‘REACTION OR RESPONSE’ By Mwangi Ndegwa

I have posted previously posted something similar to this however, I believe some emphasis is now needed.If you are taken ill and you go to a hospital...


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I have posted previously posted something similar to this however, I believe some emphasis is now needed.

If you are taken ill and you go to a hospital or Medicare provider, after the diagnosis you are given medicine which has a specific dosage, which have to be taken for a specific duration of time.  This period is also for observation and in most cases, one is booked for a checkup after a certain period of taking the medication. When you return for the appointment, there is a question that the doctors often ask which is: “How are you feeling?” If your response is positive, the doctor says you are responding to the medicine. If your answer is No/Not Good, and the medication is having adverse effects on you, they say you are reacting to the medicine. Many people confuse these two or even try to replace one with another.

Since the outbreak of the now dreaded COVID-19 otherwise known as Corona Virus, I have been observing the worlds’ governments and I must say, their way of doing business often leave a lot to be desired. The spread of the disease has been catastrophic and as things stand now, everybody including the so called developed world, is in panic mode. This virus is not spread by wind but close human contact. At this juncture, the question we ask is this: how did it spread from China all the way to the USA?

All along, governments from across the world were keenly observing the unfolding situation in the Asian continent and they had all the information i.e data about this virus and it spread but many adopted a wait and see attitude and before they realized what was happening, the virus had already checked into their countries. Right now, all governments are looking for funds to fight the spread of the virus.

Back in my younger years in junior school, one teacher taught me this simple phrase”Prevention is better than Cure.” It’s easier to prevent something from happening rather than dealing with its consequences. Right now, most governments are almost helpless, case in point being Italy. But supposing they took preventive measures right from the word go like closing down airports and all boarder points and quarantining anybody coming from outside? We may have avoided being where we are today. Right now the world is reacting to the situation because the window of responding which they had when the outbreak was first reported, was not used well in other words, this was an opportunity lost.

I don’t want to sound like I am ranting but this also applies very much in our own personal lives. We usually wait until the last minute to attend to things despite having ample time to have done so before deadlines. We only start moving when things start getting out of hand. Students rush to study when exams are around the corner despite having whole semester to have studied and/or prepared. Farmers rush to prepare their farms when the first signs of rain appear. Those in business rush to get their business permits and licenses or to file their returns when the deadline is just a few days away. These and many more, are signs of someone who reacts instead of responds.

Response happens way before the event occurs. Reaction is when you move when the event has taken place and things are getting out of hand and, more often than not, out of your control. There is a popular Swahili saying among East Africans “Tahadhari kabla ya hatari.” Loosely translated it basically means act before it’s too late. for we are always given a window period by which to put  remedial measures into place, but our human lethargic nature makes us wait until the very last minute. Let us learn to respond and not react to situations because it might be too late and the consequences too dire. To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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