Let's celebrate those who have lessened our pain this year

KEN OPALO |

Merry Christmas! As we celebrate with loved ones this year, let us reflect on the difficult two years we have had, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Collectively, we have had to endure a beleaguered economy with no respite in sight. People have lost jobs. Entire livelihoods have been destroyed.

At a personal level, many have lost loved ones to the pandemic. May they rest in peace, and their memories be a blessing.

All this means that this year, Christmas feels a little different for many people across the country.

Enduring lessons

But there is hope amidst the pain and loss. One of the enduring lessons of the last two years is humanity’s nearly unlimited capacity for resilience.

All over the world, including here in Kenya, the pandemic has tested governments and found them wanting. Covid-19 funds have been stolen.

Disinvestments in healthcare systems have been exposed. The sheer inability to adequately plan has meant that, two years into a pandemic, policies are still largely reactive.

Societal gaps have also been exposed. Individuals have refused to heed basic public health regulations such as masking, quarantining when ill, not hoarding essential commodities and getting vaccinated.

Yet despite all the evidence of our collective failures, the vast majority of people around the world are still determined to win the fight against Covid-19.

Health workers

Many heroes live among us; Our valiant health workers who have made do with little support from the government.

The relatives who have chipped in to help those who have lost jobs or have been orphaned by the pandemic.

The government workers who have gone above and beyond their mandate.

Those who have used the ongoing crisis to reinvent themselves in service to society.

We are thankful for them and pray that many more people continue to choose the path of pro-social behaviour. The pandemic is far from over.

Above all, let us keep our friends and loved ones close.

They are our permanent heroes who keep us grounded during both good and bad times.

The writer is an assistant professor at Georgetown University

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