26-07-2021 by Freddie del Curatolo
The Kenyan people, in their mass coherence sublimated in the collective imagination that wants them to be relatively peaceful and friendly, especially compared to many other African populations, almost always escape clichés and easy considerations.
You can't complain about the complete inefficiency of a service or an employee, who immediately appears to be a genius capable of pulling a solution out of a completely empty cylinder, there are categories of people capable of indignating you and at the same time moving you, awakening the most bizarre primordial instincts and making you as meek as a tabby.
Even in this pandemic period, Kenyans have shown a certain logic in facing the various challenges they have been presented with.
In the face of the ancestral fatalism that often preserves them from despair, they have not shied away from the habits that the mischievous and superficial call mindlessness and the observant and wise call realism.
Some people, talking about their reaction to the information and proselytism campaigns, have tried to define them as 'no vax', just to give them an epithet that would globalise them as it has long been the case in western countries.
The Kenyans who make up the numbers, it is never repetitive enough to remind us, are the poor citizens, those who float above the minimum daily subsistence threshold, defined as about one dollar.
So, how can you call them 'no vax' like any Italian devourer of information, someone who makes a political, philosophical argument about interests ranging from holidays in Formentera to a bankrupt business?
That kind of Kenyan, who represents eighty per cent of the inhabitants, is more of a 'no-vax' than a 'no-hospital', in the sense that for him the hospital is already a danger, an insidiousness, a place he does not trust, and that he could post at the entrance the famous Dante's epigraph 'abandon all hope or you who enter'.
Before the vaccine, Kenyans had to contend with malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, AIDS and an endless series of diseases that doctors did not recognise or know how to treat.
Or for which treatment was far too expensive.
How can anyone think of making a point about vaccines?
Even if the long-awaited malaria vaccine were to arrive, the state would probably have to make it compulsory, at least for infants and children, and administer it in schools or at home, to be successful. It is no coincidence that in the solidarity initiatives of foundations or charities, such as the frequent ones against polio, for example, 'medical camps' are organised: people are examined, medicated and vaccinated in stadiums or schoolyards. Never in hospitals.
Today, however, in the face of the economic crisis and hunger that is advancing inexorably, as estimated by the African Development Bank, reported by Angelo Ferrari in an eloquent article in Agenzia Italia (AGI), there are those who are beginning to ask their government to import more doses, as promised by the Ministry of Health. In August, according to Minister Mutahi Kagwe, 12 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines should arrive. But since his announcement last June, there has been silence.
Tourism workers, restaurant workers, drivers and other public workers would also face idiosyncrasy to health facilities, just to start again towards a slightly less poor future, in which the prices of foodstuffs essential to live would not continue to rise.
As Ferrari points out, 'rebalancing in favour of a development plan for food security should be the priority for the continent's economies if they do not want to come up against a society that is increasingly impatient due to a lack of welfare policies. The challenge is enormous.
So here the Kenyans amaze us for the umpteenth time, between the "vax" and the "no-vax" come the "maybe-vax". It's always the same old story: those who think they can choose, want to have the right to be difficult, the know-it-all, the "against" on principle or (also rightly) prove that there is still something for which they can be called "free".
Those who are free because they have nothing and can choose almost exclusively between bad and worse, often have clearer ideas and fewer prejudices.
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