Janie Danielle Raharivola is a professor at the University of Antananarivo and President of the Association of Teachers of Spanish in Madagascar. She was one of the participants in the Congress of African Hispanic Women organized a few years ago by FMxA in Abidjan.
Unfortunately, the Covid19 appeared in Madagascar after the arrival of the last international flights on 20 March 2020. These are imported cases, as we say here.
In the immediate aftermath, the government has taken various measures such as the closure of schools, from primary to university, the interruption of all public transport in Antananarivo, the capital, road transport to the provinces, the closure of churches, restaurants, cabarets, discotheques and the cancellation of shows and the banning of meetings. Containment is the summary of what has been said.
The Malagasy State has already prepared for the arrival of Covid,19 so I believe that it is no longer a question of trusting or not trusting the political authorities. This is a pandemic that affects everyone and being generally a positive person, I am convinced of their good will. As for the health authorities, I am very confident in their competence, professionalism and dedication. However, honesty must be seen at all levels in order to reduce the poverty of the population.
Covid19 affects and will affect the population due to containment as well as curfew, loss of jobs, poor nutrition and even depression for some.
Currently, I am very involved with my mother who is 89 years old and does not understand why her children do not visit her and why she cannot go out. I help with housework, repair, read, send documents to my students, watch television, including news and documentaries, look after my vegetable garden, do gardening and exercise from time to time with my daughter and nephews because we live in the same building. I limit my movements to the market and the supermarket, always following health instructions.
Personally, I miss sharing, moral support and discussions because I am a widow. However, somewhere inside me I try to be positive and give myself to God. All the problems mentioned are experienced by everyone without exception. I miss my distant family, colleagues, students, friends and out-of-town trips. Regarding my environment, almost everyone is teleworking and so far it has not been a problem for them.
In my country, I think that everyone is affected by this crisis: children, adolescents, young people want to go back to school, because their current activities are limited by confinement. Parents have to work to support their families. But despite all the problems, we can point out the positive points of confinement: there is more family atmosphere, mutual help at home which lightens the domestic burden of women, and an opportunity to learn what we don’t know.
However, in my country, as in all countries, it will take a few years for economic recovery to take place as a developing country, and this will have an impact on the various households, regardless of their standard of living before the presence of the coronavirus. This pandemic teaches people to share, to help each other, to participate, and everyone needs to reflect on human and environmental value. The future does not belong to us and it is time for everyone to accept the existence and power of God.
Translated by Paola Fourcaud