Unleash Kindness in the face of COVID -19 Pandemic - By Newton Post

"O kon is currently observing the lockdown directive of the government.

He had only just received a text message from his office that he had been furloughed due to the increased level of economic uncertainty and limited economic activities in the country. With no hope in sight for the restriction of movement imposed for safety reasons by the government, he is confined to his one room apartment with barely any hope of money or supplies to survive the lockdown.

 A week had passed since the lockdown. Supply of basic necessities had reduced significantly. Okon stared at the last pack of noodles from his stash, He sighed weakly knowing that by the end of the next day, he would be left with absolutely nothing to eat.

The bills were already piled up and thoughts about leaving the country for Africa was becoming recurring and urgent, but most airlines had either cancelled or rescheduled their services, due to the increased number of countries with travel restriction in response to the pandemic. He felt helpless, broken and pensive and with no hope in sight, he broke into uncontrollable fits of wailing.

Coronavirus or COVID- 19 shows no mercy. It knows no tribe, race, age or tongue. It is invisible yet visible. It has no respect for borders, laws and strikes with the ferocity of a wounded lion. It has been some age since humanity witnessed such level of pandemic. Technology, famed for its potency could offer no immediate solution.

The human body is composed of natural elements, will succumb to the power of the nature at any point in time. In the face of imminent danger, our instinct reverts to its primordial forms – fear, greed, panic and survival.

Now that the shops are empty due to panic buying, essential commodities is now a luxury, while ironically, luxury is no longer essential.  Governments have debated and contemplated several economic stimulus to support households and businesses, but this may prove to be a little too late. No one nation can be absolutely prepared for this sort of situation.

Sadly, faceless immigrants such as Okon are not within the social safety net. From the safety of their job, life has taken a turn for the worse, leaving them vulnerable and at the mercy of the pandemic. It is therefore time to show a little bit of kindness.

In these uncertain times, look out for your next door neighbor. Give what so ever you have – time, skills, energy, food, hand sanitizers, money or a word of encouragement. A drop of kindness from one person could easily trigger a smile – drops of kindness from a thousand people will unleash the flood gates of hope, unity and survival.

When Okon heard a knock on his door, he hesitated and asked instinctively, “Who is at the Door?” With no response forthcoming, he ambled to the door, opening it slightly to see no one. Bewildered, the colorful hamper right at his doorstep caught his attention, it was filled with groceries, enough to keep him safe and alive for a week or even more. He picked up the hamper and looked at the label where neatly handwritten were the words – “your unknown neighbor – Confortare et esto robustus sit.”

 

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