Not necessarily sport: Week One of Lock down

Marc Pozzo 

Zimbabwe went into full Coronavirus lockdown for three weeks on Monday, coming 10 days after confirming its first case.

Police on Sunday mounted roadblocks and the government said the military will step in, if necessary, to enforce the stay-at-home order.

Meanwhile, some healthcare professionals are refusing to work because they say they don’t have the protective equipment.

Zimbabweans may face up to one year imprisonment for violating the order and up to 20 years for false reports about the lockdown.

So far the country has recorded eight cases of the virus, including one death.

Over the weekend, there were long queues outside banks and supermarkets as Zimbabweans prepared for the lockdown.

Crowds gathered at bus stations, preparing to head back to their rural homes.

Almost all businesses and markets must shut down for the next 21 days.

Movement to buy food and medicines is limited to within a five kilometre-radius of homes.

With eight recorded cases, the outbreak is not a crisis here yet.

The tough action, which includes a ban on the sale of alcohol, was taken amid fears that the pandemic could devastate a broken health system.

There is an enormous sense of uncertainty about the weeks ahead.

Most Zimbabweans are informal traders, surviving off daily earnings which are little and far between already.

Our economy is already broken, and this could just be the last throw of the dice and I can see many small businesses having to close up shop after this period, unless government intervene.

I say intervene.

What will they do?

They are broke as it is, so not sure where the help will come from.

Across the Limpopo, despite the financial down grade by Moody’s last week, and the crash in the rand, to an all-time low, they have a plan, and they have a bailout program in place for those small businesses and their President has made his second state of the nation address this week.

I am a business owner, in the manufacturing sector, with a staff compliment of over a 100 people.

They all depend on their weekly wage, to live on and look after their families.

How do you pay out money with no income stream in this time?

Most of us are in the same boat, bar a few, who have the luxury of massive reserves to keep going in a lock down situation.

I am not against this lock down, it’s needed, and it needs to be treated with the seriousness it requires, but what is government going to do to help us and help our employees?

I am sorry to be negative but I think no one actually cares and we will just fall by the wayside, and once again when this is all over, we will have another mass exodus of skills and resources as people will just not be able to manage living here any longer.

But maybe this is what they want.

I have said this many times in previous articles related to even sport.

I am sadly embarrassed to be a Zimbabwean right now. 

It’s a time we should all be coming together, and helping each other, fight this dreaded virus. 

My heart goes out to our healthcare workers, not the higher echelon in the health sector, who have continued to say all is well, and it’s not.

The only thing well, is the Toyota 200 series land cruiser. 

Our health workers are in the front line and doing their best, risking their lives without the right equipment and protective clothing.

They are in my thoughts every day.

Keep up the good work good people. 

The news finally came through the Tokyo Olympic Games will start on 23 July, 2021 and will run to 8 August after it was postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) executive board met on Monday to make the decision.

The Olympics will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.

The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on 25 August  2020, will now take place between 24 August and 5 September, 2021.

The new dates also took into consideration the rest of the global sports calendar after the men’s football European Championship was postponed to the summer of 2021.

Organisers hope the delay will allow sufficient time to finish the qualification process which will follow the same mitigation measures planned for 2020.

With all these changes, the 2021 IAAF World Championships will be shifted to 2022 to accommodate the re-arranged Tokyo Olympics.

That means the world athletics championships that were scheduled to take place in Eugene, Oregon, on 6-15 August, 2021 can no longer be held on those dates.

We have our first sporting casualty, with the corona virus shut down.

USA Rugby, its financial troubles exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, has filed for bankruptcy, the federation said on Monday.

In a statement posted on its website, USA Rugby said it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows financially struggling organizations to reorganize and restructure debt.

Sport around the world has been brought to a virtual standstill by the Covid19 pandemic as authorities banned large gatherings in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

USA Rugby said the suspension of competition resulted in “significant loss of revenue from spring and summer membership dues, sponsorship drawbacks and additional revenue sources.”

The bankruptcy filing includes a plan for a financial support package approved by the executive committee of the global governing body World Rugby.

I am sure World Rugby will come to the party and assist.

But this is just the beginning.

Keep safe # we care. 

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