14-12-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
The festive season begins and the cases in the tourist counties fatally increase.
As we saw for example in Italy last August, for us especially "holidays" are synonymous with lightness (for goodness sake, it has always been natural and right) and "letting go".
This can be done in many ways, but certainly in this unfortunate year there is one thing that really cannot be overlooked and that the thousands of deaths and the same number of hospitalised patients that we have left behind and that are still being added to on a daily basis should teach us: respect the few but fundamental rules of pandemic containment, which is not so much an abstract thing as it means not risking being sick or making others sick (which is often a relative or a close friend).
The problem does not exist only in Italy, as shown by the national data of last Saturday, for example, Kilifi County, which includes Malindi and Watamu, reported 153 official cases of Covid-19, the second highest number after Nairobi. And it is Nairobi-Kilifi that is the focus of travel these days.
The tourism sector is blessing the decision not to close the most infected regions for Christmas, as our country did.
But alongside the official figures there are hidden ones, whose failure to be counted is not due to some kind of machination, it is simply the fact that so many Kenyans do not go to hospital and do not evaluate a Covid-19 pneumonia that is so different from the more frequent diseases they live with: malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever, asthma.
They don't go to the hospital, basically for lack of money, but also to avoid the discovery of other diseases that, in addition to the ones that people die of every day in Kenya, can be treated or fought for shillings, or that force not only the person, but also the whole family and the entire village into isolation, causing a lack of essential workforce.
But let's get back to us, to the Italians on the Kenyan coast at the moment and to those who are arriving. It is not our intention to terrorize anyone, but to make you understand that you can have fun, relax, live the wonder of this paradise, even with the usual two or three basic stakes.
BE AWARE THAT MALINDI AND WATAMU ARE NOT AT ALL COVID-19 FREE.
We can confirm that since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been, and still are, cases of positivity among Italians, and some have been contracted due to excessive lightness or lack of respect for the natural rules of prevention.
We would like to remind you that should you contract the virus, even if you are asymptomatic and despite being on holiday, you do not have the right to go around infecting others and that simply having contact with your houseboy or cook can kill people in villages where there is no possibility of treating the elderly.
Similarly, whether you are positive or have been around a few days before in environments where you knew there were people with the virus, avoid associating with anyone, compatriots or not.
If symptoms appear, call a doctor or the government's Covid-19 team, whose phone numbers should be in your possession and at hand for anyone.
Also because operators usually move quickly, even though they do not always have the support of means and tools at their disposal.
DO NOT ORGANISE HOUSE PARTIES, BIRTHDAYS AND OTHER EVENTS.
Those who are in Kenya for holidays (but unfortunately also many residents) and behave more or less as if nothing was wrong, are potential asymptomatic positives.
Avoid dinners, parties and gatherings of twenty or more people.
Instead, prefer small groups of people whose habits you know.
Another tip is to go to restaurants that respect social distances between tables, that sanitise you and test your fever at the entrance and where employees and owners wear masks.
And we invite all restaurateurs who might forget this, to reinforce these measures over the Christmas period.
BE AWARE OF HOW HEALTHCARE WORKS HERE
The average age of Italians in Kenya is quite high and health care here does not offer the guarantees that there may be in Italy. In recent days in Kilifi an important person died because oxygen was not found in time. This can happen even to those who have sufficient economic resources.
In addition, and this is very important, the local population on the coast for various reasons almost never respects the rules. They often wear masks, which are just a cover to avoid controls by the authorities, and in the immediate hinterland there are no precautions of any kind (sometimes there is no water for days, you can also understand how difficult it is to respect hygiene rules or similar).
AVOID HUGS WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT LIVE WITH YOU.
It is precisely this African lightness that should make us wary of those who may have different habits from our own.
Covid-19 is present and widespread and asymptomatic people account for 95% of the total.
Use all precautions with those who sell you anything, with the staff and at the same time do not be too expansive with Kenyan acquaintances. In general, as already mentioned, those who live here find it difficult to respect the rules of prevention and containment.
EXPRESSIONS AND MANNERS TO CUT OFF
"I've just arrived from Italy, I've done the tampon you can greet me properly".
Nonsense. If someone arrives in Kenyan holiday resorts simply because he could not do certain things in Italy, he should be dissuaded immediately.
"Kenyans are so careless that if Covid-19 was serious here, they would all be dead by now."
In addition to the unofficial numbers mentioned above, there is certainly the fact that Kenyans are not seriously affected by the infection, but let's not forget that most of the world's dead are in the 60 and over age group and that the average age of Kenyans is lower.
The problem is not so much for them as for us if we are not careful.
A word of advice: don't get into a tuk-tuk where the driver is not wearing a mask and has no sanitizer. Avoid moving with boda-bodas.
In short, we recommend that Kenya has taught us the beauty of life, but not necessarily to mind our own business to the detriment of others.
Have a good holiday, and have fun responsibly.
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