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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Whilst I have no qualms about dying in “some corner of a foreign field”, I really don’t want to be the one left dealing with the situation if I am the one left behind. I am certain I could deal with this ghastly scenario because I have family in Kenya - and numerous friends and contacts in most of the eastern and southern African countries. Plus the back-up of a British High Commission or Embassy. Others may not be so well represented as we are.

    It is not just how to deal with the deceased, but how to deal with getting the vehicle (if in one piece) out of the country - or if the vehicle is written-off, how to deal with the bureaucracy of a TIP or Carnet. All this bearing in mind that the statistics show that road traffic accidents are high up there with malaria (and COVID) as likely causes of death.

    I am sorry to bring up this morbid subject.

    However, it should be something all overlanders should think about how they would deal with it. There is a salutary lesson on Horizons Unlimited about a long-term, but unmarried, partnership when one died unexpectedly in Morocco.

    At Pemba, on the Mozambique coast, we met two brothers from Malawi who had been travelling in a convoy with a friend in his own vehicle. The friend died of a heart attack the night they arrived in Pemba. The Malawian brothers were faced with the very difficult scenario of registering the death in Mozambique when neither of them were related to their dead friend, getting the required licences and lead coffin to repatriate the body by road to Malawi, and then working out how they could get the deceased’s vehicle back to Malawi with neither of them being the registered owner.

    Just saying...
    Hi Wazungu, are you talking about Alan, mechanic from Blantyre who died in Pemba a few years ago?

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    For those who have never had to deal with a government or private hospital in Africa, I can tell you just getting to see a doctor is a stressful experience. You have to pay a lot of the fees upfront - even if you are accompanying a patient bleeding profusely from a RTA or someone clearly in the throes of a major heart attack. If this involves getting permission from an overseas insurance company if you don’t have the money, then the patient is likely to die before getting any medical assistance.
    I assume you are not including RSA

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Whilst I have no qualms about dying in “some corner of a foreign field”, I really don’t want to be the one left dealing with the situation if I am the one left behind. I am certain I could deal with this ghastly scenario because I have family in Kenya - and numerous friends and contacts in most of the eastern and southern African countries. Plus the back-up of a British High Commission or Embassy. Others may not be so well represented as we are.

    It is not just how to deal with the deceased, but how to deal with getting the vehicle (if in one piece) out of the country - or if the vehicle is written-off, how to deal with the bureaucracy of a TIP or Carnet. All this bearing in mind that the statistics show that road traffic accidents are high up there with malaria (and COVID) as likely causes of death.

    I am sorry to bring up this morbid subject.

    However, it should be something all overlanders should think about how they would deal with it. There is a salutary lesson on Horizons Unlimited about a long-term, but unmarried, partnership when one died unexpectedly in Morocco.

    At Pemba, on the Mozambique coast, we met two brothers from Malawi who had been travelling in a convoy with a friend in his own vehicle. The friend died of a heart attack the night they arrived in Pemba. The Malawian brothers were faced with the very difficult scenario of registering the death in Mozambique when neither of them were related to their dead friend, getting the required licences and lead coffin to repatriate the body by road to Malawi, and then working out how they could get the deceased’s vehicle back to Malawi with neither of them being the registered owner.

    Just saying...
    You’re right. I had the sad duty 3 years ago of helping a German lady get out of DRC after her German husband was killed by thieves. https://afrique.lalibre.be/25358/rdc...iste-allemand/

    They had foolishly camped in the middle of nowhere instead of at a village and had put up a fight when the thieves came. To make matters worse the mayor of the next big town decided to detain her until the investigation was finalised. She’s did not speak French and was naturally in a hysteric state. Lucky for her she was travelling with other overlanders who helped her through the ordeal.

    Unfortunately the German embassy in Kinshasa was of very little help so the overland community sprang into action to find the right local contacts to get her, her deceased husband and the vehicle out ...

    For me the learning of this sad story was that no matter how dire the situation you are in there are good people out there that can and will help in extreme situations. The other learning is that wild camping is not always wise

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  5. #24
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashtego9 View Post
    Hi Wazungu, are you talking about Alan, mechanic from Blantyre who died in Pemba a few years ago?
    I’m afraid I don’t know what his name was. We were in Pemba MOZ in late November 2014.

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  7. #25
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hylton View Post
    I assume you are not including RSA
    Luckily, I don’t have experience of South African hospitals. I worded my comment carefully.

