Coronavirus: the uninvited guest in my small world by Caroline Mireri

Coronavirus is something that was happening to others in faraway lands. I did not give it a second thought. My life went on as usual. I imagined the agitation this virus had caused would die down and life would continue as usual. That was not to be.

As the situation went out of hand in countries like Italy, the first few cases were being reported in Kenya. One person was reported as having been infected in the first week of March. By day 10, 7 people had been infected. People started panicking.

The President announced that all school children and college students should stay at home from then henceforth. It seemed unreal. It had never happened for all these years I had lived on this earth. Staying at home without knowing when schools would open was unheard of. Yet it was happening. So far one week has elapsed. I am with my children 24/7.

They have not been going to school. They keep asking why and when they will go. I tell them it is because of a disease caused by coronavirus. Of course, they do not understand the gravity of this virus. They are 3 and 5 years old. Homeschooling is not working despite my being a trained high school teacher. I do not have the patience and the time to guide them. I’m at a loss.

In the second week with more infected people being reported worldwide, the rich have started stocking up food. One item that is flying off shelves is hand sanitizers. The demand outdid supply to a point where the price was now being hiked. What was previously going for $2 was now being sold for $10. Still, there is a shortage. 

In the third week of March, more measures were put in place by the government. My husband and I run a general shop. An announcement was made that all business people avail water and soap for their customers to use before and after accessing their services. We have done that. It seemed surreal at first but we’re getting accustomed to it. All our neighboring businesses have done the same. I read in the papers that water and soap kill viruses.

One of our neighboring businesses is a liquor shop. As we begin the fourth week of March, this liquor shop along others is not to operate. That is an order. Pubs are not to operate beyond 7 p.m. People now go home early.

Traffic to our shop has drastically reduced. We also close early. The sales have nosedived. We wonder what is going to happen if the situation does not change. How will we pay rent? My husband is also a motivational speaker who visits high schools to motivate them. He does this at a fee. With the schools shut down, this tap has run dry. I am a writer having a hard time meeting deadlines with the children around. I face constant interruptions from them.

We did not go to church on Sunday. Gatherings of all kinds have been banned to minimize the chances of people getting infected. Churches are one of those gatherings. So we had to make do with praying from home.

I am planning to travel home to visit my parents in another county by public means. I am scared of doing this because you never know who you will sit next to. I will be exposing my children too much. Traveling has also become expensive because the government issued a directive that the number of passengers be reduced. A van carrying 14 passengers should now make do with 8. These 8 people have to pay more so the van owner can make some profit.

What a life we are now living. We are trying to adjust to it. One question though, “Till when?” We do not know. We hope normalcy and sanity return soonest. RIP Covid-19.

Check out her article here for some fascinating information about the Abagusii Tribe: https://owlcation.com/humanities/The-Interesting-Culture-the-Abagusii

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