Covid-19 & Its Effects on Me
A True Story
on Jun 5, 2020
In my efforts to lose weight in the past two years, I discovered that I enjoy going for a jog and a walk more in the evening than I do in the morning. There is just something magical about evening hours that makes me jog and walk for about nine kilometres without feeling tired, bored and fatigued. Oh, how I sometimes look forward to those evening hours so that I can go jogging and walking!
On a recent evening after I had finished jogging all the way to a bridge near my hometown of Kiserian, I heard a male voice from the opposite side of the road shout in English, "You come hear!" When I turned my head in the direction where the voice was coming from, I saw it was a man addressing me. At first, I couldn't recognize him because he was wearing a face mask.
"You come hear!" the man insisted while pointing at me.
As the man motioned me to cross the road and go to him, I became paralysed with fear that I had fallen in trouble with the law for not wearing a face mask in these times of Covid-19 disease crisis. I had already begun digging into my pockets to get out my face mask when I suddenly realized the man calling me was a drunkard called Macharia.
Thinking it wise not to interact with Macharia who was probably intoxicated with alcohol, I wore my face mask and continued with my walk into Kiserian Town. But I have to say that he had scared me out of my wits by authoritatively shouting at me in English.
That evening Macharia scared me wasn't the first time I had feared falling in trouble with the law for not wearing a face mask. One evening a few weeks earlier, I had similarly feared being arrested when I forgot to carry my face mask with me when going for a walk in Kiserian Town. Fortunately, nobody in Kiserian put me to task for not wearing a mask over my nostrils that very evening.
And that's the thing with the Covid-19 disease - it's affecting the way we live, work and interact with people. Authorities all over the world are instructing people to wear masks while going out in public. And because most folks are wearing masks, it is becoming harder for me to spot beautiful young ladies on the streets. A bit concerned that that might keep me from meeting the woman of my dreams, I have now comforted myself with the thought that the woman who was meant for me will not miss me.
Besides wearing masks, people are also being encouraged to stay at home and avoid shaking hands with others. As for me, it took a while to desist from my habit of shaking people's hands while going for my evening exercises. And in the few instances I shook hands with friends since the outbreak of Covid-19 here in Kenya, I was left worrying that I could have contracted the disease.
I seem not to be the only one who has been worried of catching Covid-19. My father, too, has been keen not to contract the dreaded disease. He has bought about 10 face masks which he regularly washes with boiled water.
About two months ago when my father heard me sneezing in my room, he asked me in Kikuyu, "Thuita, do you have a cold?" On telling him that I was having a runny nose, he shouted back at me worriedly, "You know there is coronavirus!" (Coronavirus is the germ that causes Covid-19 disease.) Fortunately, my nose became well shortly afterwards. So I don't think I have the coronavirus in my body system. I am sure people everywhere are also getting concerned every time they cough and sneeze.
The Covid-19 disease is really shaking the world - something I will live to tell my grandchildren if I ever get lucky to have some. With all the sophisticated machines that I have seen people invent, I have faith in the ability of the human race to solve the crisis that has been caused by the disease. I believe someone somewhere will come up with an easy cure for Covid-19. And I foresee that "someone" being awarded a Nobel Prize for his efforts. That's all I am saying.
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Book Review: "The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player"
A True Story
on May 24, 2020
When I was in Starehe Institute in 2006, I was drafted into a network marketing company called GNLD by my senior brother Bob Njinju. I only did business with the company for about three months and then gave up. But my time in GNLD wasn't a waste because I learnt a few valuable lessons that have served me well in life.
Like there was a lady named Rosetta Njeru who used to advise us to read John C. Maxwell's books if we wanted to prosper in our GNLD business. I never had a chance to lay my hands on John C. Maxwell's books in those days but Rosetta's advice had such an impression on me that later on in 2007 when I was applying to Stanford University for undergraduate admission, I included John C. Maxwell in a list of my favourite authors even though I had never read any of his books.
It wasn't until years later in 2015 that I got hold of a John C. Maxwell book after Bob Njinju lent it to me. And the book turned out to be such a bore to me that I didn't finish it. I just read the first twenty pages or so of the book, shelved it and then returned it to Bob a few years later in 2017.
Some time in 2018, Bob Njinju - who has soldiered on with his GNLD business - forgot at home another John C. Maxwell book titled The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player. I shelved the book on a cupboard in my room, probably with the intention of giving it back to Bob. And I must say I was reluctant to read it after having been bored by the other John C. Maxwell book I have told you I tried to read in 2015.
Late last week, I picked up The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player and began to read it. And wow! It turned out to be such a delightful read that I could hardly put it down. I finished it in less than a week and gave it a 5-star rating on Goodreads.com, a social networking site for book lovers.
What captivated me most in the book are the stories John C. Maxwell tells in an effort to drive his points home. I wish I could re-narrate most of the stories here but to keep this blog-post shorter than a novel, allow me to tell you of one. Only one.
Well, John C. Maxwell narrates in the last chapter of the book of a time in 2001 when he travelled from the United States to England with some of his friends. As part of their itinerary in England, they had planned to be pictured on the same street where the Beatles - the famous music band - had been photographed last century. But when they went to the street eager to be pictured, they found it closed.
John C. Maxwell and his friends cajoled the workers guarding the street to kindly allow them to fulfil their desire to be pictured on it. At first, the workers refused to let them on the street. But never ones to give up easily, John C. Maxwell and his friends explained to the workers how far they had travelled from and why they desired to be photographed on the street. After being persuaded more, the workers relented and allowed John C. Maxwell and his friends to go to the same spot on the street where the Beatles had been pictured. Moral of the story: never, never, never give up on your mission.
The other lessons I learnt from the rest of the stories in the delightful book are:
- to commit to continuous self-improvement
- to communicate clearly
- to like people
- to pay attention to details
- to get along with people well
- to be teachable
- to be creative
- to aim for excellence
- to be enthusiastic
- to learn to say "no"
- to learn from mistakes
- and to give genuine compliments
I so thoroughly enjoyed John C. Maxwell's The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player that I am now yearning to read more books by the same author. And I am regretting why I returned to Bob NJinju the other John C. Maxwell book that I found to be a bore in 2015. Now that I have matured intellectually, I probably would understand it better and appreciate its message more at this time. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on a book review of The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player, you might also enjoy another one I wrote two years ago on "Benefits of Working in a Team". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.