LETTERS TO TE EDITOR

We will defeat the virus through collective willpower

In Summary

• Police should pause collecting ‘toll’ on the PSVs. It will show this is not business as usual.

• The majority use PSV for transport and it has been highlighted as one of the weak links.

A Kenya Red Cross official trains Kabarnet prisoners on hand washing to prevent coronavirus on Wednesday.
SIMPLE, CHEAP, EFFECTIVE: A Kenya Red Cross official trains Kabarnet prisoners on hand washing to prevent coronavirus on Wednesday.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Covid-19 cases have now hit 50. We are still developing and as such, our response should be tailored to our ability.

First, as individuals, let’s take time to reflect. Our morals are way off. We still want to make a ‘killing “in this disaster. Corruptly religious seems to aptly capture us. And arrogant: The calendar is 2020 but we are swearing on 2022.Life belongs to God.

Second, someone tell the banking industry: This is not a joke. Place moratorium on all loans and collections. No conditions. The effect will flow. To landlords, who are claiming that rent must be paid. Or vehicle owners hiking fares. To auctioneers and debt collectors still harassing loaners.

Then, don’t close markets and other informal businesses. Otherwise we will starve people to death while trying to protect them from sickness. Keep them open so as to support the closed formal sector. Instead, lets help them keep the hygiene, social distance and other measures. And commend them when they do it right.

Police should pause collecting ‘toll’ on the PSVs. It will show this is not business as usual. The majority use PSV for transport and it has been highlighted as one of the weak links.

Provide information on treatment. If I have the virus, is that a death sentence? If I have some of the symptoms say headache and I take a pain killer, is that ok or not? This will help more people come forward for testing and treatment.

Open avenues for citizens to help be it in cash or other means. Have a special fund. Hotels are empty. Let them be voluntary used as isolation spots. Let people volunteer, we have abundance of manpower. In return maybe for tax credits and rebates, or state recognition once the situation stabilities.

If there is a way the government can supply maize (our staple food), it will go a long way towards enhancing compliance. We may lack money, but food is a basic need. And we have maize enough for this crisis.

Hospitals should use this chance to release bodies held for unpaid bills. Burials become expansive due to fundraising needed to offset medical bills.

Again, see how to open churches etc. Kenyans are deeply religious people. Set rules and strictly enforce them. We will defeat the virus through medical breakthroughs and our collective willpower. Religious institutions will be one of the ways to channel our hopes positively. While at it, New York closed bars, but left liquor stores open. For sanity’s sake (and family members safety), see how to provide a relief for regular drinkers who right now may exhibit withdrawal effects.

KRA like the informal sector should keep working. But self-regulate and exercise leniency lest you be flogging a dead horse.

Finally, support innovation and creativity of Kenyans. Necessity is the mother of invention and right now Kenyans are needy more than ever before. Many will do things to put food on the table and with support feed even others. Let’s be on the look out for ways to help them as we rebuild our nation.