Must we bury loved ones for us to start taking COVID-19 seriously?

By Levi | Monday, Mar 23rd 2020 at 11:06
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Given our infamous culture of resorting to the very last minute before lifting our ever-undecided fingers, it is no surprise that a good number of us are yet to take the COVID-19 Pandemic that seriously. In dozens of WhatsApp and Facebook Groups that I am a member of, guys are peddling all manner of funny memes, mostly meant to downplay the imminent threat posed by the highly contagious COVID-19 that has now claimed at least 10000 lives according to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) Statistics.

Given the documented fact that uncontrolled crowds, notably in religious settings such as mosques, synagogues, and churches, is to blame for exacerbating the COVID-19 Pandemic spread in a host of worst-hit countries such as South Korea, the Kenyan government has been quick to learn. While the government is exuding willingness to succeed where the rest of the nations have failed thus far, sadly, we the citizens aren’t.

The statistics being shared daily by the Ministry of Health might sound encouraging, given we only have 15 confirmed cases as to date. However, the grim reality is the government is yet to embark on an exhaustive public testing campaign, which might shed more light on the feared extend of potential infections amongst the populace. More so, all the contacts of the confirmed cases are yet to be tested. Unless testing is done on a wide scale, and all suspected cases are addressed, we shall all continue to be at risk.

It is the underlying fears of the worst that I hoped could make us all willing to help combat the spread. Truth is the sooner we team up as a people, observe the hygiene measures stipulated by the WHO and CDC through our Ministry of Health, including avoiding crowds of at least ten people, we shall succeed in taming this runaway menace. Above all, we must acknowledge the severe threat posed by COVID-19 to the public Healthwise, financially, socially, and politically.

We do not have to bury our loved ones before we begin heeding the government’s call to act decisively. Already many across the globe are mourning deaths of their children, relatives, friends, and neighbors. Just the other day, a high-ranking government official in Burkina Faso succumbed to COVID-19. The Ethiopian-born WHO Head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reminded us Africans yesterday to prepare for the worst, perhaps given our poor health infrastructures, alarming poverty levels, the jaw-dropping poor sanitation, and the infamous urban crowding.

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