Man about town

Why lockdown travel plan failed to take off

drink

Drinking. FILE PHOTO | NMG

I still have not managed to make it to the village to check on my mother. I have had to rely on the parish priest because I have not been able to secure the right passes to travel. The other day I went to our local pub to get some meat and have my car washed. It felt really good to start doing some of the things we used to do before Corona.

As expected, I bumped into some three of the usual car wash crew who from the look of things had been there since morning. One of them asked me, “Where have you been? Have you been in hiding?” I told them, “I have been working from home and abiding by the government guidelines.” This guy laughed and said , “You are a coward! Nothing changed for us.” I was taken aback and said, “What do you mean?”

They both laughed and one of them said, “Well we know people. Masha, our guy here has been making special arrangements for us to enjoy our meat and drinks.”

His friend chimed in and said, “Staying home was driving us insane, and we had to develop an exit plan.” I was not sure whether to be impressed by their guts or to be scared that they might be Coronavirus-positive. I told them, “Well, I have young children and they are vulnerable.” His buddy laughed and said, “I don’t believe all that propaganda, I also have small babies and my wife is pregnant again.” This sent them into laughter as one of his buddies told him, “ I hope you finally get a son.”

Based on this conversation, I decided to ask, “So, has any of you been out of town yet?” One guy responded, “But of course, I cannot live without seeing my mother.”

The last time I checked, this guy was a procurement manager in some company so I told him, “But surely you do not provide essential services.” He laughed and said, “You are so naïve my friend, once again you need to know people.”

By this time, I was feeling a bit cheery after three drinks and said, “I have been wanting to head out to the village but I do not have the pass.” They said, “Surely that is a small problem, we can hook you up with a pass. We can even get you one saying that you are a doctor.” I said, “ But what happens if I get asked medical questions at the road block?”

“Surely if Mutahi can wing it, then you can wing it. Just sound smart and have some cash in case they play hardball, “ one of them said.

I decided to leave the pub way ahead of curfew times but from the look of things, many of the revellers in the pub did not seem to care about the hours. I was feeling pretty relaxed knowing that I had found a “roundabout” way to get to the village.

The next day, I woke up early and did some work before I called my guy to start working on my “hookup”.

He promised to get back to me by the end of day.

A few hours later, I received one of those mass emails our CEO has been sending. He was warning against the use of “ fake travel passes.” He said, “ Any employee caught violating the law will face disciplinary action.” This was really annoying. What am I going to do, for I need to see my mother. This lockdown needs to come to an end.