By Abdulrahman Ibrahim Alabere
Every occurrence comes with a big lesson, although the devastated effect of such occurrence could be better imagine than describe but only the wise in the society will be fair enough to grasp the lesson therein. A reasonable teacher learns new thing everyday both inside and outside the class, the same thing with a journalist who is on the field to fetch stories for the prospective readers. The ability to adapt to the new thing learnt on a daily basis make such a writer unique among his peers.
It is today a known fact that the medical doctors and other health practitioners in the world are learning in a practical form,-what they were taught in class as a theory. The bitter truth must be told; Coronavirus has come to stay and we must all learn to live with our uninvited guest. The earlier we imbibe this fact, the better for all of us in the world. At present, the dreadful disease is not showing any sign of leaving us anytime soon and it is just waxing stronger as each second passes. Then the best thing to do is to improvise and learn a way to live with the reality on ground, instead of looking for the evacuated body of pharaoh in Nairobi.
It is no longer news that close to three million people have been affected by this strong-headed virus and about two hundred thousands of people have crossed the line of Rubicon.
It has not stopped there as it is moving on daily basis like a wild fire in a sequential manner. Therefore, the fact remains that, we either face the problem head long and be saved like the ark of Noah or continue to play hide and seek game and perish together like pharaoh and his followers. There is just no way our lives can be the same after Covid-19 and if we all agree to this reality, then there is urgent need to adopt a new life style that will help modify our previous way of life and help us contain, to certain extent, the spread of this common enemy. For a country like Nigeria, it is pertinent that we understand the need to access the success and otherwise of lock down because some people believe it is no longer working as expected. I am sure, some people will ask for the heads of those people who made this rather surprise suggestion, but there is a need to look at it from another point of view, for instance, we have not as a country improve on our “test capacity” at the expected rate – imagine, 4,000 test capacity per day for the population that is above two hundred million. This including the continual test for the people who are already the carrier of the virus to ascertain the progress and effectiveness of the “vaccine” administered on them.
This seems absurd but it is the reality. We should also remember that our economy is already in disarray and we urgently need to revamp it to save ourselves from the ‘Hunger Virus’ that may follow Covid-19 sooner than later. More importantly, some people are already feasting on this pandemic and are praying fervently that this virus remain longer than expected, thereby, keeping people in perpetual abject poverty.
Therefore, government at all level needs to regulate the life -style of the Nigerians to ensure that, it is a complete departure from our way of life before covid-19.For instance, there is need to re-open our primary and secondary schools for certain hours per day. Although, our higher institutions of learning should remain closed for a while to prevent possible inter-state contraction. The students on exchange system should either remain in their respective states or be certified as being free from the virus before returning to their parent schools. Most extra-curricular activities like footballing and other games can be put on hold for a while. The schools should devise a way to stop the inter-personal relationship between and even among the staff and the students.
Also, the market in the cities should be opened for the specified days (Three days in a week).For instance, on the days that the markets would be opened, there should be task force members that directs and explain to people that life cannot be the same like ever. Road-side market should be banned for now and government must ensure strict compliance to this.
There should be regular sensitization on media, especially on Radio to ensure that people are kept abreast of the happening on the virus, most importantly, those vital things that they need to know and how to go about their new life.
Also, important is the involvement of the religious leaders in enlighten the people in their respective domain to ensure that myth is completely remove from the people’s minds and their permutation on covid-19. For instance, some people believed that the virus would become history before the start of Ramadan-that is a white elephant lie and pure fallacy. .This is because covid-19 sat comfortably in Saudi Arabia and it has disrupted many religious activities, even including the tarawih (Ramadan Night prayer) and nothing happened as a result of this.
The offices can be re-opened for specified hours and directive should be given on what is expected of each and every staff. For example, they must all wear their face mask with their gloves on and irregular hand-shake should be prohibited within the office environment. There should be punishment for those who flout the government directive. Effort should be made to get our people in the rural areas to know that covid-19 is real and that they should key in to the new system.
There is a need to compensate our health workers who are in the front line of the problem. An expert narrated how difficult it is to put on PPEs (Personal Protective Equipments) for our doctors for more than one hour. They risk their lives and that of their family to keep us save and therefore must be adequately and properly compensated motivated accordingly.
We must equally understand that our security personnel are doing a great job at this critical moment and must also be rewarded in a way, to serve as motivation for them.
Alabere, a social critic, writes from Ilorin, can be reach via email@example.com
By Abdulrahman Ibrahim Alabere