Status: A Cold in the Time of COVID

I’ve caught a cold, and in these COVID-times, that means self-isolation, COVID-test (Again! My third one in 2020), ginger overdose and lots of sleep. The COVID-numbers are on the rise in Uganda, yet we are, luckily, nowhere near the numbers haunting other parts of the world.

What does COVID-measures look like in Kampala? Since March, the country has had a strict 9 pm – 5 am curfew, masks are mandatory on “public” transportation (in Uganda this means private vans and bikes), and most restaurants and major buildings check your temperature at the entrance. Experts here still worry that the numbers are underreported and that after months of low numbers (131 deaths out of a population of 40+ million) people are starting to grow less vigilant just as the virus is starting to gain ground.

Only time will tell if they’re right. For now, I’m boiling water for yet another cup of tea, while working from my kitchen table. Here’s a status report (been a while since I’ve done one of these):

Listening to: Erykah Badu – Tyrone (and Tash Sultana at NPR’s Tiny Desk).
Watching: Mystic Pop-Bar (latest Korean obsession) and The Queen’s Gambit.
Reading: Just finished Africa 39, a collection of thirty-nine short stories by thirty-nine authors under the age of forty from Africa south of the Sahara. Collections are usually a mixed bag, but some of these stories are truly spectacularly good.
Eating: Chocolate mostly.
Drinking: Buckets of Dawa tea. Dawa (literally “medicine” in Kiswahili) is the one thing everyone here will tell you to drink if you have a cold. Ingredients: honey, lemon, ginger and turmeric. Fun fact: It is also a very nice cocktail when mixed with vodka and ice.
Googling: COVID-tests, interstate tax rules, insurance for nomads, and voluntary membership in the Norwegian welfare program. Working outside of Europe sure ain’t for everyone.
Craving: Sun! Mountains! Sun AND mountains!
Looking forward to: Hiking in the Northern district of Koboko, on the border of South Sudan and DRC.