  8. #26
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by CalDriver View Post
    Perhaps foolhardy, but I admire their perseverance and flexibility. Their story recalls Conrad's Youth to me. Though I could not quite find the appropriate excerpt, these seem close:

    “You fight, work, sweat, nearly kill yourself, sometimes do kill yourself, trying to accomplish something — and you can’t. Not from any fault of yours. You simply can do nothing, neither great nor little — not a thing in the world — not even marry an old maid, or get a wretched 600-ton cargo of coal to its port of destination.”
    ------
    “I remember my youth and the feeling that will never come back any more—the feeling that I could last for ever, outlast the sea, the earth, and all men; the deceitful feeling that lures us on to joys, to perils, to love, to vain effort—to death; the triumphant conviction of strength, the heat of life in the handful of dust, the glow in the heart that with every year grows dim, grows cold, grows small, and expires—and expires, too soon, too soon—before life itself.”

    ------
    Or perhaps my favorite is the most appropriate [in reference to rats fleeing a sinking ship, as I remember]

    “And after some talk we agreed that the wisdom of rats had been grossly overrated, being in fact no greater than that of men.”

    Joseph Conrad, Youth

    To their credit it seems the Ethiopian situation derailed them more than covid, and they did try to postpone their plans for six months. But when they learned they were laid off decided to go for it. Perhaps if they had delayed they would have learned more about the Ethiopian border in advance?
    Yes, that’s true that the Ethiopian border was closed because of the troubles in Tigray, but many borders have been closed for long periods due to Covid. They seem to have left their vehicle in Khartoum.

    I love your quotes from Conrad. Perhaps we can find more from “Heart of Darkness”...

  9. #27
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Thanks Caldriver, booked marked their blog. Amazed they made into Africa via Egypt...wow.

  10. #28
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    I haven't read this one yet, but another overlanding trip that is underway right now: https://catch-the-wind.com
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

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  12. #29
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Thank you, Caldriver, for finding that blog. I miss the Africa Overland Network for access to overlanders’ blogs.

    I see that Catch the Wind ended up spending nearly a year in Zambia in Covid lockdown - mostly camping in a garden in the outskirts of Lusaka. They are light on details and big on enthusiasm. Well done them.

  13. #30
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    I’m afraid I don’t know what his name was. We were in Pemba MOZ in late November 2014.
    Yes , Alan Bonhomme, his memorial service was on the 25th Nov 2014.

    He worked on my car a few times .A very nice guy, unfortunately he had some long term health problems.

    Back in the day Alan had a workshop manager who was blind. Nonetheless he was great at listening to engines and picking out misfiring ,valve issues, belts issues etc. Way better than many full sighted 'experts'.

    After Alan passed away, the workshop and the car rental he owned both closed down.

    Small world.
    Last edited by tashtego9; 2021/02/22 at 03:52 PM.

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  15. #31
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Thanks for the blog with Big Bertha Caldriver. Wow, that's huge. I'm sure a very different experience traveling in a motorhome vs a typical LC or RR. Some days it must be grand when its pouring rain and other days way too much. Be interesting to spend some time in a camp with them. All in all, I'd rather go lighter.

  16. #32
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Some positive(ish) news from Tanzania. I think this is behind a paywall, so I cut/pasted from the NYT:

    Tanzania’s leader declared the pandemic over. Now he’s asking the country to listen to health experts.


    President John Magufuli of Tanzania in 2016. Having cast doubt on coronavirus vaccines and other measures to curb the spread of the pandemic, he is now changing course.Credit...Thomas Mukoya/Reuters


