While the Covid-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on the socioeconomic front in Kenya and globally, Kenyans seem to have long dropped the ball and resorted to normal life.
Judging from the Christmas and New Year festivities, closely followed by the back-to-school rush, the citizens have little or no regard to this deadly virus that has caused so much harm.
I happened to be one of the many Kenyans who visited several supermarkets, social places, markets, trading centres and a hospital as an outpatient.
Save for the hospital, which had clear instructions and procedures from the door, I was left wondering what is happening in the other establishments. In one of the popular supermarkets, there were scores — let me say, hundreds — of shoppers.
From the entrance, I interacted with nonchalant security guards with the temperature gun, looking very exhausted and uncaring.
The earlier security gun beep seemed to have been replaced by the temp gun beep. The well-masked me was ushered in. Once served with a drop of sanitiser that barely wet the entire palm, I sauntered in.
At the trolley bay, I noticed that there were less than 10 left. A few metres into the aisles, I noticed crowd after crowd of shoppers and the push girls wooing shoppers to buy this or that product. Many had forgotten about social distancing despite the fading stickers on the floor.
Some had their masks on the chin while others had the signature mask wearing look (with nostrils peeping out). In other aisles, there were numerous shoppers touching this and that , ostensibly to check out the product , swirling, sniffing , pinching (bread) and returning them to the shelves.
A glance towards the check-out counters revealed long queues of shoppers, inches from each other with laden trolleys. I abandoned mine and walked out.
I expected the shoppers to be allowed into the supermarket in manageabe batches as others waited outside but that wasn’t the case. That picture was replicated at other common places. If the Covid-19 infection numbers are anything to go by, I am not surprised.
Truly, as the President and the Health CS have warned us many a time, we are now on our own. I can get it, you can get it. Let’s take care and protect one another.
George Muga, Nairobi
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There are reports that some schools lack the facilities for students to properly wash their hands yet that is the first line of defence against Covid-19. Besides, children up to five years old are not required to wear masks, putting them at great risk of the disease. This is the same case with students in congested classrooms.
The suggested “learning under trees” amid heavy rains, hot sun or wild animals is a no-no.
Janet Nzasa, Mombasa