This is a common fight – in ground zero, in global laboratories, in hospitals, in our homes and society against a mysterious and deadly viral intruder.
The human spirit is fighting back with vigour on three fronts – by saving lives, in its efforts to seek and find the source of the strain, and by working to develop a drug and a vaccine against the scourge.
People are angry, anxious and frustrated.
The fragmentation of society has been lamented for some time, and now, the coronavirus is driving us further apart.
Shall we still overcome hand in hand once again?
It is indeed a people’s war as Chinese President Xi Jinping said against an organism that few, except specialists in epidemiology and virology, have little knowledge about.
Regardless of the different usages of this gospel song, ‘”We shall overcome’ throughout history, its roots go back to churches in America. It was based on biblical messages emphasising on how to live with the Spirit of God.
Everyone in Kenya is facing different degrees of hardship now, so we are all equal in some ways. We all call this country home and, now that we are collectively suffering, let’s find joy in battling this hardship hand in hand.
Of course, that is contrary to the normal hardship.
But the smart people of Kenya should be able to understand that our experience of adversity can be counted as a deposit in the bank of life and not a withdrawal.
We may not be able to control our circumstances as ordinary citizens, but we can surely control how we think about our circumstances. Instead of thinking about them negatively, we could view what we are now experiencing as a process of growth and strength worth rejoicing over, despite our pain today.
We should be able to learn and get through this together and become stronger. Only in turbulent waters, can we be purified of all that is false and useless.
This is a perfect time for us to reboot our country and walk hand in hand. It is a time not for stigma but solidarity.
Let’s stop reading, close our eyes and sing this song together again.
We shall overcome / We shall overcome / We shall overcome, someday / Oh, deep in my heart / I do believe / We shall overcome, someday
We’ll walk hand in hand / We’ll walk hand in hand / We’ll walk hand in hand, someday / Oh, deep in my heart / I do believe / We shall overcome, someday
We shall live in peace / We shall live in peace / We shall live in peace, someday / Oh, deep in my heart / I do believe / We shall overcome, someday
We are not afraid / We are not afraid / We are not afraid, today.
Kenyans must avoid misinformation that causes panic and anxiety.
“Let us remember that as Kenyans, we have been faced with other crisis in the past, and we have always triumphed by coming together in the spirit of national unity and cooperation.
Every Kenyan has a responsibility in ensuring they play their part in safeguarding lives. This pandemic will test us, as it is testing all countries, but I do not believe it will defeat us.
If we pull together, and everybody does their part, we shall overcome its worst impacts” President Uhuru