Coronavirus: The implications of a total lockdown for a country
The Pains and Gains of a lockdown
With the spread of coronavirus in many countries, some countries including Italy and Uganda have imposed a lockdown to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Other countries that have gone for lockdowns include Rwanda, the US, China, France, India, Spain, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Lagos City in Nigeria.
The mega question however is, what is a lockdown and how is a lockdown likely to affect people’s lives?
A total lockdown means that no single citizen is allowed to get out of the house at any given time without seeking permission from relevant authorities.
In Italy for instance, one can only go out for two hours after seeking permission. Besides, the distance within which you are allowed to walk is limited to less than 2 kilometers.
Therefore, a lockdown is likely to impact greatly on the have-nots who live from hand to mouth. The poor in Kenya for instance are likely to face bigger challenges hunger included if the Government opts for a total lockdown unless they get free food and financial aid.
The Implications of a lockdown
Captivity and increased cases of domestic violence
Under normal circumstances, victims of domestic violence can seek help from their neighbors or workmates if things get too thick.
According to CS Gender Margret Kobia, women are likely to bear the brunt of gender-based violence more in these times when the Kenyan government has enforced dusk to dawn curfew. If this is the case with the curfew, what about a total lockdown?
It means that the situation could get worse in the event of total lockdown.
A total lockdown is a fertile ground for hunger especially for the low and middle-class citizens in Kenya.
In the event of a total lockdown in Kenya many poor citizens (who depend on casual labor to survive) are likely to die of hunger unless the government gives them free food and some money to survive.
It is only well off citizens who are likely to isolate indoors, work from home and have foodstuff and groceries delivered to their doorsteps.
In India for instance, the lockdown has left millions of workers unemployed and without savings to hang on to at these crucial times.
In India where many citizens work as casual laborers, construction workers and domestic help in Mega Cities cases of unemployment have been reported following a total lockdown.
Besides, those who used to reside in factory dormitories that have been shut have nowhere to go.
They are thus vulnerable to unreliable income and infections.
Lack of water
In South Africa for instance whereby many families do not have the luxury of tap water in their homes or running water, citizens have been forced to bear the brunt of lack of water.
South Africans can only leave the house to procure basic goods and services only. This excludes cigarettes and alcohol.
In the first few days of lockdown, cases of violence were reported as police officers unleashed water cannons and rubber bullets in South Africa’s poorest slums and townships.
Increased food prices
In the event of a total lockdown, the country is likely to close its borders hence affecting the movements of imports and exports.
Besides, people are likely to stock up foodstuff hence increasing the demand and consequently the prices of essential food commodities.