Between the infected and the affected

Between the infected and the affected

“I bet the Big Lady’s team is beside itself with joy at this breaking news.’ Asabe announced, holding her phone up to me so I can read what was on the screen.

‘What!’ I wailed, moving closer to her phone to see whether what I was seeing was true or not, ‘Is this the truth or can it be another fake news item?’ I asked.

‘Its very true Bint, other news sources have been posting it since. This is just the latest that I received. There is no way anyone can make up a story about such an influential man, for hours, without anyone one disputing it.’ She insisted.

‘But how did he get it?’ I enquired.

‘From a foreign trip of course. Why don’t you take the phone from me and read it to the end? Then you won’t need to ask me anything else.’ Asabe offered, handing her mobile phone to me.

‘Well, I won’t mind reading it but sometimes such news is better heard than read. I mean it’s almost too good to be true that someone so highly placed could be infected with the dreaded new virus. Somehow all the other infected people were relatively unknown and definitely less influential persons. He’s certainly the most prominent victim yet.’ I answered.

‘Yes, you may be right on that. But did I hear you say it’s too good to be true? I had no idea you were on the Big Lady’s team until now. ‘ Asabe observed, with humour.

‘No but I didn’t mean it that way. And I’m definitely not on her team. Indeed I don’t expect anyone to rejoice at such an unfortunate situation, whatever team they are loyal to. However, what I meant was that such affictions generally affect the poor and the non-prominent. So its reaching out to grab some of the big shots in the country, says a lot about its potential for reaching everyone.’ I explained.

‘But you can’t deny that there are people who will heartily rejoice at the Worker’s Chief’s misfortune, especially the Big Lady and her loyalists. I mean this is one man who has given her a lot of headache. She never minced words when she talked about how he and one other, have taken over the reigns in her husband’s adminstration. She had described them as two unelected, non card-carrying politicians who have managed to dictate how things are done in the Big House. In fact she went as far as to allege that they were teleguiding the Big Guy, meaning that he’s nothing more than a figure head. Now how can you expect the bad luck of such a man not to be hailed in the enemy camp?’ She argued.

‘You may be right. But I personally think it’s foolhardy to celebrate anyone’s getting infected with Covid-19 because everyone one of us is a potential victim. As someone who works closely with her near and dear ones, the Worker’s Chief could easily have subjected them to the virus when he himself was not diagnosed. A situation like that can easily bounce back and hit home. So instead of being joyful, her loyalists should rush to their prayer carpets and supplicate. It’s the only way out.’ I advised.

‘That true, in fact with this pandemic, you do not have to be infected to be affected by it. I mean apart from the obvious restrictions and eventual lockdowns, some of us have to deal with the menace of disappearing house helps. Mine gave  quit notices last night and left early today because both their parents have demanded that they return home to avoid being infected. As if we will subject them to the virus if they are with us. At the time I left home to visit you, I had no female house help. Only our laundry man was at home. So this is how badly affected I am.’ Asabe, concluded.

‘Oh, I’m truly sorry, dear friend. You are truly in bad shape. I mean waking up without your house helps is a disaster any day. I hope mine won’t borrow a leaf from yours. I won’t know how to cope without them. But I can let you go with one of them to help you now before you can hire others, in Sha Allah.’ I offered.


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