With coronavirus having become a rather large part of our lives, as well as the main headline in all the news outlets, it would be challenging for one to believe that anyone, anywhere hasn’t heard of COVID-19.
But, it seems this is not the case, as United Nations workers are being told every day, by immigrants arriving in Somalia, that have not heard of, nor are they aware of COVID-19. The United Nations based migration agency, the International Organization for Migration, has been interviewing those immigrants on the border of Somalia.
The questions posed to the individuals are simple ones. Place of origin? Place of destination? Purpose? However, after reports of infections being confirmed in Somalia, a new question was added: How many in your group are aware of coronavirus?
In just the week ending June 20th, 51%, just over half of those that were tracked, totaling approximately 3,471 individuals, said that have not heard, up to that point of COVID-19.
Celeste Sanchez Bean, a U.N agency program manager, said that the first time she heard this information, she was very shocked. This information has been little more than a notation or mention in the agency’s overall reports.
These findings remind everyone of the enormous challenges that are faced on a daily basis when it comes to connecting with everyone across the world with information on the current pandemic. Let alone getting compliance on wearing a face mask.
Bean said: “We’ve been interviewing migrants for many years.” The migrants interviewed in this case were mostly young me, who previously resided in the rural areas neighboring Ethiopia. Most of all have no education to speak of, and most of them are from communities where access to the internet is minimal at best.
Taking this all into consideration, Bean said: “I’m not super shocked that levels of awareness of the coronavirus are still very low.” Any migrant that is unaware is given a short explanation of what coronavirus is and how the pandemic is affecting the world. Included in the explanation is information on how the virus is believed to be contracted, as well as both symptoms and measures to prevent contraction.
With the ongoing effects that the pandemic is having on the economy worldwide, migrants are experiencing and even more difficult time finding work, which in turn allows them to feed their families.
Many believe that, because of their lack of awareness of COVID-19, that they are more often than not put into precarious situations that could risk their contraction of the virus.
Should more be done to reach out to all nations and peoples to warn and educate them on the pandemic?