NO LONGER AT EASE
By Priscilla Kona
The moment is epochal, the gravity impossible to ignore. Epitaphs are blood cuddling; “hacked to death by Covid 19” . Is the corona virus hurtling the planet headlong into an abyss?
FLASH BACK 1900
A range of form & beauty in animal and plant life, hill and snow capped mountain. Ocean, sea and lake ,fresh in color and splendor, give her distinctive personality. Mother Earth, keeping relentless vigil over her own. A truly natural experience!
Fast forward Dec 2019.
Had advanced technology then sabotaged the planet, raising the bar of human abilities? Isn’t the change unprecedented?
The family unit, hitherto on free-fall, is under restoration?
“ Mummy, when do schools open?”
“Mummy ,huendi kazini leo?”( mummy aren’t you going to work today) The children burst with question after question after question. But beneath their apprehension is contentment, you know why. The disquiet in parents is however discernible. Paranoia reigns. Poverty is a n imminent and terrifying prospect and there is just no more work. But governmental recommendation is relentless: stay at home.
The husband has his coping mechanism, but the wife is fatalistic.
Sex and home births in Covid 19 era , anyone?
How many will survive present day’s marriage jungle ?
Will the wedding jingles ever sound again?
Today is May 25 an Eid holiday. At the Ante natal clinic the door is shuttered. There are no vaccines today, not even Covid 19 vaccine. Are mothers now giving the hospital a wide berth, the interests of their new- born notwithstanding? But bravo to the gallant soldiers there in , present day’s guardian angels, risking life and limb to save humanity! How it worries us that many have succumbed to nature’s weirdo virus, already!
The moment is historic; the church doors, and windows are also now shuttered; Christians must adhere to government guidelines to fight the pandemic. The yearly Eid celebrations are also radically different.
“ Praise the Lord!” the preacher is teaching on air waves , at a price, but there is no answer. Not a church , just a Radio/TV room. The shepherd is stricken the flock scattered to the four winds? Is the spiritual train also slowing to a still?
Which way ,hence for the moral high horse? End of the world?
This too is unprecedented.; 1.2 billion children are out of school according to the British Broadcasting Cooperation . Humanity weeps. Is distance learning feasible?
In this side of the planet, goings -on are bizarre. Motorists sell fruits and vegetables at the back of their cars in town. The advocate, the teacher all drowning in bills.
Stay at home and starve to death, no! Disease or livelihood they weigh options, don their masks and get out to work .
For the world’s poor the impact is unprecedented.
In april, Ruth, a widow in Kenya boiled stones to lull her orphans into sleep. Despite the collective goodwill hereafter for her plight, how many more will boil stones, before their families slip into a hunger coma?
Hasn’t real estate also been clobbered ? Covid 19 has put a damper on the travel . Passenger traffic has plummeted, taking with it hitherto million dollar jobs. Cargo traffic is thrice as costly.
Now the rich are blurry eyed. For Maria, our ex councilor, anxiety grows , and gnaws. My hotel is closed. Her 88 year old husband is hypertensive and diabetic. Which is why her sanitizer bottle sits at her gate .They both must stay in lockdown. She works daylong to put food to table . She cannot afford to pay her farmhand.
Times are tough. right? Right.
As physicians strive to muzzle the virus in her tracks , who created the corona virus?
Why, the impact is untold. Where did it all begin?
My neighbors and I are now heading for the funeral next door. It is only 9.00 am but we are late ,already the burial ceremony is over. Is the Covid 19 disease now challenging humanity’s relationship with their tradition?
In December 2019,the tide suddenly turned. Winds of change, blasting from the Wuhan province of China started sweeping through states, disturbing news in their wings.
It is now hell on earth; the Covid 19 disease is an immediate clear and future threat to humanity. Death, hunger, layoffs, violence, and crime, are now the hall marks of humanity’s gaze at an unfolding public crisis. Isn’t it exhausting that the Corona virus whose transmission method is unprecedented, is like all viruses, non treatable?
