Theletsane speaks  on Covid battle

Theletsane speaks on Covid battle

MASERU – A month ago, Vodacom Premier League giants Matlama announced that nine of their players had tested positive for Covid-19.
The news stunned the club and Matlama’s positive tests also included two members of their technical team.
The testing was done after the Lesotho Football Association (LEFA) ordered mandatory testing of all players in the league following rising number of positive cases in the country.

The mandatory testing revealed that about five percent of players in the league returned positive samples, numbers which Premier League Management Committee (PLMC) spokesperson Qamako Mahao said were concerning at the time.
The Matlama players that tested positive went into isolation and they included fan favourite Makume Theletsane whose routine was ruined out of the blue.

A month on from his positive test, Theletsane spoke to thepost about his time isolated from the outside world and he called the period the “worst feeling of loneliness.”
The South African born player said he was tired hearing about Covid-19 before testing positive.
Even though Theletsane personally knew people that had died from the virus including a former coach, he admitted he still did not take the virus as seriously as he should have done.

Of course, that all changed when he tested positive and realised coronavirus is just not a talk, it is real.
“I was tired of this, I just didn’t understand what this thing that just came and changed the whole world and stopped everything was. I thought it was just stories but now it has changed my life,” Theletsane told thepost from his home in South Africa.

Five days before testing, Theletsane started losing appetite and could not eat, he said. He dismissed it as nothing but those symptoms were followed by headaches, loss of breath and fever.
Theletsane said he assumed it was the common cold because it was winter but his health kept getting worse and when the time for testing came he was not shocked when he was one of the 11 members of the club who tested positive.

Theletsane said he is telling his story to raise awareness for those who still doubt the virus is real. He said it is important to obey safety protocols and to take all the precautions to avoid being infected.
“I spend my days indoors now,” Theletsane said.
“I don’t want to go outside and meet with people, I am scared of getting infected, if I do go outside I make sure I am protected. Maybe people will take it seriously when they have been infected by it,” he said.

Theletsane said the isolation in addition to lockdowns in his home country over the past year challenged him mentally. He said video games and watching football on television is what helped keep him sane and he is longing to return to the field and play football.
“It’s not a normal situation, you get stressed and the only thing I was doing during that time was watching TV and playing video games all the time,” he said.

Unfortunately for Theletsane, football is still suspended in the country and no decision has been made about its return.
However, it is looking more and more likely that the current 2021/21 season will be aborted in order to prepare for a new one.
The stoppage has cost Lesotho a representative in the CAF Champions League next season and, if the season does get cancelled, players and fans alike will be praying the new season starts next month as planned, otherwise they could face another long spell without football.

Despite the layoff, some Premier League clubs have already taken steps to prepare for the new season. Manonyane has already had their players vaccinated against the coronavirus while Matlama are set to vaccinate their player this week.
Theletsane will miss out as he is in South Africa but said he will get his jab in his home country, especially if the requirements to return to football include that all players must be vaccinated.

Theletsane said he is not against the vaccine but still needs more education on it before getting the jab.
Meanwhile, speaking on Radio Lesotho on Monday, the PLMC’s spokesperson, Qamako Mahao, urged Premier League clubs to get their players vaccinated saying it would make it easier for football to return to action if they do.

Tlalane Phahla

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