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By Jaymo Wa Thika

Today, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced the end to the COVID-19 directive where Kenyans were supposed to always wear facemasks whenever they were in public places.

To many, this was music to the ears…… It marked the end to that very irritating facemask and also the cat and mouse game with law enforcers who used to arrest them for not wearing masks in public.

However, to others, especially those who were eking a living from selling masks, it marked the end of an era…… Maybe the end of a hustle….. “BACK TO FACTORY SETTINGS”.

The worst hit maybe are those who had just restocked and now do not know what to do with this “dead stock”.  It’s loss of both money and maybe a living.

They have found themselves in the same scenario with those who in March 2020, lost their source of livelihood when the whole world set strict COVID-19 restriction measures to curb its spread.

However, as some were losing their jobs, other seized the opportunity and made a lot of money from the necessities that came thereabout eg the sale of masks, sanitisers, online marketing, parcel deliveries and so on. As it killed one sector, it created opportunities to another…….

It all depended on how one viewed life. If you saw challenges, these restrictions mercilessly crashed you and all your dreams. If you saw opportunities in the midst of the calamity, you created a new source of living.

Those who were hardest hit were people who are very rigid and resistant to change…. Those who believed that they couldn’t change their line of work or the way they used to do things.

Things were however different for those who adapted to the change and switched with the moment. These people switched careers or businesses depending on their own situations. This lot made good money from COVID-19 and never felt its drastic effects on the economy. They made money from even those who were still burying their heads inside their “denial cocoons” and waiting for manna to fall from heaven….. The serikali saidia mindset.


Funny enough, the ones now caught in today’s shocker are the latter…. They are the people who started selling masks during COVID-19 time.

What some people forgot was that masks were never a permanent part of our lives. It was just a matter of time, this thing will be over, and we throw them away. Those who had that fact in mind must have been planning for a time like today. They might have been saving for such an eventuality. Some must have been using the proceeds gotten from the sale of masks to invest elsewhere. For them, today was just the beginning of the transition into another venture.

Lakini kuna those who assumed that the status quo would last forever.. Theirs was just “kupiga sherehe” knowing that the following day they would wake up and recover the money squandered kwa sherehe au upgrade ya maisha. They knew watauza tu masks na warudi form.

Sasa kumeenda vile kumeenda. Kila mtu itabidi apambane na hali yake. No more masks, sasa itabidi uswitch to PLAN B and there are no two ways about this. As much as it hurts to lose out, shukuru Mungu juu ya kukupatia fursa ya “kuthukuma  na masks” for two years. Sasa ganga yajayo ama ujue hujui. That is how your fellow Kenyans felt when they lost their jobs in March 2020 as you gained from selling these masks.

It’s only a fool will stay down after a fall. Just pick up the pieces and move on.

This also goes to everyone else in whatever you are doing. Take note….. No situation is permanent. Always lay some exit plans in case what you are doing today comes to an abrupt end for any reason whatsoever.

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