03-03-2020 by Freddie del Curatolo
After a day of anxiety, worries about cancellations and quarantine, the Italians who booked a trip to Kenya for the next few days and weeks, breathed a sigh of relief, happy to be able to breathe deeply and not to lose their African dream.
Yes, because if it is true that airlines halfway around the world are drastically reducing their services and that IATA denounces the collapse of reservations and important losses (and almost 50% of passengers who do not show up for boarding in the world, often aware of losing their ticket money), lovers of Kenya hardly give up their planned holiday.
The cancellations of these days that afflict resorts and tour operators belong above all to those who approach Kenya for the first time, to those who decide not to leave in order not to attend a crowded airport or a possible receptacle plane.
Since yesterday our portal, which has recorded 20 thousand visits, has received at least one hundred messages and emails from compatriots who were about to leave for Kenya, with final destination Malindi, Watamu, Diani and Nairobi. None of them have changed their minds and the possibility of self isolation has put them in agitation. Some, who will stay from 3 to 6 months, had already accepted this possibility, asking for enlightenment on the rules to follow.
When the Kenyan government backtracked in the evening, here they were packing their bags and getting ready for the safari or bathing in the Indian Ocean.
It is a small number, in order to satisfy the needs of tourism and its induced activities, which also falls on the employment and earnings of the local population, the number is particularly small for the weekly arrivals of the bite and runaway tourists, who in any case were already dwindling.
They are the "repeaters", the "Sick of Africa" for whom the Coronavirus is what it is, simply an extra risk with reduced percentages compared to climbing on a matatu in Eldoret and arriving safe and sound in Kilifi, or contracting cholera in the slum of Mathare in Nairobi by volunteering. Malaria continues to claim victims, not like our Chinese influence only on the over-60s, but especially on children. Those who come to Africa are perhaps used to making no distinction between rich and poor, Western and Eastern, and this "bourgeois" virus that clogs the airways and empties supermarkets is so un-African that it seems ethically difficult for it to take root in Kenya and the Black Continent.
For the same reason, we are certain and we hope that none of these travelers have the effrontery to travel in sub-optimal health conditions and at the limit without having swabbed two lines of fever, also because, as stated in the warning of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, those who should be caught with symptoms upon arrival in Kenya and without certification of negativity, could block and quarantine the other passengers.
This wording is obviously an invitation to airport authorities and airlines to exercise appropriate controls also on departure, as they will be considered co-responsible for any cases discovered upon arrival in Kenya.
And happy holidays in hard times.
But we in these parts have got used to the harshness.
It is almost necessary, to continue to realize all the wonder that surrounds us.
Kenya is preparing to close as many doors to the Coronavirus as possible.
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