The worsening economic crisis in Zimbabwe really hit us hard this week.
When somebody Tweeted over the weekend that he had failed to get high blood pressure medication for his mother, I read the tweet in passing and never gave it much thought.
Little did I know that a few hours later I would face the same dilemma that would leave me in utter despair.
My husband is diabetic and takes medication daily to control his sugar levels.
We buy his medication monthly as it is not advisable to buy the tablets in bulk but at the time of writing this column, we had failed to get the tablets because the price had risen almost tenfold in bond notes or else was only available in the elusive US dollar.
The monthly cost of his tablets has been around $45 (P450) but on Tuesday it had shot up to $300 bond notes in some pharmacies while in one major pharmacy in Bulawayo they were selling the drugs in strictly US dollars and charging $90 (P900).
Like most businesses, the said pharmacy no longer takes bond notes, eco-cash (mobile money) or accepts swiping.
We were left with no choice but to put my husband’s health in jeopardy while desperately trying to source the drugs from here in Botswana and South Africa because we surely were never prepared for this.
While prices have been on a free fall since last Monday when the Finance Minister announced the new monetary policy and officially declared that the bond was no longer equal to the US dollar, I never imagined we would personally be hit this hard, especially with regards to medication.
Yes, we have seen prices of commodities going up on a daily basis and filling stations running empty or with long winding queues but we never anticipated that drug prices would also shoot up.
And by the way, the bond, which used to be at par with the US dollar was trading at 1:3 as of Tuesday afternoon, meaning that US$100 was equivalent to $300.
However, as already mentioned, the surrogate currency has largely been rendered irrelevant.
The saddest part is, somehow I am not surprised; anything is possible in Zimbabwe!
We have been in similar if not worse situations before, with our leaders shamelessly telling us to remain strong and focused – baseless spiel that clueless President EmmersonMnanganga reiterated to the nation on Monday.
It’s easy for him to waffle and tell us to be resilient because all is good for him.
He doesn’t know the pain of seeing a loved one failing to take daily medication and putting their lives at risk because of the prevailing economic situation.
He doesn’t know the pain of working hard, saving up, only for those savings to be worth nothing because of poor monetary policies.
He doesn’t know the effects of prices changing daily if not twice a day because this means no more planning.
We really are in a fix and sadly there is no solution in sight, all we can to do is brace for darker days to come while praying for a miracle to happen even though, in out heart of hearts, we know it’s impossible.