Lockdown in Kenya www.businesstoday.co.ke
thousands of employees are being strongly encouraged to work from home and there is a dusk to dawn curfew in place. [ Photo / Lucas Maranga ]

The novel COVID-19 pandemic means that people all over the world are being compelled to practice social distancing. Depending on the severity of infection, citizens in various countries have had restrictions placed on their movements, forcing them to spend more time at home.

While it hasn’t gotten to the point of a complete lockdown in Kenya, thousands of employees are being strongly encouraged to work from home and there is a dusk to dawn curfew in place. Everyone is trying desperately to remain sane in a world that seems to be bordering on the insane. Wondering how you’ll survive the next few weeks? Here are a few tips:

Establish a routine

With self-isolation and many others having to work from home, creating a routine is important. Without one, you risk wasting time because you’re focusing your energy on the wrong things. It is easy to fall prey to the constant temptation of checking your socials for updates on the direness of the situation or falling into depression because of isolation, boredom or lack of activity. To help you be productive, outline your goals for each day and work towards achieving them.

Go cashless

Given that physical contact in these times could be hazardous, switching to digital solutions when handling money is a sensible choice. Thanks to innovations in fintech, cashless solutions such as money market funds, mobile and internet banking, and mobile money are available to most clients. Take advantage of these to transact without exposing yourself.

Stock up on food and essentials

This does not mean going to the supermarket and buying their entire stock of toilet paper. It just means getting one or two weeks of essentials so that you do not go outside frequently. With the government’s assurance that commodity prices will remain stable and retailers’ confirmation that they have enough stock items, ensure you have several days’ worth of food and other essentials.

Stock up on dry foods such as rice, spaghetti, flour, beans, green grams and fluids such as milk and other kitchen supplies like water, cooking oil. Ensure you also have enough cleaning supplies. Luckily, Kenya is not under total lockdown, so that means you can get your essentials on a weekly or bi-monthly basis.

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Communications

In the event of a lockdown, having the right information will reassure you. Staying glued to the TV waiting for updates will not help. The idea is to be aware so that you can protect yourself. Get all your news and information from a credible source. In this case, the World Health Organization, official government platform and updates from trustworthy news sources.

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On top of that, ensure you have all the important contacts, i.e., emergency contact of family, and 719, which will connect you to the call centre handling all COVID-19 related queries in Kenya.

Maintain high hygiene

Lastly, keeping clean is a necessity for yourself, the people around you and your environment. Strict adherence to guidelines provided by the government will help to see that the pandemic does not last as long because the virus’s spread will be curtailed. Basically, choose safety by always keeping the appropriate social distance, wash your hands with soap and water, and do not touch your face. Any soap and water are as good as hand sanitizer.

In conclusion, in any kind of disaster being prepared greatly reduces fear, anxiety and losses that are naturally accompanied by it. The most disastrous part of any doomsday scenario often comes when a selfish mentality becomes dominant, so it is important to remember that we are all in this together.

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About the Author

Laura Slessor works with Cytonn Investments.

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