Last night President Museveni addressed the nation again and extended our current lockdown and movement restrictions for a further 21 days. We have an evening curfew of 7pm, and are not allowed to leave the house until 6.30am. Private vehicles are banned (unless you get permission from the local government to drive them); motorbikes are not allowed to carry passengers, and all shops not selling food are to remain closed. Motorbikes and bicycles are only allowed on the road until 2pm.
Minimising movement has certainly slowed the spread of the virus, Uganda had its first positive case reported three and a half weeks ago and today it stands at 55 cases (no deaths). Schools were closed a couple of days before the first case was even reported and there is no sign of opening schools in the near future.
Lockdown has certainly had many positive effects on minimising the spread of the virus, and even on the make-up of families. A friend of ours, a local mason, was only commenting to me yesterday that lockdown is helping families: fathers are home more and able to spend more time than ever with their children, drinking bars and night clubs are closed, and we are sleeping peacefully without loud music playing.
However the negative effects are already beginning to seep through with families worrying how they will afford to buy food when many are no longer earning money (there’s no such thing as a social welfare system here). Thankfully the rains have returned and many are planting.
We at READ for Life have been hitting the airwaves twice a day, in an attempt to educate hundreds of thousands of children who are at home and not learning. Myron has been helping us daily in our morning program. He even continues in character in the afternoon sometimes from home as he role-plays himself as a radio presenter.
Personally, we have been busier now than ever before! Home schooling starts straight after breakfast to allow time for radio programs, then often driving to another studio, being stopped by the Army to show our special pass, Dan taking over schooling and being an awesome Dad in the afternoon, planning in the afternoon, and then starting the day over again 🙂
As we continue to pray for an end to this dreaded virus please pray for food security in Uganda and that many will not go hungry in the coming months!