Early March I sat peacefully in my Condor flight down to the East African Innovation Hub of Nairobi. With hyped intentions of collecting mobile money and digital loans household data from the villages of Kiambu, Meru, Isiolo, and Embu Counties. As we went through flight control in Frankfurt, Germany, none of us was oblivious …
… of the fact that soon we will be begging to be evacuated back to Europe.
With close to three hundred tourists we chanted joyous songs and stories of how we would have a good time escaping winter cruising down to the East African Coastline with different objectives but mostly tourism as it looked like.
As soon as we approached the Kenyan airspace the first sign of the seriousness of the pandemic glanced us. The flight attendants requested us to fill out consent forms to be allowed to go through airport health control. At this time, this was all okay and we had no worries, we were all clean and healthy and ready for vacation and research under the good weather.
Landing in Mombasa and connecting to Nairobi was smooth. Life went on well and we had our temperature checked just as a form of precaution. Kenya by then had recorded 0 cases and we felt so safe.
I joined my colleague from Germany who had gotten to Kenya a week ahead of me. Immediately we recruited enumerators and took them through training swiftly for one week. As soon as we plan to get to the field for pre-testing the first case of Corona is announced in the Country.
Having just landed in the country with a German colleague at the time when news in the media reads
– A flight from Europe brought corona into the country, one lady already found and put under government quarantine but the rest are yet to be found and tested-
fears went through our minds, we could not move freely as our conscious told us to quarantine ourselves but also we could not meet locals for meetings and filed work telling them that we just got here for research………..
Part 1 of My 14 Days of German Self Quarantine.