31 July 2020
Rustenburg
Olebogeng Motene

Each day the virus affects someone close to us and their stories are different. Rustenburg stats go up rapidly, we are the epicentre of the North West Province. One of the biggest problems with regards to testing positive is the stigma it comes with, and that has had some people opting to keeping the results to themselves even symptoms.

My close friend shares his obsessions of working in the mining industry and how employees are behaving. He noticed that some people who have tested positive just kept it to themselves and submitted notices that they working from home, some lie when going through the daily screening to avoid being sent for testing. And the medical aid schemes are not helping because it’s said if you are tracked down after being in contact with a person who tests positive they pay once. This came to his attention after one of his colleagues was to be tested because his colleague and husband were positive and she tested negative, two weeks later she started developing the symptoms and was sent to get tested but the medical aid refused to authorise the test.

My close friend had what he called really bad flu and after 3 days of medication he was feeling better and lost his smell and taste senses and went back to the Dr with no temperature at all by the way, the Dr advised a covid-19 test and he went and had one done, results came in positive. Was given Vitamin C and D and 10 days of isolation, he has then recovered fully. On our daily conversation he said “you know the virus is like a ghost, I did everything right, washed my hands, sanitized, took vitamins and drank lengana but still it got me. One can’t be too careful especially in the mine environment, but we have to work for money”.

I asked how is the family responded to the news and he said, they were afraid of him. He feels that screening is not enough because one doesn’t always carry the symptoms and people are not always honest. Let’s do our part and follow the rules, take vitamins and avoid stigmatising people who tests positive as we kill their sprit to fight off the virus.