We mustn’t let 10,000 cases projection become reality

Friday, April 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Mbagathi District Hospital. Photo/Courtesy

Hesbon Owilla 

It is slightly more than two weeks since the first coronavirus case was reported in Kenya and a lot has happened since.

The highlight has probably been the recovery of two patients who had been isolated at Mbagathi hospital. 

The coming out of the two offers  hope  at this time to a population that has been overwhelmed with messages of a ravaging virus, with infections and deaths surging across the globe. 

You see, in times of crisis, the public turns to the media, not just for information but to learn how they can mitigate the crisis.

This is why the media is remains critical. They offer credible information at a time when propaganda, conspiracy theories and fear messages are flooding their inbox and timelines on social media platforms. 

The news of recoveries was, therefore, a welcome relief and reminder that Covid-19 is not necessarily a death sentence.

Ideally, we would want to celebrate the recoveries and romanticise the triumph over the virus, but the reality is that the war is not over and we must learn from the pain that these two patients have gone through and commit not go that route. 

The infections in Kenya stood at 81 as at Wednesday and the Health ministry has projected that the figure could grow up to 10,000 by the end of the month if Kenyans do not adhere to government directives to tame the spread of the virus.

But it should not get to that. Our resolve now should be to follow the government guidelines to combat the coronavirus. Stay home and maintain hygiene and physical distance.

You see, the corona virus only gets to be active when it secures a residence in our bodies, and when we follow the social distancing guidelines to the hilt and behave as if we either have it or the person next to us has it, our bodies will no longer be the conduits to help it spread.  

Our objective now should be to not to the 10,000 projection by end of April. Kenyans have a big role to play and an achievement to look forward to.

We already know so much about the virus and thanks to both the mainstream and social media, Kenyans are updated on the virus toll, infections and recoveries across the world.

We know how the situation is in hard hit countries such as Italy, Spain and the US and we even know how they got where they are. We are thus informed on what not to do.

It is important to expose yourself to messages that provide pathways to behaviour change that will stop the spread.

No need to forward or share that scary message that instil fear. What we need is to only focus on messages that will help us stop the virus from finding residence in our bodies because that way we cannot pass it on, and if all of us stopped it, then it will die. 

Kenyans are a very resilient and caring people and we unleash our best when our backs are up against the wall.

We will beat this COVID-19 and we need to start by making the 10,000 projection not happen. —The writer is a PhD candidate in political communication

More on News