WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, ARE WE?
Since the pandemic, messages, articles, blog posts and posters containing positive messages have been created and shared out by all of us on one social media platform or the other. “We are all in this together” I halted, and chewed on this for a minute, are we in this together? Has the pandemic hit all of us yes, has it affected and altered our way of life? yes, but are we all in this together? I don't think so. The pandemic drew attention to what all of us already knew. The gap between the rich and the poor has been foregrounded during this period than it ever will. For Instance in Kenya, the Ministry of Education ordered for learning for students in different parts of the country knowing too well the scarcity of the resources for this to become a reality. This lead to a huge percentage of children being left out as others continued with learning.
Primary healthcare is another basic need that most of us, even the top tier middle class of Nairobi cannot afford. With most hospitals in the country complaining of overwhelmed facilities, due to the Covid-19 virus, a lot of scepticism is held on them forcing most Kenyans to self medicate.. With healthcare in limbo, some of our politicians could still afford to fly out of the country to receive treatment. More than 4000 girls have been impregnated in different parts of the country since the lockdown and curfew were effected. Most of these are minors who are preyed on by relatives or known administrators in the community. People who seem to be above the law, unfortunately, justice is never served. Are we still in this together?
Police brutality in the country couldn’t have been left behind. Kenyans are wearing masks not because they fear the virus but because they fear the police. During the pandemic period, it is alleged that the police in Kenya have killed more people than the virus has. Most of these cases either go unreported or if reported, they are undisclosed to the public making it difficult to know the exact numbers. With the looming pandemic, you'd think that corruption in government would cease, the sheer lack of decency is still being witnessed. The US with its over a million coronavirus cases has given Kenya Sh705 million, while Russia has donated Sh300 million to FAO to help us combat the locust invasion. 10 million has been allocated for tea and snacks and Sh2 million already spent on airtime. In addition, Sh42 million has been spent on leasing 15 ambulances, translating to Sh2.8 million each per month!
Kenyans have lost their jobs with companies letting of staff because of the hit on the economy. Other companies and organisations are doing the same not because the move is necessary, but it can be done, most employers are taking advantage of the situation and are laying off people because they can! Some have been put on compulsory unpaid leave, this is despite the bills that need attention monthly.
I might not be aware of the effect of the pandemic on everyone, but one thing I know is that we are not in this together!