A dream to remember
BLACK EDWARD – DREAMS are absorbing and peculiar and everyone has them. Martin Luther had a dream — I too had a dream last night, which I feel is worth sharing here.
Psychologists say dreaming is a way the brain processes different memories, stimuli, emotions, and data that’s been encountered throughout the waking day — this explains my Covid-19 revelatory dream, which I’ll refer to as a dream to remember. The previous day I had read a lot of literature on coronavirus, including watching news and documentaries on TV on the subject.
I had also spoken to a doctor, who shall remain nameless, whom I had asked to update me on the treatment of the deadly virus. “There’s nothing much we can do at the moment, until they find a cure,” was his response, which left me baffled as he was distancing himself from finding a cure.
However, I woke up from my pleasant dream feeling rejuvenated, rested and filled with hope.
In the dream I was a senior journalist who had been chosen to cover a world leaders’ summit, which was being held at a local hotel in Harare.
The best part I can recall was when America’s president Donald Trump stood up to address the summit, he moved to the podium and said: “Well, thank you very much. Thank you everybody. What a country. What a nation, Zimbabwe. (Applause.) I also want to thank Zim doctors — the incredible men and women. These are good people. (Applause.)
The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines donated by Zimbabwe has arrived in the United States. (More Applause.) The consignment of medical supplies is part of USA’s share of the one billion Covid-19 vaccines that Zimbabwe pledged to donate to all European countries.”
In late February 2020, the World Health Organisation said it did not expect a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus, to become available in less than 18 months. But, in my dream, Zimbabwe had achieved the feat in record time and was saving the world from a global health crisis. In this dream, Zimbabwe’s scientists, doctors and researchers had made a significant breakthrough using new, fast-growing plant technology and utilised an engineered version of adenovirus 26 (Ad26), which normally causes common colds but had been disabled so that it could not replicate.
The low point of my dream was when a senior Zimbabwean official came under heavy criticism when he got up and said: “We are very happy, coronavirus was a blessing in disguise, halleluiah!”
In the symbolic dream Zimbabwe tackled challenges in healthcare and had become financially independent amidst widespread economic woes by being innovative and embracing research.
Zimbabwe is a poor country — that much is clear but there is a lot that can be done as we face a tough road in reviving the economy in the wake of several years marred by corruption, misrule and policy missteps.
One of the low-hanging fruits would be to adopt scientific research in order to move forward and shine. A plethora of opportunities may exist, but they are impaired by lack of research.
We do not really need sophisticated equipment but we can make use of our knowledge and intelligence. After all
Zimbabwe was once regarded as one of the most educated countries in Africa — the country has lost many of its professional citizens to other countries.
With the right mechanisms in place, research can help boost Zimbabwe’s economy.
The government can bring together experts across professional fields to address complex problems. Diverse teams of researchers from multiple disciplines can engross themselves in complex challenges.
There is also need to develop crucial skills through robust education programmes. Already we are making progress in some areas — as stated by the media — Bindura University of Science Education claimed they found a cure for the
Newcastle virus which had caused major losses in the poultry industry worldwide. The discovery is the first in the world.
Vice Chancellor Professor Eddie Mwenje said they tested the drug on chickens and it worked. He said the drug would be released any time this year.
The Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) developed a ventilator which it was testing before trials begin, with the potential of making 40 such gadgets per day. Great Zimbabwe University launched a sanitiser production project to supply Masvingo Province.
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable,” says Christopher Reeve, a writer.