Posted in Challenges, Need Intervention, Relevant, Technology

The New Normal: Covid-19 Carry Forwards


We have been dealt a blow in our diverse ways and means as a people of the universe by this pandemic. We may cry foul and whine all we want but that is life’s curve ball thrown at us. We have a duty for our own posterity to do what it takes to mitigate, control, alleviate and extinguish the adverse effects of the corona virus in this time and age. As a pragmatist we have to look at the new normal going forward. This is a preview of the main feature that we yet do not know when it will open up in our world theatre stage. So as such we have to prepare and inculcate lessons learnt and good practices acquired long before and during this period. I agree with many clean freaks now that there can never be too much cleaning or sanitizing or even disinfecting of ourselves, surfaces, items and spaces around us. Truly cleanliness is divine and since it is next to godliness then no disease survives when we pursue cleanliness.

I believe strongly going forward the following need to be our new normal as responsible citizens of the world.

  1. All airports, border points and passenger terminals require disinfecting stations – medical checks booths and quarantine protocols of any disturbing discovered vitals for passengers. There should be no exceptions.
  2. Sanitation points should be mandatory for public space, restaurants, food courts, sporting facilities, religious spaces and learning institutions.
  3. Personal Hygiene policies should be adopted into laws and by all entities to safeguard those that patronize their premises. The distance of 1.5m or 2m between queues is a great gain of order and safeguarding each person’s hygiene. It would be a natural antidote to pickpockets. Anyone who is unwell should have a facial mask of N95 standards – this would end the cold and flu outbreaks we witness every other season. People that have a cough or sneeze should be held responsible if they infect others when they do not protect themselves by regularly sanitizing and wearing of a facial mask.
  4. Embrace Digital transformation in how we work, relate and socialize. We can save a lot by using technology. Many meetings that would have ended up in a long trip that deprives families of their loved ones time can be done online and leave travel for the most critical and confidential ones. Let travel be about holidays.
  5. Have regular disinfecting programs for public and private spaces. This will help deal with the clutter, garbage and sewage problem that burdens our societies. They are the source of many diseases.
  6. Regularly review our business continuity plans as governments, government related organizations, religious organizations, learning institutions and private institutions including families. Each government (main or regional) and other public and private organizations need to have dire measures protocols they can enact in combating issues of great disruption like this pandemic. This means governments need to create incentives for the populace to save and invest but more keenly develop resiliency for at least one year lockdown eventualities. How can we be creative so that taxes are not seen as burden and as such have more people be capable and willing to pay them? How can we show value so that taxes generated end up doing more good to the people and thus enhance their resolve to support good governance? How can we individual be now intentional in building reserves for our families starting with a month’s provision then build to years of essential provisions? Can education be more affordable if we adopt technology? Can government and business be less expensive if we genuinely implement systems and use technology? I still don’t understand why we use email and cannot use the same technology for public participation and tenders submission in totality not partial enforcements.
  7. Leaders’ responsibility over their units of mandate need to go deeper. We have seen leadership from leaders once perceived as weak or non-discerning. While the eloquent and loud have been embarrassingly shooting their feet by queer non-stellar interventions that are a show of nothing short of foolishness. The reliefs governments and businesses have given people across the world should continue. The goodwill earned therein will catapult those countries and businesses even higher. The key word here being “implementation” many declarations will not see the light of day. But a day of reckoning is coming. The internet does not forget – many leaders will be quoted in days to come and held to account over the declaration of relief that will not have been implemented. Here in Kenya we have seen how election promises made in the high of campaigns are being replayed. The disdain and doubt now dealt on those that made their election promises is appalling. Let the relief declarations made in the wake of COVID-19 not be akin to unmet election promises.

By Lunani Joseph

The writer is a technology solutions architect and works with Insynque Solutions as the Managing Director and Lead Consultant. Pictures are courtesy of tipsmake.com and Twitter handle @ThikaTowntoday

Posted in Challenges, Thumbs Up

HEALTH CHECK THEN RESTORATION


Happy New Year! having said that this 22ND day of January 2014 may seem a little odd but the fact that we are still in the first quarter of the year. this is to encourage all to have a new start.

Sometime last year must have been in July of 2013 or thereabouts, I felt some pain in my right heel. I assumed it was the after effects of walks in the field. I knew it would wear off and like many times before I quickly massaged it and forgot about it. When many days later I did feel the pain again I massaged it with more vigour and even did soak my feet in warm water.

In October I would wake up with a limb and after a few steps the numbness would go away. In November I thought it wise to be massaging it in the night with balms like emami, sloans or deep heat. The ointments were soothing and the relaxation only lasted the night but in the morning the limb was still present. In December I would massage with the ointments then wrap it in an elastic bandage for the night. By the 3RD December 2013 I had had enough and I finally went to the hospital. At Karen Hospital they took an x-ray of both feet. The x-ray the doctor determined showed no broken bones or irregular formations. He asked if I did exercise and when I answered affirmative he attributed it to muscle spasms and stress. The doctor then prescribed another ointment  and painkillers. After two weeks of using the prescription I noticed no change.

