Drop lame excuses and take coronavirus jab

Thursday, August 19th, 2021 00:00 |

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When it comes to the Covid-19 vaccine, I am not exactly Saul turned Paul. It is just that I suffer from procrastination when I cannot sense imminent danger.

I am also a victim of the Kenyan malaise of last minute-ism or the eleventh hour rush. 

On a chilly morning last Friday, I took up the gauntlet and applied some deviousness to jump the queue at Nairobi Hospital and, voila!

In no time, I was given the first coronavirus jab squarely on my left bicep. I must apologise for short-circuiting the process, but it was all in good faith!

No one doubts the fact that Covid-19 is the most controversial, albeit dangerous human health challenge in modern history.

The statistics are self-evident. At the time of drafting this article, data by the World Health Organisation showed that there were over 207 million Covid-19 cases and more than 4.3 million deaths from the pandemic globally. 

Many of us have survived the virus by unscientific methods like playing hide-and-seek, playing dumb, praying without ceasing, taking all manner of concoctions or simply being fatalistic.

For the unvaccinated, it is now a high time to stop playing Russian roulette and do the most sensible thing.

No one is saying that vaccines are the panacea to the pandemic. Furthermore, there are many conspiracy theories surrounding vaccines in general, including that the mandatory baby jabs could be a cause of autism which afflicts my 11-year-old son.

But there is no other medical way to defend oneself against viruses. Whether Big Pharma is making a killing from people’s misery is another conversation altogether. 

Contrary to the misinformation and pseudo-science doing the rounds about the side effects of the vaccine, I felt nothing.

First, never has an injection felt so painless. I kept monitoring my physiological reactions the whole day and even had the audacity of taking a few in the afternoon, if you know what am saying! 

But I noted that many Kenyans are now dropping their shenanigans and rushing for the jab.

A wise man changes his mind sometimes, but a fool never. But unfortunately, the Swahili say “sikio la kufa halisikii dawa” (a deaf ear will not be cured with medicine). 

The signs of the times are clear, going by the government’s recent granting permission to public  Service Vehicles to resume carrying full capacity of passengers.

May be it is wishful thinking, which I believe is a psychological preparation for the full opening of the economy soon.

There comes a time when we must bite the bullet. Apart from the grand theft of Covid-19 funds, the government has tried its best to avert a social and health crisis from the pandemic. 

Were it not for the corruption, it could have done an excellent job and left an indelible legacy at this historical moment. However, the government cannot baby-sit its citizens forever.

It is time to pull the stops, which will force the procrastinators, pandemic deniers and other sceptics, to make a bee-line to the nearest vaccination centre. 

Even Tanzanians, some of the worst Covid sceptics particularly during the second term of the late President,John Magufuli, have thrown in the towel and are going in droves for the vaccine.

President Suluhu Hassan is leading from the front and rallying her citizens to change their minds as well.

This is not a matter of whether you like it or not. It is simply a matter of survival, the last line of defence against the pandemic.

Even if we all die from the vaccine, “kifo cha wengi ni arusi” (there is comfort in numbers) – cites a close relative.

May be it is reassuring to know that more than 4.5 billion doses of vaccines have so far been administered worldwide. But don’t drop your guard just yet. Mask up, social distance, sanitise. — The writer comments on international affairs

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