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Kenyan student’s experience in Italy dorm self-quarantine

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What does it mean to be self-quarantined? This is my experience as Italy enters its second week of a total lockdown.

On March 9, 2020, the government of Italy under Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a national quarantine, restricting the movement of the population except for necessity, work, and health circumstances, in response to the growing Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

As a result, schools and institutions of higher learning were not spared as the government moved to secure its citizens and deter spread of the virus.

Since the total lockdown, life has really changed both for the citizenry and visitors, especially students from other countries who study in various Italian universities.

Being a student at the University of Rome Tor Vergata studying MA in Global Governance with specialisation in Global Politics, we have been compelled by our university management to strictly follow university schedules online, do assignments and submit them on time.

Buy masks

I must acknowledge that self-quarantine is very expensive because one is required to be stable in economic, health and mental wellbeing aspects.

It is not easy to wake up every day in your four corners dormitory room and spend the whole day and night there.

Before the lockdown this month, on Saturday February 22 at around 6.15 am, my friends and I had travelled to another city in the south of Italy called Naples for one of my friend’s birthday.

We took the risk and went because earlier we had booked for our trip and paid the cost-related expenses. It was not something we wanted to miss despite news that the virus was already spreading in some parts of Italy, especially in the North.

Prior to the trip, we bought masks to keep ourselves safe since we didn’t have a personal car and we were going to use public transport provided by Flix Bus.

Commuters travel in the underground metro in downtown Milan on March 10. Italy imposed unprecedented national restrictions on its 60 million people on March 10 to control spread of coronavirus. AFP

The trip to the South of Italy was almost two hours long and we had a good time without thinking about Covid-19.

I remember vividly that evening after I returned to our student residence, my mum called me to find out how my day was and I told her that my day went well, we travelled to another city and we just got back.

Restrict movements

My mum paused and changed her tone and at that moment, I knew that something was wrong because after the virus was reported to have gotten to most parts of the country, mum had warned me to restrict my movements.

On this particular day, I had not told her of the planned trip because she would have told me to cancel it. I had been looking forward to explore the city because in the past I had not had time to explore the city and I felt that was a good opportunity to do so.

Fast forward, exactly one month since we had the trip to Naples, a friend from Malawi, who is also my course mate, developed some fever and cold.

Her situation threw panic across the campus, and those of us who had

accompanied her to Naples had more reason to be worried. I quickly recommended that she takes some medicine called Tachipirina because it is one of the drugs one can get at the pharmacies without prescription. In Italy, no pharmacy sells medicine without prescription from a doctor.

However, our friend recovered and we started to share our fears of illness.

On March 2, we went shopping in preparation for a possible lockdown. We bought groceries, fruits and dry foods which we have continued to use to date while quarantined.

Some days before the closure of universities I also had some crucial appointments with the immigration office. Then on March 4 mid- morning, the Italian leadership closed all schools and universities from the next day to March 15, and we were asked to stay home.

The lockdown period was later extended to April 3.

In the early days of the lockdown, it’s likely some people got some directives wrong, such as when the university was closed and for many students it was an opportunity to go partying until when the leadership came out strongly to enforce the lockdown.

I am happy to see how people have embraced self-isolation and the mandatory self-quarantine rules.

As of now, we continue to have lectures online. Since I have been indoors for over two weeks now, I have learned new things and clearly know what I would like to do more after the lockdown.

While on quarantine there were two Iranian students that were suspected to have Covid-19 but after check ups at the hospital this was not the case.

We are dealing with a challenging situation, some people are experiencing fear, desperation and anxiety. The sooner we can get Covid-19 under control, then life can begin to return to normal.

Some lessons that Kenya can learn from Italy: The health care sector in Italy was not prepared for the outbreak, the framework that has been in place for many years was not one that could easily expand to cater for the sick people.

Doctors and nurses in Italy are doing their best but if political systems continue to reduce money meant for health care, many countries will always be unprepared to face such kinds of emergencies.

Grace Sabiri Mageka is an MA Global Governance student specialising in Global Politics, at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy.

IN SUMMARY

• Since the total lockdown, life has really changed both for the Italy citizenry and visitors, especially students from other countries who study in various universities.