Declared a pandemic by WHO in March 2020, the viral symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath among others . Like the human immunodeficiency virus-HIV, the Corona virus is less than friendly; attacking & replicating quickly in body cells. The intrigue deepens for as many as are over 70 years and harbor critical conditions like kidney, liver, lung and heart disease, as well as diabetes mellitus , asthma and HIV/AIDS.
Many thought the year 2020 would be an alluring antidote to a decade of recession gloom. But the toll of nature’s presiding weirdo virus on collective human health is untold.
The viral origins are suspect , and the rumor mills are unrelenting.
- Was it from the wet food market in Wuhan province of China, food that nourishes the body, mind and soul ,now killing people?
- A laboratory mishap, humanity playing dalliance with their lives, flying too close to the sun?
3 Of 5G, humanity’s eventual day in the court of nature ?
It all started when pictures of men dropping dead in Chinese streets started streaming into the media houses.
Which way, humanity?
And now the statistics have hit worrying levels and are heading for the roof. Only a handful of countries remain untouched . By 22nd March 2020, five million were already infected , reeling under the weight of the nature’s disruptive pathogen .According to the British Broadcasting Cooperation , over 1 million have recovered so far from a disease whose cure is still elusive? That over 350000 others have died is to make an understatement of issues…
Stranger than fiction, as developed countries bear the viral brunt, the continent of Africa is still travelling light, with negligible infections and deaths, to the consternation of many. Indeed the USA, France, Italy, Spain , the United Kingdom, all of them developed countries are leading the pack in infections and deaths as humanity fights back.. According to Agence France Press, half of the global population now exist in ‘social’ distance from one another . A new facial dress code illustrates better the predicament; face masks .Our lifestyles have also been infected by a new habit; hand-washing at every turn.
By 11th March 2020, the virus was declared a pandemic And as humanity grapples with a social crisis, just what is Corona virus?
Her physical structure is telling, and she has an uncanny affinity for the older folk and like the human immune deficiency virus, HIV , attacks body cells , replicating profusely.
Through contact with infected surfaces, and respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes from infected persons ,she will infect the nose, throat, lungs , its symptoms appearing after 5- 14 days. Fever is above 37.5 degrees centigrade , and a dry cough , worse than normal will cause breathing problems subsequently. Sore throat, headaches, loss of smell and taste have also been reported.
6 % of all cases are now reported to turn critical when immune function spirals out of control under the attendant burden.
Closer home, the Ugandan government has put in place cutthroat measures to curb spread of the virus. The border, all shops, markets, churches, bars hotels and brothels at the Kenya Uganda border are firmly closed. The normal track deliveries are in limbo, and humanity stares at a mental crisis, (see photo) . Ugandan traders are tested and carry their wares to Kenya in a carefully choreographed plan to avoid infections.
But on the Kenyan side of the divide, many have thrown caution to the wind; there is no regard to social distancing and traders freely intermingle, wearing masks as the only precaution
In Tanzania , the President is, of all things, telling his citizens to pray away the pandemic, and as infections and deaths soar, he is still steeped in denial, faulting instead the test kits. Breaking rule after rule , for how much longer will his people play with this wildfire before it consumes them?
Arguably , the picture is muddling..
Save for the war in Yemen and Syria , we all had everything going. But today we can no longer take for granted:
- The full shelves at the store
- The morning school rush
- Conversation with a neighbor
- Tea with friends
- The crowded stadiums
- The din of the cruise ship
- Every new breath of fresh air.
But not all is doom or gloom. Many are now coming to terms with their existence and are revising their moral code. Social relations have improved, no? The nights are silent, occasioned by curfew, who wouldn’t want this?
But as many now choose courage over fear,
as Covid 19 disease heralds a new decade of confusion,
as medics maintain their salvo ,
as humanity contemplates a new social code,
and as the world rumbles into an uncertain future,
will human-folk ever walk tall again?
Will she continue holding humanity in her thrall,leaving an indelible mark on the sands of time?
Will the world ever be the same again?