A Lockdown Story
By: Eddy Igbokwe
“DeJa Vu”, was the initial attitude of most people when a casual mention was made of a certain respiratory infection that had broken out somewhere far away in China.
“This is not going to be anything more scary than the world had witnessed in the past, when there had been the outbreak of swine flu (N1H1), Mad cow disease (CJD), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which fizzled out within a short period of time almost unnoticed”. These were the thoughts of most people. Some had even gone as far as characterizing it as hoax or scaremongering.
Suddenly, all hell broke lose! The real meaning of the word “viral”, stormed home when the devastation of being wreaked by a virus named “corona” (codenamed COVID-19) went viral. The epidemic became upgraded to a pandemic.
Italy, my country of residence became the very first country to record a major outbreak of COVID-19, outside of China.
At first, the idea of “Stay-at-home”, was casually mooted as celebrities jovially admonished. Until it became a “lockdown”, being enforced by security agencies when people started to die in drove. Death was literally in the air! Relatives and friends elsewhere in the world started calling to enquire of our wellbeing.
I’m a fitness enthusiast. The further shut down of the gyms really had a drastic impact on me. No one was permitted to go working outdoors beyond 200 metres from their home.
Although I’m not a TV “freak”, I couldn’t still get used to it whilst the lockdown, as there was no comfort in the objects of the news, which was basically about gloom and doom.
Also, I’m not into indoor games- table or electronic. So, potentially, my mental and physical wellbeing were in jeopardy.
However, fortunately, amazon was still delivering orders! I got two books by two Nigerian authors: ” The Tragedy of Victory”, By Goodwin Alabi Isama, and “Half of A Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I devoured both books in 10days!
What next, boredom kicks in again?
I downloaded 10s of Hollywood classic and a few current movies, all which I watched within 10 days.
Then came the REAL DEAL: The RCCG online zoom church services and prayer meetings, which is still on-going, and 360 degrees soothing!!
In all, thankfully, we’ve gone past the worst. The lockdown has been eased, although 80% of people are still walking on eggshells. Caution has remained the buzzword. Facemask is now a fashion accessory, which is not going away anytime soon.
A Note From Eden: Dad,
At each phase of my life, I have been blessed with a father, and I’m grateful to you for being a father to me beyond time and distance. I’m grateful for all the cheerings to thrive on. For all the ever energy giving words. And for all the love. God bless you for everything you are and have been to your girl, Eden. It’s these little things that make the difference…
In your lockdown story, regardless of the storms within, there is this warmth that gently breezed through. The story is one that effortlessly takes the reader into the scene, on the wings of both clarity and empathy dominant in the piece. Thanks Sir, for giving us a quick trip to Italy. Thanks for sharing your truth with us. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.