• “It is not easy to wake up every day in your four corners dormitory room and spend the whole day and night there” Grace Sabiri Mageka

By People Daily

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ODM MP suspended for attending Ruto’s meeting

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has suspended Kilifi North Member of Parliament Owen Baya days after he attended Deputy President William Ruto’s meeting.

The MP was accused of switched alliances and teaming up with DP William Ruto and the party had resolved to take action on the MP over what they called “recent political alignments.”

In a statement through the Party’s Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, the party announced that the National Executive Committee (NEC) had also decided to suspend Baya from his position as the Deputy Organizing Secretary.

The party explained that the decision was made after his recent move which has cast doubt on his commitment to this party and its objectives.

“Cognizant of the central role that the party’s NEC plays in the management of the party and the need to maintain the probity of its deliberations the NEC resolved to suspend MP Owen Baya from membership of this critical organ and from his position as the Deputy Organizing Secretary given his recent public utterances and conduct that have cast doubt on his commitment to this party and its objectives,” read a statement from the party.

On Wednesday, Baya was part of a delegation of Coast MPs that escorted Feisal Abdallah Bader, an aspirant for the Msambweni parliamentary seat, to meet Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen office.

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Atwoli intensifies fight with DP Ruto over hustler tag

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has once again put Deputy President William Ruto on blast for using the ‘hustler’ tag.

Speaking during a press conference, the Atwoli stated that the tag hustler had a negative meaning which translates to someone who uses mischievous ways to get wealth.

He added that all Kenyans are yearning for is an organized system of government that could provide employment and not creating hustlers.

He pointed out that William Ruto was not poor as he makes his supporters believe and he is just using them to climb to the top. He disclosed that William Ruto owns choppers, mansions, and every space in the country.

Atwoli went on to call out the DP for the donations he has been giving out to the youths and women stating that they were just peanuts compared to the amount of wealth he has amassed over the years.

“The person telling you about being a hustler owns five choppers, a mansion and owns every empty space in the republic of Kenya. You are calling yourself a hustler and yet you are not. Even God cannot allow. Then you go to the church to cheat about being a hustler,” he said.

A few days ago, Atwoli blasted William Ruto for using the tag while asking Kenyans to reject him stating that no one should allow themselves to be called a hustler. He claimed that hustlers are thieves.

Atwoli who claimed that he would disown his children if they referred themselves as hustlers stated that people should go to school, get an education and get jobs in reputable companies instead of hustling.

“You then become a branch manager of Kenya Breweries, get a house allowance, a car loan, and have a nice house. You are not hustlers. We cannot have a nation of hustlers because it is a man eats man society,” Atwoli said.

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Joyce Maina confirms dating sports anchor Tony Kwalanda

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BY KEVIN KOECH

After several speculations from netizens over who Joyce Maina’s mysterious man is, she has finally confirmed that she is dating Switch Tv’s sports journalist Tony Kwalanda.

The two have decided not to hide their strong emotions from the public anymore; as many of their social media fans already seemed to have uncovered their relationship.

They made the official announcement through their Instagram stories earlier today by uploading a photo of the lovebirds romantically kissing. They each also use the same picture as their phone wallpapers.

It is unclear when this work-relationship started since both the anchors work at Red Cross owned station Switch Tv.

However, just two months ago, sports journalist Tony Kwalanda confessed his long-time crush for Joyce Maina during one of his interviews on Chatspot Tv show.

At the time Tony Kwalanda was yet to meet Joyce Maina, but he confessed having watched her show several times.

He further suggested that the two go on even one date, which to our surprise, has blossomed to this beautiful union.

Joyce Maina started posting her photos with her alleged mysterious man about a week ago, which raised many speculations amongst her fans.

Some of her fans suggested that she was dating gospel singer’s Size 8 husband and Crossover show host Dj Mo.

This story highly angered the Chatspot show host, and she angrily lashed out on live TV, calling the fake rumour-mongers ‘sad pathetic losers’ for thinking that she’d publicly post a married man.

Joyce Maina added that she does not know Dj Mo personally neither has she ever met him in person.

According to her, she likes her men dark skin and also she would never break a stable home as she knows the importance of children growing with both parents.

Tony Kwalanda started working at Switch TV about three months ago after being fired from K24 TV where he had worked for 11 years. He was among over 100 journalists who had been laid off by the station over alleged redundancy.

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