I was tapping my feet taking in this massive reception. A 52 inch LG TV starring back at me, on but muted. This deal had to go through otherwise I wouldn’t hit my target for the quarter.
Just before I was called in to see the boss, some breaking news popped up on the screen. The first Covid-19 case had been diagnosed in Kenya.
That’s how I remember 12th March 2020.It was downhill from there.
The pandemic came in 3 waves and flipped everyone’s life upside down. Unlike the normal diseases that would hit the poor or middle class initially, this one started with the rich as they returned from their vacations and oversea travels. If you were not infected, then you were definitely affected.
This month was the first anniversary since the first Covid-19 case was reported in Kenya. The virus continues to throw jabs at the economy even after knocking us out, predominantly crashing industries dealing with hospitality and real estate. The Kenya shilling is still at an embarrassing low of 109.7 to the dollar which forces the populace to watch every coin.
The virus has had a colossal impact on our lifestyle and culture as Kenyans.
When was the last time you got a nice firm handshake ?
It’s now been an year and we have almost forgotten how it feels to get or give a proper handshake, we might require refresher classes once this thing ends.
As a form of greeting, we have been forced to bump fists and elbows with everyone, from our bosses, church leaders to our mothers who had previously referred to these greetings as belonging to bang peddlers. ha!
When was the last time you were out past 10pm?
Curfews and lockdowns have become a norm globally to curb the spread of the virus. I miss night travels and the occasional partying till morning.
Of course there’s always that one dingy joint where the owner knows the OCS and you can drink till morning. It’s not the same though, you have to be alert. One eye on your date and the other monitoring your exit just in case Njoro didn’t properly sort the OCS.
When was the last time you sneezed comfortably in public?
Nowadays you have to hold the sneeze or cough till your eyes well up with tears and when you finally implode and burst; half the room is excusing themselves to get away from you.
Followed by whispers and muffed insults… “Si that is the guy who travelled to Oyugis for a burial? He wants to kill us too”
When was the last time you saw your parents?
When was the last time you walked in town without a mask?
The little things we always took for granted.
It’s been said that the only benefit that came from Covid was working from home, social distance in public vehicles and cleaner lifestyles.
By God’s good grace we have not lost the fight, even with the numerous loss of lives. With every waking day we have learnt to adapt. Business is opening up, flights have resumed, and vacations have also become a reality once more.
A vaccine is in circulation albeit in minimal quantities starting with the front line workers. In due course we shall eventually slay this Goliath.
Author: Eric Njaramba
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