The coronavirus killed death adverts in Uganda.
Prior to the arrival of Covid-19, humans had held the belief that an enemy could not harm you once you died. Even Hannibal, the Carthaginian general regarded as the father of military strategy, committed suicide to prevent the Romans from capturing him after spending his entire life battling and frequently beating them. And the Christian Son of God teaches that those who can merely kill the body should not be feared.
Death, however, is no longer the end of earthly misery in Uganda, where hospitals are leading the charge to de-mystify it. Traditional reverence for the deceased has been abandoned in hospitals, as seen by our Penal Code, which punishes “disturbing the serenity of the dead” if, for example, you go messing around in a cemetery.
Patients at private hospitals are no longer told that they will die soon after being admitted. If you don’t have any cash on hand, you have to give up collateral, which is usually a land title deed. But don’t expect the security to safeguard your freedom when you die; your body will be imprisoned in their morgue, to be released only if your family has accumulated enough money to pay off the mortgage. So, even if you pull a Hannibal, you’ll be held captive until you make amends.
As a result, Covid-19 has extinguished the respect for doctors and nurses, which had previously surpassed that for religious leaders.
Before you wonder if Ugandans on a dollar a day can die in a fancy hospital, keep in mind that the “new normal” of disrespecting the dead has a greater impact on them. An African death is frequently followed by lengthy formalities for informing family and friends of the tragic news.
What’s the rush when one is already dead? It took 12 days for Europeans to learn of Abraham Lincoln’s death in 1865. But that didn’t stop people from mourning Lincoln and being startled by his assassination, which was only two millennia earlier than Julius Caesar’s.
Prior to radio broadcasting, a powerful clansman would be dispatched to inform the deceased’s distant kin, a voyage that could take days. He did not announce that so and so is deceased when he arrived. He’d wait until the family had welcomed him and the next meal had been served and consumed before saying, “…incidentally, things are not so nice where I come from…” As the family prepared for the journey to the burial the next day, the women folk would begin to weep.
Around the time of independence, when radio became available to the whole public, death announcements were the only programme more important than national news. When the batteries in the family radio died, only death announcements were broadcast on the radio.
Death notice readers were more famous than today’s best DJs and talk show hosts. Their skill set included the ability to read quickly and accurately without making mistakes, as the station earned money from the announcements. Because FM stations are now localised and broadcast in the local languages of their communities, the death announcements have become even more popular since the introduction of private broadcasting.
Covid-19 is now responsible for the death of death announcements! For the announcements, all “relatives, friends, and in-laws” — a standard term Ugandans use to notify death, which wags have changed to “relathieves” — have been mobilised.
Because the virus spreads most quickly when people congregate — and the size of a crowd at an African burial is measured by the number of people who attend — officials across the country have banned death announcements from local radio stations.
Last Monday, the government made it illegal to attend a funeral (or wedding) with more than 20 people in attendance, punishable by two months in prison. That implies the deceased’s immediate family is responsible for the difficult duty of digging the grave and handling the body.
As a result, the merciless coronavirus has now capped the bereaved’s trauma by turning them become undertakers.
Are you inquiring about the safe management of the Covid-19 victim’s allegedly poisonous remains? Previously, funeral homes were battling to stay afloat; now, they’re overflowing with employment as money hunts them down, no matter how high the fees are raised. Guidelines for safely burial Covid-19 bodies were provided by the authorities.
As a result, Covid has democratised death.