How lockdowns are affecting everyday life and death situations wherever you live…

This particular blog relates to a fact of life: death and its consequences. What I write here is only limited to the permission granted of those involved.

September 2019, Clr Maliki with the Author on a great day at Pakati

My friend and the local councillor for the Ward 14 of Murewa District, Alderman Israel Maliki, only two days ago found out his father had passed away. Yesterday, within 24 hours, he was having to arrange the burial, while limiting mourners to a maximum of 50 under strict government orders during lockdown. Many who would travel to the funeral could not do so due to travel retrictions. Here is what he sent to me:

“….the whole family fabric is disjointed at the moment given that not all can manage to attend, some are across the country, some spread in all the towns of Zimbabwe and the conditions put forward for someone who died at home are just unbearable. We have 24 hours to have a burial order, to get our funeral services, also needed for those who wish to travel for the funeral which is proving to be very impossible. But we need to be very brave and face the situation as it is because we have no-one to blame except put everything to the Lord for guidance!”

Post script to Councillor Maliki’s comments above – I received another message this morning from him, saying how difficult he found it to stick to the restrictions as so many turned up, and also to get them to socially distance themselves. He did say a number of closer relatives were unable to attend due to travel restrictions, but customary practices were carried out.

Another friend of mine lives and works abroad many miles from home, and recently learned of the passing of a close family member. He could not return if he wanted due to travel restrictions worldwide. Skype is how he attended the funeral of his late relaltive, it was a very difficult time for all of the family.

Here in the UK, also under a kind of lockdown, some people are also struggling during bereavement. Someone I know has lost a relative recently, an elderly relative who died in a care home, but the family have not been allowed to visit during their final days and hours. No-one is being allowed to attend inside the crematoriums. This has caused additional pain on top of their obvious grief. I am also hearing stories on our news broadcasts of people being buried with almost no-one present, including young (children) victims of the Covid-19 virus.

Thankfully, I have more upbeat posts to come….please keep an eye out for future posts. Stay safe, follow the guidance given, protect your family, community and local health services. Please.

Author:

My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and spent the last 14 years as a Civil Servant in Bradford. I married a Zimbabwean woman & we have 2 sons.

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