In the words of the Cabinet Secretary for Health Mr. Mutahi Kagwe, Covid-19 is real, and “I can get it, you can get, we can get. A song has even been made about it. People are in hospital, some are dead, and life will never be the same for millions of others.
Covid-19 has changed how people relate to each other, not only in Kenya but around the world. Human beings are now constantly washing their hands than ever before, wearing face masks, and trying as much as possible to observe social distancing.
Millions of businesses have shut down around the world, with Kenya not spared. Millions of people including Kenyans have lost their jobs. Cases of people being ejected from their houses for failure to pay rent have been on the increase.
When Covid-19 was still knocking at the doors of Kenya, it was thought that the youth were more immune to it as compared to the aged. But things seem to be changing. The majority of those who are getting infected in Kenya are the youth.
More worrying, some of the youth who have succumbed to the virus are those who have to history of pre-existing conditions. This means, contrary to what many thought, the youth are actually becoming more vulnerable to Covid-19 than anybody else.
In Kenya, the youth have often been blamed for “not taking the Covid-19 issue seriously.” They have been accused of refusing to adhere to the guidelines set by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health. These guidelines include avoiding crowded places, observing social distance, washing hands with water and soap or use hand sanitizers, and wearing of the mask properly.
The fight against Covid-19 in Kenya will be won if the Kenyan youth will be involved and take part in the fight. The youth are the majority in Kenya and this only means that they have a huge stake in this fight. The youth account for over 70 percent of the population in Kenya. This means that their involvement in the fight should actually be above 70 percent.
How can the youth be part of the Covid-19 fight? Easy. Follow the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health. Stop assuming that you are immune. Wear your mask properly. Wash your hands. Sanitize. Stop holding house parties and stay indoors if you have nowhere to go.
The youth can also take the lead in educating the masses on Covid-19 and the dangers it comes with. They can take it upon themselves to lead the way in ensuring that people know that wearing a mask, observing social distance and washing hands is for their own good.
As a youth, what can you do to help in the fight against Covid-19? Join the State Department for Youth as they celebrate the National Youth Week as they sail towards the International Youth Day set for August 12, 2020.
Today, the subject of discussion is leadership and governance skills among the youth and the role of the youth in the fight against Covid-19.