Dear friends of Othakarhaka,
Although Malawi has no reported cases of Covid19 yet, it is only a matter of time and I worry a great deal. I doubly worry about the thought of the impact of Covid on this population, which already suffers such a disease burden and with limited means of protecting themselves.
However! Having opened with those sad words, I can say that Ida and the Board of Directors are working to educate people about what the disease is, and the safeguards they can take. They use a public address system to go among the villages. They use a public address system to emphasize the need to avoid close contact.
We always hear about washing our hands. Soap is an expensive commodity in Malawi and now merchants have much increased its price. I found some straightforward information from the US CDC on using diluted chlorine bleach with which to wash surfaces; diluted 10 fold greater, it can be used to wash hands. It’s not as good as soap and water, but will (I hope) mostly do the job.
Don Lightfoot (who lives in Spokane) sent patterns from which to make masks, which our Tailoring School people could do. Also, we spoke to such safeguards, especially distancing; that’s often hard to accomplish in village settings.
Also, Don explained the system of taking temperatures throughout the villages on a daily basis and tracking temperatures as a means to predict fairly well what the virus is doing, will be doing in the communities. If you are interested, I’ll send you Don’s full explanation [or, if you have watched Rachel each evening on MSNBC, you may already know the full story]
We’d be happy to hear additional ideas. That will be on my mind a great deal from here on out.
I had just finally finished writing the 4th edition of my textbook and was ready to start planning a trip to Malawi for later this Spring. Sadly, that almost certainly won’t happen this year. Possibly it can next year unless the virus recurs, which is more than possible.
May you all be well and taking care of yourselves. I’ll not overwhelm you w information, but will write when it seems important to do so.
Meanwhile, your support (moral as much as financial!) is much appreciated.