I got me a haircut two days ago. It was the first in three weeks. If you know me then you also know that hair on my head grows unevenly while my beard sprouts like it is on steroids. Therefore, my barber and I have a date on average every ten days.
But thanks to the new normal, ‘tings dem have changed’. The world is like a glass of water that has been knocked over and now, the water is pouring out as you scramble to catch the glass so that it does not shatter. Will it shatter? Who will ensure it doesn’t shatter? Is it me and you, is it the President and all his people? Or will the virus itself at some point go like, ‘…folks, I’m done for now, but please eat your veggies, or….’
With the way you and I, i.e. human beings, have reacted the world over and the way most governments have bungled the reaction especially at the onset, it seems the latter scenario where the virus itself has mercy on a frail human response is what will save us.
Early on when the corona virus, aka COVID-19, finally made it to Kenya, one of the announcements his excellency the President made is that we shall have a national prayer day. Don’t get me wrong, and if you live in Kenya you know there were other measures key among them shutting down all schools, but yes he did call for a national prayer day.
Maybe the President felt that we are being assailed left and right – remember we were battling locusts, flailing and failing mightily too. One CS said, please take pictures of the locusts and send, to where again? Your local MCA perhaps? The new fellow swaggered in and said worry not you all, these chaps are ageing! Again, do not get me wrong, I’m sure a lot was done by way of practical and clever dealing with the ‘plague’ but precious time had been lost taking pictures.
Over in the UK, Mr. BJ, who has himself been hospitalized by COVID 19, had the brilliant idea that perhaps we should (the we here being Brits) get it so that immunity against it can be built. I hate to say this when he is in a bad way and in hospital, but I sure hope he has either learnt this thing needs some real dealing with or that he has built the said immunity!
Across the pond, in the US, often the less said about DJT the better, but really, he has been the epitome of bungling things up, has he not? He said many unbelievably ridiculous things like how it will miraculously, or was it magically, go away on its own and how he – being federal government – wouldn’t offer help to states and governors who were not grateful or kind and polite to him. Our own UK should have called for global not national prayers.
And again, don’t get me wrong, there are places where the fight against COVID-19 has been taken seriously enough from the onset and it has not left the carnage we see in other places. Singapore, South Korea and China stand out as countries that have taken it seriously and the results do show.
However, what is sorely lacking in the world today is leadership. The world used to look up to the US for leadership. The richest, most advanced in all ways, land of the proverbial milk and honey. But the US, instead of getting better, regressed. The US sat on its laurels. Maybe they needed the USSR to keep them on their toes – I guess that is the logic of a strong ODM as opposed to one that cozies up to Jubilee, huh? I finally get it. Russia led by PV has hangovers of the good old days when they were pretenders to the global leadership throne but they are such a pale, barely recognizable shadow of what once was that nobody pays them any mind anymore.
China does not quite command world respect as much as they have made great strides and attempting to become a global leader. Yes, they are the world’s factory and supermarket but they do not seem to have the ideals that the world thinks it aspires to, so we just buy their stuff but we do not buy their ideals.
My point, nationally and globally, a lack of leadership, a lack of someone or entity that could tune our minds and actions in the right direction in the fight against COVID-19 has not been there. Responses have been varied even in one country with different states/counties mounting solo responses. It rises or falls on leadership. (Someone said that).
Since we have been holed up at home and are all, hopefully, learning new skills, my wife tried her hand at shaving and did a mighty good job. It took me a while to believe that she could. I’d rather hoped the virus would – to borrow DJT’s words – magically disappear so that I may appear at my barber’s, but it was not to be so. Who knows, I may have found a new way to make a saving in this COVID-19 inspired tough times.
For this could just be our new normal.