APOCALYPTIC EVENTS

Are these signs of End-times?

Last Saturday was dedicated to special prayers for God to take away the pestilence.

In Summary
  • Social structures and norms are being dismantled. In better days, people washed their hands to eat.
  • Now hands must be washed frequently in running water to avoid the coronavirus.

From the frying pan into the fire: The locust invasion is a threat to food security and pasture, but the insects aren’t killing people. Now comes the coronavirus, and people are saying the locusts were better. The events happening amongst us are apocalyptic. The religious can see a connection between biblical prophecies and the pestilences of the 21st century.

There is the locust invasion that has faded out of news headlines in the face of the new pestilence — Covid-19. The call for quarantine echoes Isaiah 26:20-21: “Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourself for a little while until the Lord’s anger has passed. Look! The Lord is coming from heaven to punish the people of the earth for their sins.”

Humanity is praying. Kenya is praying. Last Saturday was dedicated to special prayers for God to take away the invisible pestilence.

 
 

Engineer Simon Onyango, a professional learned in matters calculus, cause-and-effect, physics and mathematical equations, is praying. His prayer is that these pestilences, like others before, are passing phases. That hard times don't last forever, only the tough, and Africans have proved their resilience, shall prevail.

"My prayer is that this thing doesn't take root in Kenya to the level we have seen in China and Italy. We may not cope. And I know it will not succeed. HIV-Aids came to Africa and scared everyone. And so did Ebola. Somehow God keeps Africa under His wings, and every time Africa bounces. Africa shall bounce once more."

Engineer Onyango went to the Democratic Republic of Congo 12 days ago. He is sequestered in a hotel room in Matadi, west of Kinshasa, waiting for a flight home. There have been no flights into or out of Congo for the last week.

The worst consequence of the coronavirus is not the possible deaths, probably in thousands as happened in China, and as is happening in Italy and Iran. Such losses are painful, but people can rebound.

In better times, people bent their arms to eat. In coronavirus times, people do so to ward off germs from the air keep from infecting others when they sneeze. In better times, people shook hands to affirm the bond of appreciation. Not any more. Worse, people keep a distance from the other person to prevent possible infection. They have called it ‘social distancing’. The bond of humanity has snapped. Suspicion is the new norm.

The world order is being disrupted in unforeseen ways. Economies of rich countries, and feeble ones, are suffering. Richer climes are proffering subsidies to vulnerable corporate and individual citizens.

Social structures and norms are being dismantled. In better days, people washed their hands to eat. Now hands must be washed frequently in running water to avoid the coronavirus.

In better times, people bent their arms to eat. In coronavirus times, people do so to ward off germs from the air keep from infecting others when they sneeze. In better times, people shook hands to affirm the bond of appreciation. Not any more. Worse, people keep a distance from the other person to prevent possible infection. They have called it ‘social distancing’. The bond of humanity has snapped. Suspicion is the new norm.

 
 

Running water needed to clean hands is in short supply. Governments have failed to invest in water as was promised by the end of the last century. Two decades into the 21st century, communities, including cities such as Nairobi, do not have regular access to clean and fresh piped water.

The pandemic has once against sent a strong reminder: water is life. Healthcare will be tested to the limit. Italy has hit the peak — people are dying by the thousands.

Families that rely on daily wages for their livelihoods are suffering. Employers may be well-meaning, but they cannot sustain payrolls without working and generating incomes. Small and medium enterprises will collapse leaving hitherto successful business owners destitute.

Many poor Africans cannot live for two weeks without getting out of the house to go to work for their daily bread. The lockdown means casual workers could resort to alternative ways of making a living.

There is a high possibility the crime rate, which is already  bad, could get worse. The strained Police Service could have worse days ahead. There is likely to be widespread anarchy unless there is decisive action now.

The Judiciary has called off sittings, leaving the administration of justice to the police. The police cannot arrest and hold people without taking them to court. Cells will be full, or the police won’t arrest, what with social distancing.

The lockdown will mess up the commodity supply chain. There is no telling what this will do to the economy when the worst arrives. Soon, there may be no food in the stores. Even if you had money there would be no food to buy. 

Mass hysteria as a result of fear will probably kill more people than the coronavirus. If the national order falters, there may be no hospitals or health workers to attend to patients with other serious ailments.

When the fog clears, lessons shall have been learnt: Immediate reforms of the healthcare system, massive investment in water and better policing for airports and other entry points. Priorities must change from hardware to basic needs.

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