GITAHI: Brace yourselves, it’s going to be months of social distancing in Kenya

by Amref Health Africa

The coronavirus pandemic is not a short term social disruption but it is going to take months before our lives go back to normal and start social gatherings.

May and June is likely to be the peak with thousands of infected people.

This is a marathon. Brace yourselves fellow humans. It is going to be months of public health measures of physical distance with banned gatherings. Months!!

My conservative guess is 4-5 months from now.

That will be followed by probably 12 to 18 months to recover from the social and economic effects ( I am no economist – just my lay estimates).

Hibernation in human terms would mean stay indoors, reduce unnecessary expenditure, conserve the little cash you have, stop capital expenditure and asset investments, support each other!

If you had planned to start a new project/business, rethink those plans unless they are directly responding or beneficial to the COVID19 response. Follow these steps, thank me later.

In the U.S, President Donald Trump said he would extend nationwide social distancing guidelines for another 30 days, an abrupt back-down from his push to reopen the country as coronavirus continues to spread.

According to CNN, the 15-day guidelines Trump announced two weeks ago were set to expire on Monday, and the President had suggested over the past week that he was looking to relax them, at least in some parts of the country.

He even floated Easter, on April 12, as a potential date by which the country could return to normal.

But on Sunday he said he’d decided to extend the guidelines — which include suggested limits on large gatherings — to April 30, a sign his earlier predictions were overly rosy.

“The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” the President said Sunday at a White House news conference. He said he would be finalizing a new plan and strategy early this week and announcing the details on Tuesday.

The announcement marked an abrupt turnaround from a week ago when Trump said he was convinced the distancing restrictions were causing irreparable damage to the economy.

Even as his health advisers warned of dire consequences if Americans were allowed to return to large gatherings or crowded workplaces, Trump appeared intent on allowing a return to normal life.

On Sunday, however, Trump seemed to acknowledge that the spread of the virus had not slowed, at least not yet.

He said that modeling shows that the peak of the death rate will likely hit in two weeks, but stressed that he hopes the country will be on its way to recovery by June 1.

“We can expect that by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery, we think by June 1st. A lot of great things will be happening,” he said.

Trump reiterated his intent to return life to normal. “I want our life back again,” he said.

The White House’s social distancing guidance advises all Americans to avoid groups of more than 10 and urges older people to stay at home.

Over the past week, various options had been discussed among Trump’s advisers on possible alternatives — including allowing some states to return to normal more quickly — to the current guidelines.

Additional report from CNN 

Dr. Githinji Gitahi is the Global Chief Executive Officer for Amref Health Africa

Article first published on Citizen TV.

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