Covid-19 causing depression in mothers

Prisca Manyiwa

The Covid-19 pandemic has become a source of depression and burden for infected or affected women and families in general.

In most cases, women are the most exposed to this pandemic and its effects causing depression in women and their families.

Speaking to a recent Covid-19 survivor in Kwekwe, who narrated her ordeal with the deadly pandemic that made her to self isolate for over a week to recover and protect her family.

According to the survivor, the isolation days were full of fear and depression as she was on the verge of death.

“I tested positive for Covid-19 on the 15th of July 2021 after I had spent two days having unbearable chest pains that made me go for the tests.

“The health workers did some counselling after giving me the results, they actually explained everything to me on why I should go on isolation, take the prescribed drugs and make sure that my family is protected from contracting the virus.

“The most challenging part now is when you are a mother and you isolate at home that was a big challenge for me because my kids wanted to come near me although I was in my own room.

“The only person who was attending to me was my husband, “ said one Covid-19 survivor Partinella Ngozo a mother of two minor children.

Ngozo added that she had to resort to social media for communication with her family and friends.

However, she confessed that social media also contributed to her fears and depression because of hearing about the demise of other people who succumbed to Covid-19 related complications.

“During those isolation days, I used video calls to talk to my kids so whenever they phoned me I had to wear a brave face so that I do not get them worried about my condition.

“Social media helped a lot because it became my source of entertainment and I would also get some information concerning the disease. However, sometimes I got depressed because of news of people who were succumbing to this disease, “ she said.

On medication, the survivor confessed that she does not know what exactly cured her as she was taking both home remedies and drugs that were prescribed by the doctor.
“The fun part of it is I do not even know what exactly cured me because I was taking medicine prescribed by the doctor and home remedies.

“The only thing that was in my mind was that I have to make it, I have to recover for the sake of my family so I literally took every medication that came my way.

“I steamed three times per day, I took ginger, zumbani, tsunami, eucalyptus oil and also ate raw onions to assist me in breathing properly and I even peeled some of the onions and put them on my pillow and chest,” she added.

After recovering, the survivor rushed for her Covid-19 vaccine to avoid getting into the same situation she encountered during her self quarantine days.

A home-based caregiver for a local non-governmental organization named Good Samaritan expressed her fears to take up Covid-19 cases since she was not trained to handle Covid-19 patients.

“I have been working as a caregiver for the bedridden for the past seven years caring for patients suffering from different types of diseases.
“The challenge now is we have not been trained to take up Covid-19 cases and we are having them in our hands sometimes without even knowing.
“Patients are contracting Covid-19 from their relatives who come to visit them whilst we are caring for them and it leaves us exposed as well,” said Nomsa Chikwezvera.

The Covid-19 pandemic caught the world by surprise and has caused so much fear and confusion with new variants emerging in different parts of the world.

A Kwekwe based long time medical practitioner Doctor Alva Mandizvidza Senderai urged the public to get vaccinated judging from the results of the Covid-19 cases he has attended to since the pandemic struck.

“The level of illness and death we have experienced so far is different since the coming in of the vaccines which shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“From the cases, I have come across so far the ones who were vaccinated mostly do not suffer severe pains and they recover without going through much pain as compared to those who were not vaccinated.

“The highest morbidity is for the unvaccinated so it is prudent for people to get vaccinated although in Kwekwe I have realized that people are now taking the vaccine, the uptake has actually improved which is good,” he said.

Doctor Senderayi urged the public to up their game on COVID-19 preventive measures.

He also warned against taking street advice whenever one falls Ill but urged people to seek for proper medical attention to save lives.

“Let me emphasize that, please let us continue to wear our masks, wash our hands, make sure that our rooms are well ventilated, maintain social distance and take all the necessary preventive measures against this disease.

“People should seek medical attention whenever they fall sick and they should desist from taking advise from their peers likening their sickness to that of a person next to them,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed more than 4 200 lives in Zimbabwe.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care is also embarking on a nationwide vaccination program to prevent more loss of life in the country

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