Covid 19 News Impact

Zamara Foundation

I am that person who follows local and international news keenly. I had been following the Covid 19 pandemic in Wuhan, China and Italy and watched all the graphic videos circulating on social media of dead bodies being dumped in mass graves with no families just the police force. I don’t know about the legitimacy of those videos but I was scared. I wasn’t even scared for myself but for my family. I am that person who cares less about what happens to me but will do everything to protect my family.

I silently prayed every night that this pandemic doesn’t reach my country. I also yapped on social media about how our government should close all borders. I call it yapping because my message wasn’t directed to any policymaker hence no impact would have come from it, but I yapped anyway. I even had ‘keyboard fights’ with friends who were arguing in favour of the economy and I was in favour of life; what is the economy without life? But nature has its own way of testing humans. 12th March 2020: the most dreaded news hit our country. The first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country. I was angry at the government. I thought if only they had closed the borders this would not have happened. But I came to realize later whether the borders were closed or not, our borders are porous and the virus would have entered the country anyway. So, the virus is here and the only way to go about it is to heed the government’s directives to keep ourselves safe.

My worst fear was the disease hitting my home county in Kilifi. Ironically, Kilifi county was among the first counties to be hit by the virus. My dad has diabetes and hypertension and my mum suffers from other diseases that come with old age. This means their immunity is not very strong. Furthermore, my dad still had to work and he relied on public transport, which put him at high risk of infection. It was a scary moment for me; I would call my parents every hour to ensure they are adhering to the Covid 19 guidelines set by the government.

It became worse when I couldn’t go home every weekend from Mombasa to Kilifi County to prevent exposing my parents and siblings to the virus. My workplace closed down and we had to work from home for 3 months. It was a very lonely moment for me.  Naturally, I am an outgoing person, so having to stay indoors for three months without seeing family and friends took a toll on me. I think I fell into depression at some point. I am learning to live with the virus; hopefully, all this will be over sooner than later.

Winnie Lozi Mwangiri is a Monitoring and Evaluation Expert and Policy Enthusiast in the Coast Region, with extensive experience in project monitoring, evaluation and learning. She is also a strong policy advocate in Mombasa and Kilifi Counties in matters Governance, Adolescent and Young People Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, currently together with other youth advocates in Kilifi County, she is advocating for the domestication of the MHM policy and the establishment of youth-friendly centres in Kilifi County.