Yvonne Okwara’s take on the new coronavirus: Death is the true equalizer


Yvonne Okwara's take on the new coronavirus: Death is the true equalizer
Health workers dressed in protective suits after disinfecting the residence where Kenya's first confirmed coronavirus patient was staying in Rongai on March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

They say death is the true equalizer. But in the world today, and Kenya particularly, COVID-19 is the true equalizer.

Never have we been more single-minded with unity of purpose as we are at this moment.

We all have the same fears and worries, how safe are we and our children, do we have enough sanitiser? Do we have enough toilet paper?

Do we have enough testing kits? Is our government prepared to keep us all safe?

Can our healthcare system handle this crisis? For once in our lives, it does not matter whether you are Tangatanga or Kieleweke.

It doesn’t matter whether you support team embrace, or team inua mama. Doesn’t matter whose 2022 ambitions you support.

We are all concerned about our survival. We are all trying to stay healthy. Trying to stay alive

And for the first time in Kenya’s history, we are all, in this together. Literally.

You see, this time, politicians will not fly out of the country to get specialised treatment should they get infected with the new coronavirus.

They will not abandon us. They, just like the rest of us, will stay here and get treatment in the very hospitals that we go to. folks, we shall swim or sink together.

So, why is it then, that we do not have this unity of purpose during other times?

Why do we not collectively hold our government to account, regardless of political affiliation or ethnic background?

Folks, when we call for accountability and ask questions of the government, of its preparedness, of its investments in health, of the fight against corruption, for prudent use of resources, it is for moments such as this.

It is for times like these when we need our government to have put in place policies, to look after all of us, in times such as this.

Yet, we will fight amongst ourselves, call each other names and get distracted from what really matters.

One person will be demonised for asking the government to fight corruption.

Another will be branded for pushing a county government to put up proper health facilities.

Look at us now. All together in this boat called Kenya, living one day at a time, breathing a collective sigh of release each time there is a morsel of good news about this virus, like today when the CS announced that there had been no new cases.

Look at us now.

No one is wondering about the next BBI rally, no one wants to know the latest insult to be unleashed at a next funeral.

No one is calling Raila Odinga or William Ruto names. We are all focused on what is truly important when all is said and done – our health, our well-being, our very survival.

Ladies and gentlemen, this moment, right here, right now, is what I hope we can continue to relive, together. As one.

The goal for all of us is the same. We all want to do more than just live, we want to thrive, we want to succeed.

We want the best for our children, we want good health. We want to stay alive. It has taken a tiny virus that even the naked eye cannot see, to remind us of who we truly are.

Just what will become of us when the virus is gone?

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