We bounced into 2020 with such happiness. We proclaimed hope, prosperity, success and prophesied that good things would happen in 2020. But commencing another decade has hit us with what we little knew would befall humanity at large, Corona Virus.
Oh my mother country. How my heart wails for you. How can I look into the depths of your inadequacy and the emptiness of your pockets without welling up for your people? But you are strong and have conquered a lot in the past. However, you need to armor yourself, a little better this time, for what you are fighting is not like anything you have seen before.
Take this advice and live,
or leave it and perish, prepare for the
worst, and start today.
Could this be the end of humanity? Us?
Of course, I don’t think so, but who are Kenyans? Kenyans, we are the breed of people who amid all blows that hit them, joked about everything and laughed about it all through the media. Same people that made jokes about extreme accidents, locusts, debts, and every other monster that did need a stern face to face. (but I know how badly we need that laughter.…) But then, in the midst of making memes about the one big giant that spares neither the rich nor the poor, Covid-19 to speak of, the reality of this disease is distantly blended in its assumed effects.
Let us first agree, Corona Virus has challenged the human survival and existence, right? Well, in all the conspiracies that I have come across concerning the ultimate end of the human race, a deadly viral infection has never featured and so, I don’t think this disease will wipe out the human race. Maybe.
DID YOU KNOW? that Covid-19 has badly shaken the world economies than the world has seen in the last 3 decades?
Can our government save the sinking ship?
“Only three things happen naturally in organization, friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership,” Peter Drucker.
Practically, it’s to the government that we turn to when pandemics strike, when we fight over land, when we have no food or when we have all sort of problems. Like some real deities, based on physical presence and not faith, the government became the center of the solutions we couldn’t find by ourselves. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live without a government? Well, that question is too categorical. How about we rephrase it to something like, imagine when the government itself is hit by the pandemic we are seeking solution from? Who saves it at such?
Aside from that. Have you heard of what some governments are doing to help the citizens survive this pandemic? The US, the UK, Germany, Japan and the badly hit Italy, have released trillions of cash, oh, sorry, ‘kitty’, which is aimed at awakening badly hit small businesses and generally helping the citizens run their life with ease at this critical time. The US itself released a package of trillions that Kenya, would read as its annual financial budget for 50+ years. That’s wow. I know right?
I am in no way going to compare the US, with Kenya, but, choose to believe it or not, we are certainly not in a position to release funds for every Kenyan as a kitty to help us survive the ordeal. Right? What do we do then?
Let us get some formal data here. We have 7 confirmed cases of Corona Virus infection in Kenya as of 2200hrs, 18th March 2020. In East Africa, we are second leading with the number of infections after Rwanda. Luckily, unlike in Egypt and Sudan, there are no death cases in Kenya so far. Our good government is in “search” of all persons who may have made contact with these seven patients. I’m only worried the contact link is possibly too big to trace because a contacted person made contact with a surface that was later in contact with another person, who high-fived someone else, and someone else kissed his spouse and the spouse used money to buy some bananas after riding on a Captain motorcycle on a blue helmet.
The helmet, the bananas, the motorcycle, are all possible agents. I mean the chances of terminating the chain are thin. Much more worrying, with the sloth pace we are setting testing machines at county levels, could 7 positive cases be a hypothetical value? Could the real number of cases be slaying somewhere in time only to explode into our ears when it’s too late? Why do we have to send samples to Nairobi for testing while our Mr Mutahi said we have enough testing kits?
No blasphemy game now, but let us heed to the precautions at hand.
Why not to panic..
Fortunately, our government has taken some measures not only to protect its citizens from contracting the virus but also prevent the breakdown of their economical lives. We have had county governments set aside special rooms to quarantine any cases of infected patients, though not as many as what is expected to be needed. Sad fact though, some counties are confessing that the kitty they had set aside to fight the virus is already over even before they have handled cases. Institutions have closed down and precautions generally shared with the public. The question that we’ll have to ask ourselves is whether or not the measures put in place will effectively stop the virus from spreading, spare the economy and bring back the normalcy of life to every Kenyan. Sadly, it is not close to enough.
Unfortunately, we are living in a time where basically, Africa hasn’t had enough clean water to drink, leave alone wash hands every now and then. We are as well living in a culture that doesn’t embrace that sort of extreme cleanliness. Maybe this outbreak will force us into a level of hygiene we have never thought of but, will the covid-19 wait?
