Our story begins in the not so far away future. My character’s name is Alyssa. She is doing her best to fight Covid-19. The virus has been around for two years.
Alyssa had been a doctor at George hospital for a long time but the past couple of years had been more difficult than she ever imagined possible.
Besides being a doctor, Alyssa was a researcher working with other scientists at the local university, trying to find a cure for Covid-19.
The new wave of the coronavirus in the beginning of winter became an extremely stressful period at the hospital and university as the number of infections grew with the virus constantly mutating.
But at the start of spring, when the president of South Africa decided to relax the lockdown restrictions as the number of daily infections seemed to be going down, Alyssa and her friend, Cassie, decided to make the trip to Namibia they'd had to postpone since 2020.
And so off they went to the town of Lüderitz.
Alyssa started to relax and enjoy the desert and beaches, exploring her surroundings every day.
One day while out in the desert they saw a rare, brown hyena. It looked sick so Alyssa collected its saliva, scooping it up with the leaf of a succulent.
When they went back to their hotel, Alyssa examined the saliva with her super microscope and found a virus with a similar design to Covid-19.
The next day she went back to the desert and spotted the same hyena. Quietly, she observed it chew then spit out a small melon.
Alyssa was fascinated by the fruit and soon found they were growing in abundance nearby. She picked a melon off a plant and found some more of the hyena’s saliva on it.
Alyssa went back and inspected the melon and saliva.
It was strange, she thought. The saliva from the day before still had the virus on it however the new saliva didn’t.
The more she looked into her microscope, the more excited she got. She realised the melon that she found the hyena chewing had a waxy protective layer on its skin to protect it from the sun. That’s what made the saliva different.
This was exciting! Alyssa was beginning to suspect this protective layer was helping the hyena for it seemed to have a special ingredient in it that help to get rid of a virus the animal had.
She wondered if the plant could do the same for Covid-19. So she went back home and told her colleagues what she’d discovered.
They realised that this could be the breakthrough they'd been hoping for. They contacted all the local hospitals and botanical specialists and they got to work, constructing greenhouses for growing the melons.
With a lot of effort they managed to make a cure they named the Namib Melon cure. They tested it and it worked very well.
They communicated with other countries and shipped the ingredient across the world until everybody had received it, and that was the end of Covid-19.
Alyssa was delighted because now she had achieved what she’d been working for. She was especially happy and grateful her friend Cassie had convinced her to get some rest and go with her to Namibia.
Without taking the break, Alyssa wouldn't have had her breakthrough.
© KAY NOLI 2021
ABOUT THE WRITER
Kay is from Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape. This is the 11-year-old's fictional story about finding a cure for coronavirus. Besides her love for writing, Kay enjoys travelling and particularly liked going to Namibia where, before the lockdown, she tasted the melon she writes about. She also enjoys archery, reading, crocheting, playing with her cat, building Lego, playing soccer and climbing trees.