Fear of the Coronavirus pandemic fizzling out

The fear of the novel Coronavirus pandemic seems to be fizzling out in Nakuru County.

It appears as if the tsunami people were waiting for, receded and faded quietly, albeit in their minds.

The talk and feel in the county are that of a disease which has already passed over their area, and they are loudly wondering, why they should not be allowed to continue with their normal lives.

Being a farming county which depends on the Nairobi market, people are miffed that transporting their produce has become a nightmare.

Peter Kimani, a cabbage farmer, says it bothers him that his produce is rotting in the farm and the few middlemen who knock at his gate offer to buy at a through-away price, claiming that they are spending a lot of money bribing police officers as they transport their goods to markets at the city.

Others’ allege that cabbages are no longer in demand, since other vegetables, particularly the traditional ones including managu and saggeti are now readily available due to the heavy rainfall countrywide.

Elsewhere, a poultry farmer, Callen Kemunto, claims her life has been interfered with by a disease she doesn’t understand nor comprehend.

Kemunto says the pandemic has negatively affected her business since her five hundred broilers are now mature but she doesn’t have a market to take them to.

“The broilers feed my family and pay my bills, how will l manage to pay school fees for my children?’’ she laments.

In another area of the county, Julius Kimalit, a dairy farmer, claims the demand for the milk has dwindled since the rains have increased production.

This has seen Kimalit incur losses since he cannot afford to buy the cattle feed. He has now resulted in selling his animals to butchers to make ends meet for his family.

In an interview with several farmers by KNA, one common concern in their minds was, what is this virus? This is despite the daily briefings on the rising numbers of infections by the Ministry Of Health.

Jane Njeri, a teacher, said that despite her level of education, she doesn’t have enough understanding of the virus to enable her to explain to her neighbours’ or her social media networks’ who appear as confused as she is.

“Maybe it would be important for the government to dedicate some free call-in programs on radio and television to enable people to ask questions and express their concerns,” she observed.

The recent case of a thirteen-year-old boy from Kimunya village, in Solai, who tested positive after a long stay in Hospital, has also stunned the residents of Nakuru County.

Area Chief, Peter Chege, said it was shocking that a child from a remote village contracted the disease.

He said the health officials went to the village and quarantined the six family members in their home, but the villagers wondered why so instead of being taken away to the quarantine centres.

The residents were further dumbfounded when, the Dr John Mburu, of Nakuru Level Five Hospital, described the results of the medical tests on that could be a false positive and more tastes were being carried out to confirm the case.

“The people are asking what a false positive is. What is asymptomatic? And how come the boy was admitted for tuberculosis but after a month it turned to be something else,” the Chief added.

The Chairman of hawkers in Nakuru town, Johnson Ndegwa, said the people who are leading the pandemic from the front, have not appreciated that business need to keep running otherwise they will stop running eventually.

“My wish is that the counties with no cases reported so far be allowed to operate normally and even if it means locking their borders,’’ he stated.

A few of the children interviewed by KNA seem to have a misconception that the disease is for older people and their immediate concern is when the schools will be reopened.

They lamented that the days were too long and boring without them attending school. Some of them claimed that they will not want to close school again once they are opened and learning resume.

There’s a need for improved communication to the public on what the disease is in order to guard against misleading information.

Those mandated to sensitize people about the Coronavirus pandemic should be experts in the field of health so that it is not handled as though it is political gimmicks or propaganda.



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