Let’s keep ourselves safe as we celebrate

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020 00:00 |
Security teams beefed up.

Kenyans are set to celebrate this year’s Christmas holidays amidst a pandemic that has ravaged the country for more than nine months.

Traditionally, the festivities present an opportunity for families to get together as they reflect on events of the year.

For many it is a moment of thanksgiving and merry-making as they take a break from work and travel to the countryside to catch up with relatives, or go on holiday.

But this year has been painful for Kenyans, and indeed the whole world, some of whom have lost relatives and livelihoods to the pandemic. For these, there will be little to cheer about. 

Indeed, this year’s festivities will be complicated by the Covid-19 protocols against social gatherings in addition to the curfew that limits the time people can conduct traditional routines. 

It should be emphasised that Kenyans must continue to observe the protocols even as they celebrate, by keeping social distance, wearing masks and washing hands regularly. They must not let their guard down.

The same caution should be exercised during travel. Police reports indicate that the number of road accidents increase during festivities. This calls for discipline and strong adherence to traffic regulations to prevent loss of lives.

Authorities yesterday indicated that an additional 5,000 Kenya Prison Service officers had been gazetted to support their colleagues from the other services in fighting crime and enforcing traffic regulations this festive season.

Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said besides use of technology and air patrols, additional members of the National Transport and Safety Authority will be deployed to man highways.

According to the police chief, the additional measures had been introduced because of a spike in road fatalities due to drunk-driving. 

Police patrols will also be intensified to prevent crime that tends to soar during the period, especially in the main cities. 

Law enforcement aside, everything will boil down to individual responsibility.

Kenyans must take personal actions geared to not only protect themselves but also their relatives and friends.

Individuals must be restrained from excessive indulgences and reckless behaviour that could endanger themselves and fellow citizens.

Above all, families should celebrate with moderation to avoid the likelihood of draining resources that would be required for more critical responsibilities next year.

We must also take a moment to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate in our midst. 

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