Corona Easter

*Mwas Douglas*

“Take, eat; this is my body.” … “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood…”

These words were uttered close to 2000 years ago. They have since been told and retold, and closely observed by generations over the centuries. We may not be a bunch of holy rollers as we must have been at the time, nevertheless, this has never shattered the impulse of indulging in and satisfying our souls with ‘earthly pleasures’. Easter is a time to make merry; be it spending quality time with family or, nyama choma and lots of booze to rest on it; this has been the norm for most of us, myself included. If it’s the former, most of us tend to reminisce about the good old times as we look forward to sumptuous meals, bad jokes and perhaps, if we are lucky, a jig from the young ones. Or at least, I do. 

I was in a matatus when a middle aged man at the back suddenly yelled into his cell phone, “Justo, leo itabidi unifungie shift man!” He paused and yelled some more, “Mtoi bado ako hosi…hajapona.” Apparently the response from the other end had jarred some more. Calm was restored to his wrinkled face as he muttered, almost to himself, “Mungu yuko”. He hung up.

Everybody in the matatu was now staring at him awkwardly. They didn’t say it but I could see it in their masked faces. Their eyes spoke volumes. Cold black eyes. Sinister eyes. Some unconsciously kept their distance. They all thought his son had the virus and that he probably had it too. Being Easter, this couldn’t have come at a worse time. I felt sorry for him. He was a man probably on his way to visit his son and hoping like hell that he would be okay, and here we were assuming the worst.

I do long for the times I could just dart into one of those joints; joints with the ‘USITEME MATE KWA SINK’ and ‘USIINGIE JIKONI’ signs where I could knock myself out with some nice food without a care in the world. Take aways are not much fun.

I long for my all-nighter sojourns. It would be nice to once again club hop or to simply sit in a bar and drown copious amounts of beer. I miss church too, believe it or not, I do.

I long for the days when long, hearty conversations wouldn’t be muffled by sweaty masks and I wouldn’t have to shout at the top of my lungs just to chat with the closest person.

I suddenly long for the Nairobi Metropolitan and the coast; forbidden fruits certainly taste sweeter. Not that I had any prior engagements abroad but the assurance that I can fly out whenever and wherever I wanted would be comforting.

Its funny how we take simple things for granted. As Easter slides by, we now realize how these would now be a welcome addition to the otherwise boring lives we have been accustomed to lately. Its not that these measures are too extreme, no, on the contrary if we are to beat this virus and return to normalcy, its imperative that we follow the directives to the letter. God knows I’ve frequently washed my hands with soap and water, and sanitized them countless times. My fingerprints are beginning to fade away. And as for touching my face, my face and mouth are suddenly itchy. Very itchy. Why now? I have no idea.  I just can’t help it.

“Haiya! Kwani ulinyoa nywele babe…Shiko, si umekua mkubwa, ati uko classe three?” In well to do homes, fathers who are seldom at home and are ever in search of the elusive greener pastures are busy learning about their families. It’s as if they’ve never met. Once the curfew was announced this was inevitable. Worse still, a total lock-down seems to be not in the so distant future.

This Easter would have been the perfect time to vacation. Maybe a full-board week in the fully furnished and serviced villas of the majestic Leopard Beach Resort and Spa or a week at the Sarova White sands down in Diani would have been in order. He would of course enjoy single malts at any of the a la carte bars as his kids and wife pampered themselves in the spas and sipped cocktails in the bistros. For the truly adventurous souls, spending the Easter holidays at the gold eco-rated Karen Blixen camp or perhaps enjoying the grandeur of the magnificent Maasai Mara wouldn’t be too bad.

The 2020 Easter season was a sombre one in Nakuru too. Lake Nakuru, a saline world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, had only 22 international visitors down from 612 international visitors in 2019. All year round and especially this season, there is usually a frenzy of activities with tourists teeming to the brim by day and both the locals and tourists, exploring the explosive nightlife. Too Bad.

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