Their names are not announced by Ministry of Health officials, when they are giving updates on Covid-19. As far as government and, to a large extent, the public is concerned, these persons deaths have not been caused by Covid-19.
I’m glad that, in his last address to the nation, President Uhuru Kenyatta alluded to this fact, although he did not give any concrete solutions to address and redress the havoc that Covid-19 is wreaking on families across the country.
Children bearing the brunt of Covid-19
I don’t blame you if you don’t know who Melody Warigia (8), Willy Macharia (6), Samantha Njeri (4) and Whitney Nyambura (2) are. I don’t blame you if you know them as, “the four children who were killed by their mother”.
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These four siblings were reportedly murdered by their 42-year-old mother, Beatrice Mwende, who claimed that she committed these heinous acts because evil spirits had taken control of her.
She is said to have further claimed that her broken relationship with her boyfriend led her to take the lives of her children.
The bodies of Alvina Mutheu and Henry Jacktone, both aged four years, were discovered in the boot of a car, which was parked at Athi River Police Station. The two children had been reported missing 10 days prior to their discovery at the same police station where their missing report had been filed.
Recently, a distraught Brad Hunstable, Texan father posted a tear-jerking video, detailing how Covid-19 killed his son.
Hunstable’s 12-year-old son, Hayden, committed suicide on April 17. Hunstable says Hayden was not a depressed kid, at least on the surface. He played video games and occasionally got down on himself, but the incident that pushed him over the edge was a monitor he had broken, coupled with isolation.
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“My son died from the coronavirus as I mentioned,” Hunstable said in his online video. “But not in the way you think.”
“Social isolation is hard enough for adults. It’s even more hard for our kids. It tells me this isolation may have a hidden killer and equally as shocking and horrific as what is happening on the front lines of this disease.”
“I think the scary thing about Covid for me and the isolation is that it amplifies what is ever there and makes it even bigger, in my opinion.”
Families need help
As parents, at times like this, with this new normal, we look to the government to help us navigate these alien waters. Most of us have never been with our children, under the same roof, for more than seven hours. And now we have to be with them 24/7, and we find out that we need to have parenting refresher courses.
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Whoever is responsible for taking the lives of Melody, Willy, Samantha, Whitney, Alvina and Henry should pay for the crimes. But, as a nation, we must ask ourselves hard questions because these matters and murders touch the very heart and soul of our families; our dear children.
The government can only do so much. Let’s look out for one another. If, as a neighbour, relative or friend, you feel like someone you know needs a helping hand to take care of their children, take a step. If a still small voice warns you that there are children in harm’s way, take appropriate action.
Melody, Willy, Samantha, Whitney, Alvina, Henry - and others - are the uncounted and unaccounted victims of Covid-19. Maybe, just maybe, if circumstances were different, and schools were in session, things would have been different.