My Lockdown Story
By: Ayodele Oluwafemi
Coronavirus: What A Virus!
During the COVID-19 lockdown, several thoughts invaded the space of my mind. At one point I was angered about the disruptions occasioned by the pandemic, and at another instance, I was relaxed to give way for certain thoughts, regarding the peculiarities of this pandemic.
When the virus started in December, 2019 at the Wuhan Province of China, many of us who got the news of a virus killing people in China, took it as an ordinary disease like Malaria or flu at the initial stage. We never envisioned the spread to over 200 countries. If a prophet had prophesied about what is happening in the world today with the COVID-19 issue, many would have called for his or her head or rather prefer to call such prophet a messanger of doom.
There is something special about this Coronavirus, it has no respect for age, sex, position, religion, educational background, social status and other demographic considerations. What a virus! It started like something that will not threaten the human race, but gradually it spread across continents taking away many lives at will, without recourse to any consideration.
This virus, unlike other virus-related diseases, does not have respect for your position or social status in the society. Those in the high, middle and low levels of the society have gotten their own fair share of the coronavirus. Top politicians like the likes of Boris Johnson of Great Britain, Canadian Prime Minster, Justin Trudean’s wife, Sophie Trudeau, Iranian vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri, Miami Mayor, Francis Suarez, Australian Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton and a host of others at one point tested positive for Coronavirus. Let me come back home, top Nigerian politicians also had their own fair share of the virus. Late Abba Kyari died as a result of coronavirus-related complications. Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Governor Bala Muhammed of Bauchi state, Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Frank Okiye at one point tested positive, but recovered.
Coronavirus has shown us that it has no respect for the position you hold in the society. Even the great, US President, Donald Trump was scared about the idea of testing for COVID-19. At one point, he refused to test for it, but when he finally did, it came out negative. What a virus!
We have seen how sportsmen/sportswomen, celebrities, entertainers, media personalities and host of other professions were caught in the web of coronavirus. There was no route of escape, in terms of social status. We have even read or heard about the news on how members of the Almajiri group tested positive for the virus, in large numbers. What a virus!
If Coronavirus had spared on the basis of the religious beliefs and ideologies, at this moment, the battle of supremacy of one religion to another would have died a natural death. For instance, if the virus only affect christians, guess what other religion groups would have said. The deadly virus has no respect for religion. Christians, muslims, atheists, hindus, buddhists, agnostics to mention a few have contracted the virus, many members of the different religious groups have died in the hands of the virus. As we battle with the pandemic, religious places of worship have been deserted, some that have not witnessed lock down for ages are currently under locks.
Christians who derive solace in the Bible verse that says, “do not forsake the gathering of the brethren” are at homes reciting another verse that says, “when two or three are gathered in my name, I will be there with them.” Due to coronavirus lack of respect for religious beliefs, magnificent religious synagogues are under lock. Online
worship has become a norm in the days of COVID-19. What a virus!
Few weeks ago, some International and Nigerian online news platforms wrote a news report with the headline “Pastor Who Defiled Lockdown Dies of Coronavirus.” That news report was a surprise to those who believed that Coronavirus is a respecter of religious position. We have seen how religious leaders from the different religious groups lost their lives in the hands of COVID-19. As I was reading through some of the tweets on Twitter, a Nigerian Twitter user tweeted, “Even babalawo (herbalist) sef dey use hand sanitizer, Oluwa (God), wetin dey happen.” As hilarious the statement appeared to be, the underlying meaning is very clear for those who care to understand. Irrespective of your level of relationship with God, (or gods, depending on your choice), if you refuse to take preventive measures, COVID-19 will surely be your undesirable guest.
In the eyes of Coronavirus, our age does really matter. The old, the middle-aged and the young have all gotten their own fair share of the virus. New born babies have been reported to have contracted Coronavirus. I think when this virus looks at us, it does not see our age, bank account, position in the society, religion, and tribe/culture, it sees humanity (blood).
Cases of how animals contracted coronavirus have also been reportedly by the mainstream media. Is that not a surprise to you? The virus is sparing nothing.
Coronavirus did not even spare the economy. Prices of goods/services skyrocketed, oil prices fell to an extent that oil sellers were begging buyers to buy. People lost their jobs and economic hardships took over. Developed countries were able to provide palliatives for their citizens, developing nations like Nigerians, poor and vulnerable people were left to fate, as some of the palliative shared could not get to the hands of many who really needed them.
Within few days, we could no longer engage in things that bind us together as human beings. Countries shut down their land, sea and air borders, stadia and recreational centres were closed, gatherings were restricted and the human world was appearing to be coming to end as the biblical forewarned. Animals were coming out of their natural homes to see what is going on in the human world. I guess some of them would have been wondering what is going on in the human world?
We lost out sanity to Coronavirus. Even as many countries are gradually easing the lockdown, the fear of COVID-19 is still hanging in the air. The ease of lockdown in many countries of the world came with heavy restrictions pertaining to physical distancing.
This pandemic is silently teaching us certain lessons. Another lesson is the displacement of traditional techniques for internet-enabled platforms. We can see how certain physical arrangement moved to the internet, during the lockdown. That is a lesson for the wise. COVID-19 is the silent teacher.
In my next edition of my lockdown story, I will be sharing with us, my thoughts on fake news and conspiracy theories. Untill then, stay safe, there is surely a post-covid era.
A Note From Eden: Dear Dele,
YOU ARE GOOD. Oops! I forgot to add “too”. YOU ARE TOO GOOD. opening our eyes to not just look, but see many overlooked factors lingering in our lives as individuals and as citizens of the earth. You are brilliance personified. You’re intelligence, encased in flesh and blood. And it’s beautiful to know that in all of this, your heart remains a sky full of stars. Thanks for sharing your truth with us at Express-Shun. The world is dark enough. Continue to shine the light that you are.