Let’s uplift each other as coronavirus wrecks economy

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe (right) with Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna (centre) and acting Director General of Health Patrick Amoth addresses the media at Afya House in Nairobi. Photo/File

Hesbon Owilla

To remind citizens of the seriousness of coronavirus, leaders across the globe have been warning that “the worst is yet to come.

This phrase keeps reverberating in my mind. Our own Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has told us as much,  saying  the number of infection is bound to rise. 

But even as we brace ourselves for the worst and do our best to weather this storm, we must play our part and adhere to government guidance on the crisis. 

In the last few days of staying at home, the fast lane of the hustle and bustle of life in the city has been replaced by a fairly simple life. Parents now have time to bond with their children.

Martin Luther King Jr, in his analysis of the state of the US race relations asked; where do we go from here: chaos or community? 

Today, we can only  say that the dark clouds of the Covid-19 storm will soon pass and the fog of fear will be lifted from communities.

But we certainly have a perfect opportunity to build a resilient community and unlearn the things that have made us thrive in chaos. 

It is a pleasant revelation that we can get home early after work and enjoy that sunset with our loved ones.

Interestingly we are also learning that no one has to kill himself in the office to make that extra thousand for an expensive holiday when you’ve got it every day while taking a walk in the evening. 

You see, the usual evening coffee or drink dates have been sacrificed for the greater good of containing the spread of the virus.

In doing so, news habits are nurtured effortlessly as some coins that would have otherwise been spent on non-essential activities are saved.

Economist would say it is bad for the economy, but there is a flipside in any adversity.  

Granted, not all of us have that disposable income for these evening tete-a-tetes and probably this is the time to spend that coin to help out a fellow Kenyan who is adversely affected by the virus.

Support that neighbour, that security guard, the mama mboga or the tout in your local stage who is struggling to make his daily bread during this ‘stay home’  period.

Like the humming bird in the story popularised by the legendary Prof Wangari Maathai, we are all playing our part.

Some giving up on our luxuries while the bulk of us giving up on our very basic needs. For instance, women who wash clothes to make a living are having a hard time—people are apprehensive and for good reasons. 

Remember we are in this together and the women are just but a microcosm of the many Kenyans who are struggling to get opportunities to make that Sh100 to afford their families the next meal.

We need to get to the other end of the tunnel and there is a greater need to be there for each other. 

Our acts of kindness will most likely help all to stay at home, keep us safe and most importantly, hasten the passing of the Covid-19 storm. —The writer is a PhD candidate in political communication

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