‘My greatest concern was getting the virus and dying out of the country’


Whereas trapped in his flat in Wuhan, China, week after week, Sthembiso Motaung considered demise typically. When he and his mom, who lives in Bloemfontein, chatted on-line, they feared his stays would by no means make it dwelling.  

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramphosa sent home the 114 South Africans who had been  quarantined for 14 days at The Ranch resort in Limpopo, about 25km south of Polokwane. By the point South Africa comes out of lockdown, Motaung and his compatriots who returned from Wuhan could have accomplished 82 days underneath lockdown. 

Motaung is a closing 12 months pupil at Wuhan College in China, located on the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak. He went there on a scholarship from the Free State provincial authorities and must submit his thesis and defend it to finish his software program engineering diploma. 

“My greatest concern was getting the virus and dying out of the country. Possibly with my household not even getting my physique and simply ashes or nothing. I imagined how a lot that might destroy them. One other concern was getting the virus and struggling to get medical consideration on time,” stated Motaung.

“In the back of my thoughts, I knew that everybody will die in a sure means. If it’s meant to be coronavirus, then that’s inevitable, it will likely be that means. I simply saved praying so much to maintain sturdy and took quite a lot of on-line programs to distract my thoughts and to empower myself.”

Motaung suggested South Africans to not take Covid-19 evenly and was upset to find how many individuals are making jokes concerning the pandemic.

“I’ve seen how individuals are informal about this — shaking arms and sharing cigarettes. In Wuhan, folks don’t share cigarettes. The virus is certainly lethal and severe. Individuals should keep dwelling, use disinfectants on a regular basis and keep vigilant,” he stated.

“You need to assume the subsequent individual you work together with is optimistic with the virus. That means, we can maintain one another secure and we will beat this virus as shortly as doable.

“South Africa is able to beating this virus, particularly with the lockdown applied. Our folks should comply and that means we lower the probabilities of spreading this amongst us.”

Motaung’s recommendation to South Africans

Motaung believes the variety of contaminated folks in South Africa can be even decrease if folks had reacted in a greater means and never travelled to all elements of the nation, particularly on Thursday, simply earlier than the start of the lockdown.

“I used to be in Soweto not too long ago and noticed how folks carried on with their lives as if all the things is regular. They nonetheless act as if the virus continues to be removed from them,” he stated.

Motaung advises folks to remain dwelling as a lot as doable and to restrict their interplay. He additionally advises following solely damaging information, as this might have a severely detrimental impact on their psychological well being.  

From his observations in China, Motaung additionally realises that there must be a lot larger schooling. “Even the ‘I received’t die alone’ mentality that many individuals have, is pure ignorance,” he stated.

After spending days in quarantine at The Ranch Resort, the 27-year-old is staying along with his household in Midrand and says he’ll deal with finishing his thesis. 

His mom, Lisebe Motaung, is one of the parents who was very vocal about wanting her little one repatriated from Wuhan. She instructed the Mail & Guardian that she is grateful to God that her son is again dwelling.

“, the final time I noticed my son was in August 2018. I feared that this dreadful virus goes to take him to his grave and I’ll by no means see his stays …” she stated.

“I used to be so disturbed. I felt like I used to be dreaming once I noticed him getting off that bus from Limpopo. As a household, we thank the South African authorities for bringing my boy [back] alive. I see my son as a hero, as a result of he remained optimistic all through this ordeal. The one factor he wished was to be again dwelling alive.”