ODM leader Raila Odinga has penned a heartfelt message urging Kenyans to take more precautions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter dated April 3, 2020, Odinga noted that pandemics at any one-time change societies in fundamental ways, and also let it slip that he too had no clear idea where the country will end up due to the Coronavirus situation.
“Where the COVID-19 will take us, we cannot tell for now. But we know that we have to fight it. We need a new breed of patriots for this new breed of war. The war is not for the armed selected few. it is for every man, woman, every boy, and girl,” he wrote.
The ODM leader further urged Kenyans to personalize the war and ensure that they use their existing social connections to keep safe each and every day and urge them to do the same.
An image of medical officers in a hospital
Medical staff in protective suits in a hospital.ABC NEWS
“I am calling on every Kenyan to use his or her existing personal social connections and ask them daily to protect themselves daily from Coronavirus.
“Let each of us make daily phone calls, have video chats, send emails and text messages to friends, family and acquaintances including chama members, prayer group members, business people, riders, touts, and drivers, former and current schoolmates, e.t.c.
“Encourage all of them to avoid crowds, observe social distance, wash their hands and wear masks, even improvised and homemade ones,” he appealed.
Odinga also urged Kenyans to desist from struggling with strangers to accept and adopt the measures spelled out by the government and urged them to instead concentrate on the ones they have a personal relationship with.
In the letter, he informed the youth that it was now the right time for them to stand up and be counted for doing the right thing in light of the virus.
“To the youth of Kenya, this is your chance to be our country’s new soldiers, new saviours. Use the advantages that technology has put in your hands like smartphones and social media to encourage your friends to stay safe and to keep them company from a distance,” he wrote.
Odinga further told Kenyans not to appear too grim in the face of the pandemic but to instead tread lightly and still celebrate each other’s company in such tough times.
“My fellow Kenyans, I have known you for long. I know your strong faith and belief in friends, family, social network and acquaintances. I know your determination, kindness, and humour even in grim situations.
“Let these come to play now. Let us make this a people-for-people moment. Let us all go out and tell our friends to tell their friends that the window is slowly shutting.
“If we do not take personal control now, there will be no control to take later. You remain in my thoughts and prayers,” Raila concluded.