I remember a normal life where I would start my day at 4 am, board a public vehicle to work, and have a 9-12 hour work schedule. It is the most beautiful thing I got used to and it became my daily routine. Until one day a catastrophe bumped into that beautiful routine and resulted in a dilemma where I had to choose safety over everything else.

One year later and I’m still struggling to get another job as I lost my previous one due to COVID-19. Life hasn’t been easy, in fact, what I thought was easy to do became my worst nightmare. Affording to put something on the table for my old folks is not what I used to see as easy.

I remember a life where shaking hands and hugging especially in my African culture is considered the norm, and a way to show appreciation. I remember when family get-togethers would be something we all enjoyed but not anymore. It’s either we choose safety or risk our health.

7:30 pm was my all-time hour for coffee, after a long day at work. I would walk into my favorite coffee shop along Kimathi Street (Nairobi) and catch up with my colleagues and yes, this was what life meant. Freedom was something we took for granted, I mean one could always postpone a meet-up, long drives, and a late-night walk. But now life is not the same again. Curfews, lockdowns, and masks became the order of the day.

Life is not what it used to be.
Freedom is no longer here with us.