‘If we behave normally, this disease will treat us abnormally’. If you are a Kenyan or have been in the country since the beginning of this year, or you just follow news of things that have been happening in Kenya, I don’t have to tell you who said that. We all are not strangers to the invisible enemy known as Covid-19 which has forced humans to change their usual way of life and behave ‘abnormally’ in order to mitigate the effects of the disease. Some of these abnormal behaviours Governments all over the world have been urging their citizens to adopt are social distancing, avoid handshake, wearing masks and washing hands or sanitizing. Some time ago, staying at home the whole day and night would have earned you titles like lazy, introvert, antisocial but now even your own employer urges you to work from home because you risk getting infected or you could be a potential spreder of the virus if you are already infected but are asymptomatic (not showing any symptoms).
We are told leaders should lead by examples and you would expect this would be the case but in the recent past, the opposite has been the case. Social gathering was banned as a way of making sure social distancing is actualized but politicians have been defying this directive by holding rallies with people mingling most of them without masks and huggling together waiting in anticipation for whatever freebies the so called leaders will drop their way.
It is not once or twice we have come across news about local leaders that have been arrested for holding parties and engaging in drinking sprees in various pubs/bars yet we all know the joints are not yet allowed to open for the public. With this leaders as role models, I found it hypocritical when members of the public acted surprised when some teens were arrested in the dead of the night past curfew hours riding in an ambulance, filming themselves drinking alcohol and laughing their hearts out merry making. They just learnt from the best, their so called leaders.
Another directive was put in place is that burials should be attended by not more than fifteen people. We all have noticed that some funerals of people or kins of those in positions of power in the country were being held before a huge gathering of people in their hundreds while those who seem to be of a leser god are restricted to just a handful of mourners. The unfortunate event of a husband who had to spend the night under a lorry alone in the rain with his wife’s remains in the casket which he had to push it under a lorry to protect it from being rained on is still fresh in our minds. The other family members including his children and mother were turned back to malindi yet they had reached tharaka nithi. How they managed to pass through all the other check posts without a hitch indicating they had met all the requirements to travel then end up being turned back when they were just about to arrive home is still a riddle everyone who followed up that story still tries to crack.
With all these happening, it is no wonder some people in the community don’t believe covid-19 is real. With this notion in mind, the war against this invisible enemy will not be won any time soon. Sadly, the infection curve will continue rising and more lives will be lost to the pandemic.