By Simba Chikanza | Last year I refused to get vaccine booster jabs; as I never envisioned I would ever catch COVID; but I got the surprise of my life on 3rd Oct 2022 when my heart manifested palpitations that resulted in me being hospitalised. It all began with chest pains as I rushed to a meeting on the Monday morning, and then an NHS phonecall suggested I be checked by paramedics. At that time, I thought it’s just another tired morning, and my body is just lazy. I however got shocked when the scan reading reported that my heart was not pumping correctly. They gave me some medication which included a spray under the tongue, that brought on me instant headaches and suddenly I lost vision due to the migranes.
By that time people were busy phoning me like any other day, thinking all is normal and I must do their stories. I must perform efficiently all the time no matter what, as always, and I am not allowed any excuse. But well, humanity catches up in the end, and the limitations speak louder than the persistent demands for service. I wish I had the same funding as the BBC, CNN or ZBC so I can attend every phonecall; I ended up getting a picture uploaded to the many women calling me, so the image speaks for itself. Everything was done hurriedly as I am in pain.
Arriving into the hospital, it’s horror after horror- I am told that I will go straight into theatre, for it could be a heart attack I am experiencing. All tests are done including blood ones, and after passing everything, I am declared COVID Positive. I refuse to accept this as it’s not happened before, but after a second test, a PCR, the same result is read back to me. Tough time. They now tell me I will be in hospital for the next 7 days, and the horror of my life begins. I’ve never been hospitalised before and my greatest scare is over an assassination while in hospital: anyone can enter with an NHS suit and finish the sports on me, as they say in Shona English.
Where and how on earth did I catch this thing? Was I poisoned on my last visit to Zambia in Sept? It doesn’t matter where, cause the fact is I now have it in my blood streams.
At this stage the hospital doctors have told me that there is nothing new to my situation as there is a surge of admissions caused by COVID infections. But when I check on the Internet what they are saying does not match up as numbers appear falling. They however make it clear to me that these days people are no longer reporting as they used to.
My horrors are made worse when a Zimbabwean nurse I don’t know creeps into my closed room to speak with me in Shona.
“Makadiniko vaChikanza?” she asks me without revealing her full name. She quickly walks away before get to discover who she is.
All this while I thought no Zimbabwean knows where I am, but alas, by now, even my enemies, Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa and his corrupt gang already know my physical location; or so I fear. Last time in Nov 2019, I got told he is after me and has sent assailants to hurt me.
It’s a dingy dark night, and these could be my last moments on earth, as I am a target because recently I helped in chopping Mnangagwa’s legs in his home country, (Northern Zimbabwe) Zambia which he was controlling over the last presidential term. My 13 Aug 2021 presidential interview helped in effecting successful regime change over there.
What’s more scary is the fact that the ZANU PF Secretary for Administration, Obert Mpofu publicly accused me of owning the demonstrators who blocked Mnangagwa from drinking beer with his party members in Glasgow on 1st Nov 2021.
The first night in hospital is too long and I can’t sleep, as anything can happen to me. I only shut my eyes at around 3am, and wake up after 9am. Thank the heavens I am alive, at least. A 2nd blood test is done, and after I complain to the hospital they finally decide to allow me out of the institution on the 2nd day. By this time I am dizzy and struggling to walk, and it’s only at 7pm that I manage to complete my discharge. They’ve allowed me out at last. As I walk out, a sigh of relief comforts me, though I can’t tell if I will make it home. Eventually I do get there, but only after I’ve learnt the lessons of my life: that anyone can catch COVID. It’s come back, and we need to be vigilant.