    NAIROBI, Kenya — Officially, Tanzania has not reported a single coronavirus case since April 2020. According to government data, the country has had only 509 positive cases and 21 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
    Almost no one believes those numbers to be credible. But they fit with President John Magufuli’s declaration that the pandemic was “finished.”
    Now, facing criticism from the World Health Organization and skepticism from the public as Tanzanians take to social media to voice concern about a growing number of “pneumonia” cases, Mr. Magufuli is changing course and asking people to take precautions against the coronavirus and wear masks.
    Speaking during a church service in the port city of Dar es Salaam, the president asked congregants to continue praying for the disease to go away but also urged them to follow “advice from health experts.”
    In a statement released by his office, Mr. Magufuli said his government had never barred people from wearing masks but urged them to use only those made in Tanzania.
    “The masks imported from outside the country are suspected of being unsafe,” the statement said.
    Mr. Magufuli’s comments come a day after the director-general of the World Health Organization urged the country to start reporting coronavirus cases and share data.
    Mr. Magufuli, 61, who was re-elected last October, has derided social distancing, publicized unproven treatments as a cure for the virus, questioned the efficacy of coronavirus testing kits supplied by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and said that “vaccines don’t work.”
    Yet health experts, religious entities and foreign embassies have issued warnings about the rising number of cases — and as deaths follow, the reality is harder to dismiss.
    The vice president of the semiautonomous island of Zanzibar, Seif Sharif Hamad, died last week after contracting the virus, according to his political party. The United States Embassy in Tanzania also said in a statement it was “aware of a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 cases” since January.
    Lawmakers are increasingly asking the health authorities to explain why so many people were dying from respiratory problems.
    Speaking on Friday at the funeral of a government official, however, Mr. Magufuli said that citizens should put God first and not be instilled with fear about the virus.
    “It is possible that we wronged God somewhere,” he said. “So let’s stand with God, my fellow Tanzanians.”
    In his statement, the W.H.O. chief, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he had spoken to “several authorities” in the country about their plans to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus but had yet to receive any response.
    “This situation remains very concerning,” he said.
    Abdi Latif Dahir
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

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  18. #33
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Asante sana, Caldriver. I think this Reuters report will hit all the press tomorrow. A long-awaited about-turn by Magfuli - albeit his statement drafted with a lot of face-saving...

    Probably, the result of a lot of pressure from donor nations and, of course, the WHO.

    I am getting reports from my close contacts that there have been a substantial number of unexplained deaths.

  19. #34
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    More fairly positive, if somewhat hedged, news related to vaccines limiting transmissibility: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2...moderna-pfizer
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

  20. #35
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by CalDriver View Post
    More fairly positive, if somewhat hedged, news related to vaccines limiting transmissibility: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2...moderna-pfizer

    Thanks Caldriver, had a close read. many good positive inferences made. I was very lucky yesterday and Mary and I both got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Our community is currently holding 2 vaccinations events per month for those in priority groups and with appointments ( we are not a priority). We showed up incase anyone missed their appointment. Some did not show up so we got it. The clinic folks knew we were trying and hoped the folks on the mission to Africa were going to come in.

  21. #36
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Thanks Caldriver, booked marked their blog.  Amazed they made into Africa via Egypt...wow.  

  22. #37
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Just as a coincidental anecdote:
    The first case of South African variant of covid-19 has just been confirmed in my country. The "importer" was a medical doctor, who has just returned from his vacation in Namibia. What is interesting, and in a way very worrying, is the fact that he has previously been vaccinated (received two shots of Pfeizer vaccine).
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
    -------------------------------------------------------------
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  24. #38
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    Just as a coincidental anecdote:
    The first case of South African variant of covid-19 has just been confirmed in my country. The "importer" was a medical doctor, who has just returned from his vacation in Namibia. What is interesting, and in a way very worrying, is the fact that he has previously been vaccinated (received two shots of Pfeizer vaccine).
    Ugh...that doesn't feel good to hear. I hope at least his case didn't progress to severe illness.
    Blog of our African travels: stuckinlowgear.com

  25. #39
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Quote Originally Posted by ortelius View Post
    Just as a coincidental anecdote:
    The first case of South African variant of covid-19 has just been confirmed in my country. The "importer" was a medical doctor, who has just returned from his vacation in Namibia. What is interesting, and in a way very worrying, is the fact that he has previously been vaccinated (received two shots of Pfeizer vaccine).

    Thank you for the note. From your words I infer that the "importer" did not get sick, but was a carrier for the rest of the community. Is this the case Ortelius? Albeit vaccinnees still can get infected (asymptomatic) or ill, this is terrible in terms of social responsibility as one never knows if is a carrier or not.
    Last edited by apfac; 2021/02/27 at 07:26 PM.

  26. #40
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    Default Re: Covid and extended overlanding, what will make you feel good enough to go?

    Actually, this doctor (and two members of his family, who were with him in Namibia) developed the symptoms a few days aftet their return. He was vaccinated (second shot) in January.

    There is no info on how severely ill they currently are, but he has had quite some contacts with his colleagues and patients at work, even when he already started to show some symptoms. So our epidemiologists are currently very bussy with detecting and isolating all who were in closer contacts with him.

    (Maybe not quite appropriate to mention this, but his apparently was a hunting trip to Namibia. Seems like a bad carma striking back.)
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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