhere.

Without achieving herd immunity, the country will never be safe and the only way we can achieve herd immunity is for everyone to be responsible enough and get vaccinated.

Those that have already received all the doses should encourage their friends and families to do the same.

Those that initially were pessimistic about the efficacy and safety of the vaccines must have learned from others and should just do the right thing, for their own benefit and that of the country at large.

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