Coronavirus: The middle class is our weakest link

What you need to know:

You can’t rely on the middle class for voting. You also can’t rely on the middle class to stop spreading of this virus.

One of the worst things about this whole coronavirus situation in Kenya is the middle class.

If you think about it, the middle class are the weakest link, and not just because we don’t vote. Everyone already knows that the apathy with the system and the lack of interest in it leads to majority of a shrinking poser middle class not voting at all. In fact, cocooned in gated communities and access to private insurance, the middle class barely even care that Kenya operates at a 25 percent hunger scale, with 40 percent poverty and 85 percent informal labour statistics, according to economist David Ndii, because it doesn’t affect them.

But I digress. You can’t rely on the middle class for voting. You also can’t rely on the middle class to stop spreading a virus so virulent that multiple countries are on lockdown, even as it enters its third wave of infection in countries way more developed than ours, like Hong Kong.

Look at the numbers. People were still flying into Kenya up until Wednesday night (and who is in charge of stopping things like that? Someone from the middle class, I bet). They have ignored government directives (to be fair, everyone has been doing that, and that is a separate problem in itself) and expose numerous people to this virus. I doubt we’ll be able to count how many people have been exposed at this point.

That being said, no one wants to go on lockdown, but if the middle class continues to behave this way – refusing quarantine, spreading the virus, avoiding ‘capture’ and not literally snitching on people they know are flying into the country and flouting the law – then lockdown is inevitable, and we have no one to blame but ourselves. If the middle class continue to treat this frontline measure as an excuse to drink and party, then we will be in our houses, avoiding each other, panicking and praying with the president, for the rest of the year. Positive outlooks from countries that are trying to take these measures project at least six months on the hopeful side of isolation, quarantine and social distancing – and these are countries that can feed their entire populations and track them as well. Who are we to refuse to learn from experience?

I hope this roving middle class can curtail their selfishness now, perhaps before the realisation dawns that there is nowhere else to run, or we will truly be faced with the worst plague of our lifetime.

Twitter: @AbigailArunga