No one knows how long this (COVID-19) Pandemic will last. Because, the only perennial plan of action to counter this pandemic which has mushroomed across the globe, is to generate a vaccine. A vaccine, which according to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, takes between a year to 18 months for a vaccine to be developed.
This is because the scientists have to get a better understanding of the virus’ genetic makeup, how it infects cells and how to effectively treat it. This has left the medics with no other option but to only treat the symptoms. How painful!
Everyone is urged to frequently wash their hands or better still, stay at home to stay safe, which is very okay. From March 27th, people are not to stay out later than 7pm, failure to which, you’ll have the authorities to contend with. This I say is a good thing, since it might curb the evils done during dark hours i.e. robbery, stealing etcetera.
But wait, will this help?
Here is what I mean, other than Kenya experiencing a drastic drop in her economy, which no doubt will be endured globally, hunger will kill many.
You will agree with me that the greatest percentage of Kenyans are ‘hustlers’, who have to go out and work so as to get what to eat in the evening. People most of whom can barely afford three meals a day. Businesses have closed down, most of them to be precise, and those are the sources of our income.
Let’s take our minds in the past a little. We’ve always had food, our jobs and our businesses but people still died of hunger. The Global Hunger Index ranks Kenya at position 77 out of 119 countries in the developing world on food security.
According to its annual report, hunger in Kenya is still ‘alarming’ and 1 in every 3 Kenyans suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition annually. With that in mind, the government could still do little to prevent it’s citizens from dying of hunger.
Now tell me, should this pandemic continue into April, let’s say May, or maybe should there be a complete lockdown in Kenya, will the government be able to provide food to the more than 44.9% of Kenyans living a middle class life?
That should not be our worry. Our only worry should be, should this pandemic persist, a good number of Kenyans might die of hunger, even more than those who might die of COVID-19. I don’t know who needs to hear this, but the people living in the semi arid places in Kenya should get food in time should this pandemic persist, God forbid. And if possible, the salaried people should not be laid off their salaries. Instead, those people who get huge salaries (Politicians, CEOs etc.) are the ones whose salaries should be reduced.
Another appeal is to our authorities. This is not the time to take advantage of fellow citizens to exploit them, beat them and do all the nasty staff the police always do to the citizens. If there is a time you need to be soft, it’s now. The virus does not chose who to infect.
Lastly, this is the best advice I can give to my fellow Kenyans, STAY HOME, STAY SAFE. It’s the only remedy since no vaccine neither cure has been found for COVID-19, not yet. If you feel you are pushed to the wall, I would tell you to join online businesses. They are the only businesses not closed and it’s the only place money is still flowing. Above all let’s all seek God during this perilous moment.