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How Covid-19 Brought Kenya to a Standstill

Jeremiah is an experienced teacher of English and literature. Besides, he is a renowned writer of short stories.

Government Announces Stringent Measures to Curb the Spread of COVID-19

As you all know, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a recently discovered Coronavirus. According to the virologist, most people who fall sick with COVID-19 experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment.

In January, Kenya had not yet recorded its first COVID-19 case.

Everything was running normally until the tranquility was disrupted on March 12, 2020. That was the day the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Kenya. The ministry of health announced that the case was a Kenyan Citizen who had travelled to Nairobi returning from the United States of America via London, United Kingdom on March 5, 2020. In that connection, the government announced stringent measures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19.


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All Learning Institutions in Kenya are Shut Down

As COVID-19 cases surged, the government had to close all learning institutions. That day, many people were caught pants down. It was on March 15, 2020, in the evening. Although the boarders were still at school, the day students were at home preparing to go to school the following day.

Unexpectedly, the president had a press briefing on the disease. He ordered all schools to be closed the following Monday. Both primary and secondary schools were given a few days to ensure that the boarders reached home safely.

Universities were given up to the following Friday to give students enough time to prepare.

There was a lot of confusion as the pupils prepared to go home. The candidates were saddened to learn that they would not sit Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) any time soon. Most of them broke into cries as they packed their luggage and buggage to leave for home. The schools had been closed indefinitely for no one knew the exact date for resumption.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education assured the learners that learning would be conducted online and via Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) television channel.

This disadvantaged many pupils and students, especially the ones who live in villages. In many parts of Kenya, there are very many challenges. Except radio that is almost found in all homesteads, the other medium of communication are rarely used due to poor network, cost of the devices or gadget among other factors.

Many pupils stopped learning completely.

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All Public Gatherings Banned

The COVID-19 cases kept on spiking. This triggered off the ban of social gatherings.

Worship Areas Shut Down

All areas of worship were closed.Since these areas attract a lot people where COVID-19 can spread like a bush fire, it was necessary to close them.

Some pastors were adamant. They conducted church services in closed doors. Those who were caught faced the law. This went on for short time. The congregation resorted to follow up the church services and sermons on televisions.

Political Rallies

All political rallies were banned. In fact, many politicians feared COVID-19 for they had been told that aged people are more vulnerable. Most of politicians in Kenya are above the age of sixty.

Many meetings were conducted via zoom.

Besides shutting down places of worship and banning the political rallies, there were other gatherings that were also banned.

Only a few people were allowed to attend weddings and burial ceremonies. Those who attended were expected to observe health protocols. Wearing of masks and regular washing of hands was mandatory.

In some parts of the country market centres were closed. Salons and barber shops were not spared either.

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President Imposes Nationwide Night to Dawn Curfew

People were going about their usual businesses when the unexpected happened. The COVID-19 cases were increasing in the capital ( Nairobi). In ever day's COVID-19 briefings, the ministry of health kept on warning citizens that there was a looming cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

There were many people who were meeting in bars for drinking spree till late in the night. This necessitated the need to impose a nationwide night to dawn curfew to curb the spread of this disgusting enemy— COVID-19.

It was in the evening of March 25, 2020 when the president imposed the curfew. Many were caught unawares. It was effected the same day from 7.pm to 5.am the following day. It would last for three weeks. Apparently, there were some girls who had called on their boyfriends at Nairobi. It is said that they started their marriage life after the president's speech.

In Mombasa and other parts of former Coast Province, there was also cessation of movement. Only people and companies offering essential services were allowed to move in and out of the mentioned areas.

Many businesses in many parts of the country were closed. Since most of business commodities are found in Nairobi, entrepreneurs were forced out of the business.

The few business people who had stock that they had hoarded hiked up the prices of items.

Customer suffered.

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Other Adverse Effects of COVID-19 in Kenya

Pupils and Students

Following the closure of all schools due to COVID-19, the pupils and students found themselves in a state of Alice in wonderland. In villages, children started doing odd jobs. This was attributed by the fact that some of their parents were not working. Due to the disease, some had lost their jobs and others had their salaries slashed.