Let’s break down our extreme dependency on the government and consider covid-19 as a human problem.
Now, Kenyans, please listen and listen very carefully. There is a way out and we can even save ourselves and the government from the worst. Which way is that?
Considering the huge threat that we are all facing, let us talk about Covid-19 as the sane people that we are, or are we not?
The worst thing about this disease is its mode of transmission. Imagine a hard-head virus that sticks on shelves, sinks, books, door knobs, car seats, elevator rails, lift buttons, laptop keyboard and mouse. The number of surfaces I can talk about is infinite. Have you been to the shop this morning to get some bread or milk? That money can be an agent. Or did mama Fredrick handshake you vigorously as she likes. Oh, her hands are agents too. Am not getting personal but, are you accustomed to good morning kisses and hugs? Those lips and contact body surfaces are possible agents of carrying covid-19 virus. You touch your mouth, nose, and eyes with the virus on your hands and boom, positive. Well, that is something to worry about, especially when we hardly wash our hands before meals.
Although many scientists and people are having sleepless nights to bring down the virus, this is how to not to go down with it. China and South Korea have tried it and its outcomes are extremely intriguing. In fact, report says, there are hardly new cases of covid-19 infections in China. Why? Discipline.
I must admit that we have had our own share in indiscipline. We don’t like making queues. We don’t observe curfews and barely heed to all problems that demand discipline. We are not good at deadlines, even when the government scares us with the whole GSU forces. However, the fight of this disease at personal level and the ease of this burden on our government is highly dependent on how disciplined we choose to be. To beat the virus, we need to wash our hands. To wash our clothes, to avoid contact with money, to observe social distancing and to stay at home. We need to regularly sanitize the surfaces we are constantly in touch with, from TV switches to kids’ toys. How simple is that to say? To be aired on news and to be written on the newspapers?
VERY VERY SIMPLE.
But, very hard thing to do for in-disciplined people. It’s shocking that there are people who even now are advocating that Covid-19 is only mythical. Who is insane enough not to believe in some real virus existence? Can we for once stop being ignorant? You need not to loiter around when you don’t have to. Stop going to that evening soccer match. Stop going to the shopping center to catch up with village rumors. Embrace mobile money services, even as the shopkeeper, don’t risk your health and that of those around you for cash money. Ask your kids to stay indoors, don’t even ask, make them stay indoors, not to share towels and lollipops and chewing gums.
And most importantly, WASH YOUR HANDS! I mean wash them now after you are done scrolling on your phone, wipe that mouse. Are you travelling to Bungoma in a bus? Don’t assume the virus is not there yet, wash your hands!! Are you a believer? Observe your religion from home, pray from home, worship from home. As a driver, is your mat clean enough? Are you doing your part in being a good Kenyan and better still, being a good human being by ensuring travelers have washed their hands? Are you being a good retailer and make sure you don’t unnecessarily hike up commodity prices as this critical time? Just imagine how washing your hands can save a whole bunch of other people, from relatives to friends. Are you disciplined enough to do that?
There are philanthropists out there who are doing quite a remarkable job in helping fight Corona virus. Those with super hotels like Ibrahimović are using these hotels as reserves for doctors who are fighting the disease. For free! The Asian billionaire, Jack Ma, has donated thousands of kits and masks to Africa, Kenya included. I’m only hoping that our own billionaires, Chris, Uhuru, Manu, Kahara, Raila, mention them, and even at personal level, we will all do something. Our country has been hit by pandemics since we began 2020, but Covid-19 has challenged our humanity in particular. Please be human enough to share resources with the extremely affected people.
One final thing, share the right information with your mum and dad, your daughters and sons, your friends. Tell your grandmother to stay at home. She doesn’t need her grand kids to be happy this season. The late professor Wangari Mathai said that, there is opportunity in every difficult moment.
We surely don’t want our streets full of coughing friends, we don’t want to have our hospitals full of sick people, we don’t want to have our sister sick with Covid-19, we don’t want our shops to close down, streets deserted, towns dead, transport system knocked out, our lives scattered. We don’t want the Kenyan air filled with cries of giving up in the fight of the virus. We don’t want to lose those we love and cherish most. So, stop touching your face, just stop. And if we closely observe that, trust me, we will have found a way to cover the insufficiency of health facilities we have, antiviral medications, money and a whole lot. Good news is coming. As strong as we have always been, let us remember that hope is the last thing to die. Just stay disciplined.