‘TRANSFORMATION OR MUTATION’ by Mwangi Ndegwa

Every thing good or bad that comes into our lives always come with new things: some tangible others not. It might be new products or new terminologies....


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Every thing good or bad that comes into our lives always come with new things: some tangible others not. It might be new products or new terminologies. Some have been there since time immemorial but the situation of their usage has never presented itself. For the past few months, the whole world has been under the cruel grip of COVID-19 also known as the Corona virus. Everybody has had their say from the religious to the technocrats. Even those who are not very educated have had their say, never mind that most of it is just recycled information from all sources legal and illegal.

The main lingo has been from our scientist and doctors who must be commended for the great and selfless work they are doing, trying to look for a lasting solution to this pandemic. Viruses are among the many diseases causing pathogens which have been around for as long as the earth has existed. But their manner of behaviour in different circumstances have given researchers and scientists sleepless nights. The latest one has led to the use of the words mutate, mutant and mutation. These are words of the same family from the root verb “mutate.”

Mutation in a simple explanation is the genetic change of an organism leading it to behave differently from how it’s natural and original form behaves. This is mostly caused by external factors be they natural or man-made (read genetic re-engineering). Mutation mostly happens as a natural reaction of the specific organism as it tries to protect itself from destruction or utter extinction. The one curious thing is that a mutant organism maintains its original physical appearance but behaves differently.

Transformation on the other hand means a total change from one form to another. Whatever undergoes a transformation carries no semblance of its original form into the new form. It is a total change over. Many may confuse these two terms but they are very different. A simple way to understand transformation is the case of an egg and a chick. Once a chick hatches out of an egg, it doesn’t carry anything from its former state.

This may sound crazy but all of us human beings have found or will soon find ourselves in this position. The current pandemic has thrown everything into confusion. The things we used to consider normal behaviour are no longer normal and infact, doing some of them, i.e shaking hands, is now being considered a risk to your very own existence. The usual normal is no longer normal and a new normal is slowly emerging.

All of us are praying for a quick solution to this challenge so we can go back to our “normal” lives but bad news is, this old normal is slowly fading away and a new one is being born. This is the point that will be most challenging to all of us. We can’t get into and operate in the new normal while still in our usual state. In the same way a 2019 computer program cannot operate on old versions of Windows OS, same way our former version of us cannot operate in the new normal. We need a total transformation of our minds and way of thinking in order to be in a position to operate in the new version of “normal.” Many are being forced by the situation to “mutate” and are confusing the same with transformation but soon, the situation will prove them wrong. It’s time ladies and gentlemen, that we made personal choices to transform ourselves because even if we don’t do so voluntarily, the situation will force us to and this will not be easy.

As usual I leave you with a question to ponder; Are you transforming or mutating?

Are you confusing activity within one form with progress – Dr Wake Akintemi

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