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Of social lessons brought by coronavirus pandemic

By Patrick Wachira
Monday, April 27th, 2020
Social lessons brought by coronavirus pandemic.

It appears that coronavirus epidemic has brought more social lessons than just the much-touted washing of hands and use of alcohol-based sanitisers.

You see, even journalists, who are feared as custodians of information and secrets, are having trouble even writing the name of this dreaded disease.

Before I forget, please remind me to share with you some of the top-secret dossiers that we happen to possess involving some of our honchos in politics, business and industry.

We members of the so-called Forth Estate happen to know a lot. But that is subject for another day.

I was telling you that even scribes are having trouble with this disease, which I hear emanated from some countries in Asia.

Export citizens

Just last week, I heard some excited television reporter referring to it as Corona 16.

I am still trying to make up my mind whether 16 is an earlier version of the 19 that we are all battling or it was just the creation of a scribe with a fertile imagination.

Still on TV folks, a news item ran a fortnight ago and a strap informed us that so many folks had died from Corona 20.

Again, had Covid-19 mutated and eluded scientists or was this TV station getting ahead of itself?

That reminds me of the days of Nicolae Causescu, some president of some country whose name I forget (we are talking about either eighties or nineties).

Some reporter (TV, no less!), just read the name as Chausiku. And there was an uproar as listeners wondered if Kenya had started to export its citizens abroad to take up presidential jobs.

Away from journalists and their version of the Corona debacle, I sauntered to our local kiosk a few days ago to buy fruits and ended up buying a lot more than I had planned to.

As I was deciding whether to buy avocado, which I hear makes men develop more than their fair share of hips, I overheard two women and their the conversation made me overstay.

You see, one was telling the other that since the curfew started, she knew no peace, since the hubby was so much around that she could not even find space to fart.

Send signals

I knew then that one reason women like it if their husbands troop home after dark or after 9pm is to have leeway to break wind. You mean it is such serious business? Ha!

Her friend had her own tale to tell. Apparently, her spouse gets home well after midnight daily, after “passing by” the local to “chat” other men over this and that.

Come Day One of the curfew and the fellow was home well before 7pm. He was heard commenting about how big his daughter had become!

That particular family must have had a bit of drama. As soon as supper was served a few days later, the youngest girl, barely out of her diapers, asked the mother: “Kwani daddy siku hizi amekuja kukaa na sisi?” (Has daddy come to live with us these days?).

Maybe you could look at the matter as if it is a brighter side of this Corona thing.

Another bright side of the mask-wearing season is that for folks who borrow from relatives and friends and are not in a hurry to pay, it is a blessing of sorts, as no one can recognise anyone anymore.

You saunter into a supermarket and unless someone touches your shoulder, or speaks, you have no idea who they are.

Whether this is necessarily a good thing or bad depends on where you stand. I know you get the drift.

But the best thing about social distancing, which is more like physical distancing is that no one is hugging anyone anymore.

Up until two months ago, folks were hugging like they were getting medals for it.

Anyone meeting a colleague or friend they had not met in three days had to hug. In some cases, the hugs were more prolonged than others, which, of course, sent some signals, either right or wrong.

It was worse for the young and young-at-heart. The former hugged at every opportunity, including friends or classmates they parted with only the previous day. Ha! Hugs had lost meaning.

When I was growing up, you did not hug anyone the age of your mother, for obvious reasons.

Neither did you hug anyone you meet practically every day. Have a distance-keeping week, folks! – The writer is Special Projects Editor, People Daily