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I won’t go back to school until I’m ‘Covid-free’
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|I won’t go back to school until I’m ‘Covid-free’ by Kenyans247(1): Sun 01, November, 2020 10:12am|
By Mwalimu Andrew
When we partially reopened schools, we put in place measures to protect ourselves from Covid-19. While in theory the measures were stringent, things were different kwa ground. Very different. We did not have water, enough soap and sanitisers, all thanks to insufficient funding by the government.
By the end of the first week, we had run out of sanitisers, and no one had remembered to replenish water in the jerricans that we had placed in the school compound. As for masks, they were increasingly disappearing as days went by.
I have nothing against masks, but tell me –how can you teach and still be audible when wearing a mask? Why should you remove a mask when teaching, wear it as you leave the classroom then walk to the staffroom and remove it to eat. In short, our job is making us wear masks when alone and remove them when with people, thus defeating their purpose.
One last thing was mapping schools to a health centre. We were mapped to Mwisho wa Lami Clinic, whose only nurse is a girl I taught some years ago, and who I know should be so far away from patients.
So when last Monday I coughed just as I was preparing to go to school, I got worried. It was not a deep cough, but a dry one. And although my temperature was normal, I decided to take no chances.
I had corona
I did not go to school. I wasn’t looking forward to going to school anyway. As you are aware, the week before, Kuya, with the support of the headmistress, had assumed my TSC-given responsibilities. He had even assigned me many classes. I reasoned that if indeed I had corona, then I could infect others in school. There is nothing more irresponsible.
I sent Bensouda an SMS telling her I had developed a cough and other symptoms, and that I suspected I had Covid. “I will quarantine for a few days.”
Much later in the afternoon, Bensouda wished me well. In between, Kuya had called me a million times and texted to say that my assigned classes were going unattended. I saw no need to respond as I never reported to him. And never will.
In the meantime, other than the cough, I was feeling great and my appetite had not been affected at all. If anything, I now had better appetite.
But I remembered the words Pius told us: “The real symptoms kick in on the third day.”
On Wednesday morning, Kuya told me to submit a medical report showing that I had corona. But I ignored him. So when Bensouda called me later, asking how I was feeling and wondering if I had been tested, I told her I was feeling better. “I can’t leave home to go get tested because I will have to use a matatu and I could infect more people,” she agreed with me. I was still feeling great by Thursday evening, my appetite even much better.
Knowing that Bensouda could call to check on me on Friday, I contacted Pius for advice on how to handle her. “Tell your boss that you are ‘asymbiotic’.” I asked him what that meant. “Those are people who have Covid but have not shown any signs,” he explained. “Just because you have no signs doesn’t mean that you are okay, wait for at least 14 days.”
When I told Bensouda the same, she did not argue. “I also heard such a thing on radio,” is all she said.
In the meantime, back in the house, Fiolina is not talking to me. She was quite sympathetic and supportive on the first day – she brought me food and did anything to make me comfortable. Trouble began on Tuesday evening when I left home and went to Hitler’s. I saw no problem with this since, other than Bensouda and Kuya, I had not told anyone that I had coughed.
“What if you infected other people?” Fiolina asked when I returned home.
I told her not to worry as I had been careful. “In any case, I am feeling great, I am even sure I don’t have it.”
“Then why don’t you go to school?” she asked.
“Are you bored with me here?” I wondered. “I am only taking precautions just in case I have it and infect children at school.”
I added “And since Kuya thinks he is very bright, I want to show him who is smarter now.” I kept going to Hitler’s every evening.
Kuya called me on Friday incessantly. I ignored his calls, but picked up later in the afternoon for my own sanity. “Things are tough here,” he said after I told him how I was doing. “Do you have a spare key to your office? There is too much work and I need a place where I can concentrate.” I told him I only had one key, which I could not send him as I had been with it throughout. “You could also get infected,” I said.
“Don’t worry, I will sanitise it,” he said. When he sent Nyayo that afternoon to pick up the key, I lied I had misplaced it and would send it upon finding it. You, of course, know that won’t happen.
If I do not sneeze again, the earliest I will be seen in school will be on November 10. If I sneeze again, I will give myself another 14 days. With Kuya still calling the shots, I do not miss school at all and will stay away for as long as I can.
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