We should have known that the corona virus wasn’t just going to scamper away like a mouse does after the full glare of light shines on it. We should have known that even after a new year - 2021 - came along, this virus wasn’t just going to disappear with the old year. We should have known that our masks weren’t going to disappear from our faces just because we had been wearing them for a year.
We should have known. But we didn’t, because the hope for a new, corona-free world was so strong that we chose to be fiercely optimistic. We chose to slip our masks to our chins and close our yes to the virus that was still as lethal as it had always been. Even more so. We chose to board matatus that were blatantly ignoring social distancing rules. It was better to get home, faster, cheaper. So we reasoned. We were tired of the virus but it wasn't tired of us. It was just getting started. And once we got home, we chose to skip that hand-washing ritual that we had religiously adhered to in those early days of the pandemic. The virus is out there, not in my house. So we reasoned. Forgetting that the virus is wherever people are. Out there, in there, up there in the planes. And eventually, it takes people down there. Six feet under.
We made these choices forgetting that, for better or worse, choices birth consequences.
You never know when that whiff of air will glide your way with the virus riding in it. It could be at that precise moment when you have lowered your mask to your chin to take a breather. That breath of fresh air then becomes a pandemic breath. God forbid, maybe it becomes a death breath. You just never know. It could even be right there in the safety and sanctity of your home, when you arrive back from mama mboga. As soon as you place those tomatoes on the kitchen sink, you scratch a fleeting itch on your nose. That itch could be the one that ferries the virus into your body. Into your family. Into your world. You just never know.
Your throat is dry. Oh God, you need a drink. Just one drink. Or two. It has been a long day, a long week. Surely a man is allowed to reward himself, right? So you call your boys and later that evening, you all troop to that joint you haven’t visited in three months. Three whole months! Gilbeys doesn’t taste as good at home. It just doesn’t. But here in the pub, it tastes as it was meant to taste by its creators - simply divine. You will never know exactly when it is, that the virus jumped into you. Could it be when you clasped that blessed Gilbeys bottle and poured for yourself the drink? Or could it be that cough from that lanky guy at the counter that maybe, introduced the virus into the air that you then breathed moments later? You will never know exactly when that virus became an unwelcome tenant in your body. All you know is that you have now become part of the statistics.
When she spoke on Wednesday 23rd March, Dr Mercy Mwangangi the Chief Administration Secretary in the Ministry of Health revealed these dire statistics, “the last few days have had a really high positivity rate. Our positivity rate today stands at 16.5% with 18 deaths being reported.”
Those 18 deaths joined at least 2066 who had already succumbed to Covid-19 as of that day.
Today, on this day that you are alive and well, do your best to keep that virus from crawling into you or into your loved ones. And if somehow, despite your best efforts, it still manages to break into your body, don’t break down. Get tested early enough and get treated. Keep the faith. It shall be well.