Opinion

Corona Virus: Taking death for granted

 

By Christie Doyin

Dear CORONA VIRUS,
I want to beg you in the name of Jesus, please don’t listen to the empty boasts of our Nigeria leaders. Our leaders don’t know what they are saying. How can they say they are ready and prepared for you?
Abeg Sir, na lie, na slip of tongue. Just yesterday they said they have voted N680m to prepare for you, just imagine!! How much is that?
Sir, Look at how your Younger brother, Lassa Fever, is dealing with our people, your brother is already in 28 states of Nigeria unstoppable talk less of you.
Dear CORONA VIRUS, your birth place, China, with all her sophistications couldn’t withstand your anger.
*China is overwhelmed,
*WHO is overwhelmed,
*Advanced countries are scared,
*Nigeria is boasting.
(Snails do not attend a meeting of Animals with horns).
Please in the name of Jesus, don’t come here, we can’t handle you, we don’t have the money, we don’t have any hospital, no Power, we don’t even have hand gloves and nose masks, our Doctors are afraid of you.
Our Government is joking o!
Thank you sir,
God bless you.

I came across this seemingly funny letter on the social media and was shocked to my marrow going through it. Nigerians would laugh at anything as long as it takes their fancy even when death is staring at them face to face.
I remember when issue of sexually transmitted diseases was brought to the fore by doctors, warning men to always use condom and women to always ensure their husbands with more sex partners use condom, many of our men and a few women still joke about it calling it raincoat, cover cloth, rubber and the likes. Then came the scary HIV/AIDS. It was severally use as jokes and tagged as ‘edi’ – bewitchment, ‘iranlowo’ – aid, ‘panumo’ – keep mute. It was also called incurable disease but yet Nigerians still take and use it as bout of jokes. It never matter whether they believe what they heard about it or not or that they have seen several cases that left one dumbfounded, our people will still joke about it.
The case of Lassa fever was no exception. And in its own case, Nigerians ignored all the warnings and kept eating bush rat, monkeys and others which they referred to as natural delicacies. Nothing would stop an average African man from taking ‘bush meat’ in their meals, especially when eating out. It shows the big men in them.
Now it’s the much dreaded imported from China disease called CORONA VIRUS. This seems more scary than the others though many still believe the Chinese man brought the problem upon himself. A friend of mine said, “Why won’t they have corona virus when they eat anything from roaches to ants worms lizards and all”. Trending on social media, YouTube and other videos are Chinese men and women eating live mice, birds, frogs among others. It so horrific, so irritating that mere watching could make you throw up. Very nauseating!
And then this funny poetic letter to Mr CORONA VIRUS. One thing I didn’t miss in the content of the letter is the fact that our government across board are ill prepared in case of any eventuality. Nigeria is as ill prepared as we were during the Ebola crisis also imported from Liberia. But for the way the Ebola crisis was handled by the Lagos St Nicholas Hospital, only God knows how many deaths would have been recorded.
I wondered how prepared can we be when treating ordinary everyday ailments will take us to London, America, India and the rest of the world where medical and other technologies are advance and medical problems are well prepare for against diseases that are known and unknown.
For the slightest sign of headache, a typical Nigerian rich man or government will run to as near as Ghana, United Kingdom or the United States of America, including even India and China. It such a sad thing that each time a budget is done, several billions of naira are earmarked for the health sector but such monies are not put to any good use except perhaps, it goes to some ready pockets to be used as seen ‘good’ by government functionaries. Its a sorry case for Nigeria and Nigerians.
Apart from unexplained budgetary allocations by successive governments, the citizens are not helping matters in anyway. Ordinarily, a typical Nigerian will not go to hospital until d last minute and often, when little or nothing coube done.
When I raised the issue of the poem letter to Corona Virus, someone said, “Haaha, it is all a joke now”. But was I very happy when the other gentlemen present there took it as serious as I did, if not more serious and frankly told us that the virus is beyond joke. If countries like the most affected China, could get worried, and the US of A became jittery and went back into the laboratories, The Unite Kingdom and the rest of the world became alarmed, would Nigeria not get really scared and scamper? We as citizens and government know our limitations. We know what we are good at; running to God only in the face of imminent and looming catastrophe, else we are timid, carefree and often irresponsible towards what should be of greatest concern to us.
It’s about time we get serious and stop taking unwarranted and preventable death for granted. We have been warned to stop taking cassava flakes in could water (don’t soak gari for drinking) except you made it yourself and sure of the handling, where and how it was made and dried. Avoid buying your suya (kebabs) in newspapers or other papers for that matter since you don’t know where such papers were kept before being used to wrap your edibles. Ensure to wash and boil your meat thoroughly and cook well. This will go a long way in reducing the hazard of sudden but preventable deaths.
*Doyin writes via e-mail:[email protected]
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