I forgot about it and knew I would heal naturally. On the 29th December 2013 I got a fever attack and had to go for check up at Nairobi Hospital. I promised myself to get into the habit of regular check-ups. So I made a point of visiting my optician to replace my spectacles. They too surprised me by saying my eye sight was very good and the lens needed only a little tweak. At Nairobi Hospital they did another x-ray and the reading this time was different. They determined that the back part of my heel was swollen abit and the two spikes of bones at the heel seemed a little elongated than normal. Dr. Ibua sent me to Dr.Vladimir Shchukin a specialist in Laparoscopy, Bariatric Surgery, Sports injury and back pain. I saw Dr. Shchukin and he diagnosed a sport injury.

One look at the x-ray, a few touches on the heel and he knew the problem. My right heel tissue that cushion the bones had hardened and thus the bones were gnawing on the inner flesh. This caused the pain. He prescribed an injection once a week for three weeks. It was at the first injection appointment day that I met Caroline Mutoko of Kiss 100. We had a good chat and shared insights on various issues. That very evening the medicine must have provoked my body into a revolt. I had another fever attack. I braved it all night and at the crack of dawn went to Nairobi Hospital. After blood tests they discovered I had a bacterial infection that required anti-histamine among other drugs. Officially I was grounded.

That night I was not depressed that I could not be up and about. I marvelled that God really wanted me to rest and knew how I passionately throw myself into work. He knew the projects coming our way as http://www.in-synque.com were exciting and I am sure he wanted me to raise more leaders at the workplace. My thanksgiving that night was very candid as I planned what to do the next three weeks.

There are some areas at our current residence that required restoration and thus I called the painter, mason, carpenter and a few others. And what was a small restoration job turned into a project. I could not resist the temptation of office work so I would still make calls and advice where necessary. Over the last three weeks, I did not only rest but restored the house. I felt like Nehemiah in the bible. Initially the project was to take six days but it lasted the whole three weeks. Mid-way I could experience discouragement and the drag that medication brings but I enjoyed it all.

I started our daughter on an evening walk. And she took it in stride and fumbled to find her footstep. On the very first day we took her walking she was trouble some. The following days she got accustomed and I could tell she longed for the walk each day. How overjoyed I was when she walked steadily all by herself approximately six metres yesterday. The healing seemed long, the restoration project seemed unending and the walk was a tight call but all in all I enjoyed being away. And I hope I can now do more regular check-ups. To be restored you have to rest and to rest you have to plan. By the way I need to book a date with a dentist…HAPPY NEW HEALTH!

Posted in Challenges, Need Intervention

Not no go so!


When I first heard this Jamaican phrase around 2002. it was the title of a ragga tune released that year to advocate against some social ills in Jamaica. The chorus had this line also as the “kibwagizo” last line of every verse.

Today, I apply it in our days and there are many things that we have to proclaim “not no go so”. This means that is not the way things should be. Society today radiates some ills that require denunciation. This is reflected in the media content that spans radio, print media and screen. We have to take time and take stock with a view to avert the looming society disaster.

It all starts with family. We have to cultivate moral values and checks from this basic unit of society. I did like the expose on Kiss FM by Caro Mutuko and team the first week of November 2011. I also applaud their efforts to straighten the man on their man-up program. Whereas I strongly feel everyone without gender bias has a  role to play, I believe men have a greater role in this.

The man needs to style up. He needs to shun places of illicit affairs. He needs to be more available at home. He needs to take and pick his children from school. He needs to affirm his wife in her quest to stand out. He needs to admonish, praise, reproach and discipline his household with love. He needs to impress God’s way into his household by walking in it and speaking about it in every sitting. He needs to make home more accommodating and fun to be at. The man has to admit his wrongs and pursue forgiveness. The man has to pray and he has to be there to teach his household how.

We all know many hide in the notion that their role is to provide fullstop. But that principle has to change. The man has to be seen in public fora with his family. He has to grace occasions with his wife. He has to be spotted at exotic holiday joints with his wife and sometimes his whole family. He has to free up his evenings for those with busy schedules for his family. Like the woman he has to appreciate his roles. He has to know when he is his wife’s lover, husband, father to his children, the technocrat at work and the priest.

Yes the job or career can have its toll but come-on family is all you have left when you do retire. I have seen men loose it after they retire or are retrenched. They can longer patron restaurants. They all of a sudden discover the wife’s little business they despised can actually feed them and provide more. The same business they never wanted to culture, impart best practices they championed at their organizations or even open doors by just introducing the wife’s business to funding, prospective clients etc. After their fellow friends dump them since they are no longer in their “circle” they now want to try business when they had declared to all and sundry they were indispensable.

They all over sudden are apprehensive who dates their teenage daughters yet they had profusely abused others without a flinch of mercy. They realize their sons want to have it easy yet they had thrown notes at them instead of spending time talking sense into them. They again find fault in laws they helped create. They cannot see how to fit into the wife’s vitz yet they had spoiled their “tuchungwas” with Xtrails and even imported Prados for them. They now find solace in church when a while back they to had skip and dash to the office in readiness for some presentation.

Men, we need to style up. No man is greater than his family especially his wife. Love your family by spending time with them not spending cash on them. Provision is good actually it is the ideal but coupled with genuine love and care IT IS NOBLE. Only that way would we have molded the future we desire. Strong families build strong communities that become good societies.