It is while doing this jobs that some of them were sexually abused. That led to early pregnancies.

Some of them were privileged to have televisions and smart phones at their homes. While learning online, some of them were lured by evil teachers who ended up abusing them specially girls. So far, several girls have been reported missing in different parts of the country. This happened when their parents left for work and left them with smartphones.

Some would use phones to watch pornographic videos. This corrupted their minds.

Children were also victims of home violence.

Teachers

The teachers especially the ones who worked in private schools were reduced to beggars. Since the directors of such schools could not raise money to pay them, they joined other ordinary citizens in doing odd jobs. Most of them were unable to pay rent. Consequently, they had to leave for the villages. Others were embarrassed by the landlords and land ladies. Some had their property auctioned to make up for the rent.

Women

As the violence escalated at home, women were the major victims. The couples had not got used to staying together. The COVID-19 had forced them to stay home together for a long time.

Many women were wounded and others maimed. To make matters worse, some died as result of constant beatings.

Police Brutality

In the wake of the night to dawn Curfew, people went through untold suffering. Those who were caught out past the curfew time were beaten up by the policemen. It is estimated that more than two hundred people died in police custody. Were it not for the journalists who recorded videos of policemen brutalizing innocent citizens,then shared online, many people would have been killed.

We owe Kenyan journalists a lot of respect for the work they did to expose the evil activities of the rogue police. What surprised many is that the government turned a deaf ear to it.


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As the government kept on warning the citizens about the deadly unseen enemy ( COVID-19), the citizens were now getting used to the new normal. Despite the fact that most of those strict measures have been lifted, people are still suffering. Throughout the world, people are talking about the second wave of Covid-19. In fact, many countries have returned to lockdown. After the partial reopening of economy, the numbers are alarmingly spiking! We are likely to return to the stringent rules again. To avoid that, let's observe health protocols. Let's:

1. Wash our hands regularly with plenty of soap and running water for 20 seconds,

2. Sanitize our hands using alcohol- based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol,

3. Wear masks properly,

4. Avoid all forms of social gatherings unless it is necessary. Maintain social distance.

5. Avoid unnecessary traveling,

6. Avoid touching our eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands,

7. Observe good respiratory etiquette, including covering of mouth and sneezes,

8. Avoid close contact with people who are suffering from COVID-19,

9. Stay home if unwell.

Above all, let's keep on praying. COVID-19 is an invisible adversary. So, we need God's manifestation. I know we shall see light at the end of the tunnel. We shall overcome this but we are not yet out of the woods, so be on your guard!



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Comments

JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA (author) from Nairobi on November 04, 2020:

Thanks a million

JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA (author) from Nairobi on November 04, 2020:

Thanks Audrey for such an amazing comment. This COVID-19 has really affected us negatively. We just wish that a vaccine is discovered soon by great countries like yours. Continue voting and stay safe!

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on November 04, 2020:

As I read through your article it was like reading about my own state, California. USA.. Covid has affected the entire world. We all have a responsibility to protect ourselves and others by taking the necessary precautions.

Thank you for sharing this. Blessings of health and peace!

JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA (author) from Nairobi on November 04, 2020:

Thanks

Boaz on November 04, 2020:

Good article. Keep it up!

JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA (author) from Nairobi on November 04, 2020:

Thanks Rajan for your comment. Be blessed.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 03, 2020:

Covid-19 has had an unprecedented effect on all aspects of one's life and the least we can do to prevent its spread is to observe strict sanitation and other measures as advised by health authorities. Thanks for sharing what measures Kenya took.

JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA (author) from Nairobi on November 01, 2020:

Emge, there has never been a lockdown in Kenya. What has been there is only Curfew and cessation of movements. The situation isn't any better. Thanks for commenting. Be blessed.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on November 01, 2020:

I guess this was inevitable because the disease spread so fast and has to be controlled. What is the situation now is there any improvement or the lockdown still continues?

JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA (author) from Nairobi on November 01, 2020:

Thanks Liz for your comment. Be blessed.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 01, 2020:

It is very interesting but also very sad to see how COVID has affected Kenya. In Europe we are now experiencing the feared second wave. I hope that you keep well and that the virus can be kept under control in Kenys.

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