My name is Angela, I come from Kiambu County in Kenya and work in Nairobi in a professional services firm. Like most countries, Kenya was preparing for the coronavirus pandemic so it was just a matter of when and how.
When the first positive case was announced, we had just finished a firm-wide meeting at work, it involved a game where we had to hold hands and most of us were unwilling to. That’s how crazy panic is. Then people proceeded to over shop rolls of tissue. I do not understand why this would be the first thing people seem to rush for when disaster is looming, but it has become the hallmark of the pandemic in some way.
Over the next few days, the government began putting in place various restrictions, so as a result some of us have been working from home for a while now. I definitely do not miss the Nairobi traffic, but I also miss being home because I wanted to be (introvert things). I have been dealing with a lot of anxiety because of information overload, which I am sure most people are also experiencing in relation to being infected with the disease, my work, and the safety of my loved ones.
Overall, 2020 is not the double portion of what we were expecting, as instead of blessings, it has been a calamity after the other, or even at the same time. But I hope that as the year goes by, things turn around.
I am part of a movement called the Focolare, and the youth have an annual event called the united world week, where we have activities that try to solve socio-economic problems that our countries face, as well as showcase what the youth have already done. With the pandemic, most of us had to rethink our activities as most involved physical meetings, but we were able to restrategize and still make the best of it. For the region I am in (East and South Africa) we did fundraisers for those who are unable to fend for themselves due to job loss or other reasons, as well as carry out internal meetings on Zoom just to catch up and brainstorm.
So though I have been unable to learn new things, (I really would have loved to know all the words to bella ciao) I have been able to make little impact in some way and caught up with the Zoom craze ( I have seen pretty much everyone’s bad hair.. and beards, I don’t think it can get any worse than what I have seen).