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Expend energy seen at political rallies against this coronavirus
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|Expend energy seen at political rallies against this coronavirus by Kenyans247(1): Tue 17, March, 2020 01:52pm|
Every cloud has a silver lining. The coronavirus pandemic has shifted our attention away from the corrosive politics being played around the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Suspension of all public gatherings will afford Kenyans sufficient time to pay attention to more pressing issues. One is simply thinking about staying alive.
As the virus diverts our attention to basics like washing our hands and the other little things we must do to avoid infection, it will be forcing us to think about our own mortality and also the future of the human race.
Occupying our minds with such serious issues will, hopefully, force all to think back in shame at the petty and little issues that take up so much of our time.
If we survive the coronavirus, we must give mind, body and soul to initiatives aimed at making a strong, stable, sustainable country that is not forever held back by power plays between feuding ethnic chieftains.
We are in the throes of a dirty, divisive public campaign rallies for or against BBI. The rallies must now halt following President Kenyatta’s prohibition of large public gatherings.
The conveners of the rival rallies and leaders of the BBI task force have been given a respite that they will, hopefully, spend on more productive pursuits.
They can give some serious thought to whether they are doing right for their children and grandchildren or simply driving destructive political contestations that could plunge this country into yet another cycle of ethnopolitical violence.
Of primary consideration for every individual from either side is whether he can live with himself if held responsible for carnage that claims the lives of thousands of people, displaces hundreds of thousands more and dismembers Kenya into warring ethnic enclaves.
Those are the risks we face if we do not apply the brakes on the political sabre-rattling and go back to the import of BBI as advertised at inception.
In any case, there will be no country to fight over if the population is decimated by the coronavirus.
While the hiatus on public rallies holds, the politicians who want to catch the eye and ear of the people would do the country a world of good if they converted their unbounded energies to the campaign against the virus.
The government has woken up to the gravity of the situation and decreed prevention measures in line with many other countries confronting a scourge not seen in living memory.
It is simply things like enhanced basic hygiene to more radical measures, such as closing schools and blocking visitors from all affected countries, which means nearly every country.
Unfortunately, there are many of us who want to remain with our heads buried deep in the sand. There are many in total denial about the severity and threat of the coronavirus disease.
In our midst are sizeable numbers falling pray to fake news, disinformation and propaganda on its origins and causes and lending ignorant ears to charlatans busy contradicting the science on containment measures.
It would help if the politicians who love shouting themselves hoarse on the political soapboxes lent their voice to massive public education campaigns on the measures that are absolutely necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
As long as significant numbers are ignorant or in denial, conditions are created for deliberate or inadvertent spread of the deadly virus.
There is this false narrative doing the rounds, for instance, that coronavirus is no more serious than malaria, Aids or the common flu.
Some will also argue that the cases so far traced in Kenya are insignificant and will easily be contained. However, the fact is that just a few positive cases can, in a couple of weeks, spread to hundreds and on to thousands.
In New York, for instance, it has been conclusively established that just one individual infection multiplied to 100 in less than 10 days.
In South Korea, the country with the highest number of cases after China, the origin of the disease, more than 1,200 coronavirus infections over just a few weeks have been traced back to just one individual.
This illustrates how important it is for anyone affected, plus all their contacts, to go into immediate quarantine. It is important to emphasise that as the government issues policy guidelines and sets up quarantine and treatment centres, prevention is in the hands of every individual.
One additional thing the government can do is to ensure that every person in Kenya has easy access to gloves, masks, goggles, sanitisers, disinfectants and anything else that needs to be in household coronavirus protection kits.
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