‘Know someone who has COVID?’ How one tweet brought home the horrors of coronavirus in Kenya


'Know someone who has COVID?' How one tweet brought home the horrors of coronavirus ...
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Groups of scientists around the world are using wastewater testing as a non-invasive way to measure the prevalence of coronavirus in their communities.

In Summary

  • The replies were as shocking as they were many and probably did more to raise awareness than most people in media, science and government.
  • She was able to give humanise the disease by letting, not the numbers speak, but those affected either directly or indirectly.
  • It didn't take long before she started changing minds of some skeptics. Just a few scrolls down her tweet to find a new convert.

You have probably heard the COVID-19 sceptics loudly wonder if anyone at all knows someone who has contracted the deadly virus that has shocked the world.

The question is meant to try and show that there is no such thing as the novel coronavirus and it is some ploy by governments around the world to control their people for reasons even they don’t know.

But coronavirus is real and it has killed many and robbed families of their loved ones, breadwinners and their lives will never be the same again.

The number of COVID-19 infections in Kenya has risen to 3,594 after 137 more cases were confirmed on Sunday, June 15, 2020. About 103 people have died.

There are the lucky few who have managed to face-off with the virus and won but even they are left with a myriad of health issues.

One Twitter user, @caroledee probably having heard all the sceptics took to her social media account and posed “Do you personally know someone who has Covid? How are they fairing?”

https://twitter.com/caroledee/status/1271802283416793089

The replies were as shocking as they were many and probably did more to raise awareness than most people in media, science and government.

She was able to humanise the disease by letting, not the numbers speak, but those affected either directly or indirectly.

It didn’t take long before she started changing minds of some sceptics. Just a few scrolls down her tweet to find a new convert.

@GacherruKariuki, a self proclaimed skeptic tweeted; “Wow… All this time, I have been thinking Covid is a scam by the government to get donor funds from abroad. I’m shocked that there are people who have actually suffered from it.”

The same “simple” tweet had a personal experience; @stonitangawizi brought home the impact by sharing his personal story.

“I’m one. Tested positive and was put in isolation. 10 days later it got worse, I was diagnosed with pneumonia and a bilateral pulmonary embolism (clot in both lungs). I’m out now after spending 37 days in hospital. I’ll be on anticoagulants for 3-6 months,” he said.

The comments were full of people who have been bereaved and have buried or are planning burials for the victims and they were heart-wrenching and brought to life the horrors of the coronavirus.

Many people were shocked at just how deadly the disease has been in Kenya even as the country starts moving towards reopening with many arguing that coronavirus is not as deadly.

That, coupled with a recent government statement that 80 per cent of the COVID-19 patients in hospitals are asymptomatic has many Kenyans cheering thinking we have slayed the dragon.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his team have been on the forefront of asking Kenyans to take extreme care and not contract the virus as it is still among us and spreading fast.

https://twitter.com/stonitangawizi/status/1271882037679591426

https://twitter.com/catemimi1772/status/1272183981459587073

https://twitter.com/shyolympia/status/1272152575916343297

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Story By Ian Omondi
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