Like opening the flood gates on a dam. Just a few hours after lockdown measures to bring down the rising numbers of Covid-19 infections are relaxed, in Kigali and several other districts around the country, birdsong is once again drowned out by the noise of the traffic.
At Nyabugogo terminus, where almost all journeys around the country begin and end, a now all but forgotten concept, was reintroduced to the area: quiet.
Travel around the country is still restricted, but with the lifting of lockdown measures, that has not prevented Nyabugogo from returning to its familiar, noisy, helter skelter routine, albeit less than normal.
Fifteen, twenty minutes’ drive into the centre of the city, the ill mannered traffic has not forgotten its customary me first ways, as drivers jostle inconsiderately for the right of way.
The worst part of lockdown is that no one is there to enjoy the peace and quiet. It is like the age old philosophical question, “if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
If residents of a city are at home in lockdown, and the city is emptied of the usual traffic din, do the sounds of nature return, if there is no one there to hear them?
It is a question that returns with the evening, with curfew still at 6pm. By 6.01pm, the city is again a haven for nature.
And what we know, with scientifically certified proof, is that Covid-19 too eagerly waits for the removal of restrictions to spread and survive, and would protest against lockdown and curfews.