Since the outbreak of the dreaded coronavirus, there have been different thoughts and insinuations concerning the virus. Some analysts believe that the outbreak of the coronavirus is a third world war between China and America/Europe; they added that given that the first outbreak was report from the soil of China (Wuhan), the virus must have been manufactured in the same place. They tend to question the preemptive preparedness of China before the outbreak of the virus and the speed the country was able to defeat the further spread of the virus in other parts of the country.
Another school of thought have attributed the outbreak of the virus to the United State with the believe that the speedy economic growth of China was becoming a threat to the United States and other great powers in Europe, hence the need to release the virus in Wuyan as a means of attacking the Chinese economy and destabilize the country to enable the United States to remain the strongest economy in the world.
For now, these are mere postulations that are yet to be ascertained or substantiated, and it won’t be out of place to describe them as myths for now. But the reality is that coronavirus is here with us, and it is deadly too. The Italians didn’t believe in the existence of the virus hence the aftermath of the consequences of their lackadaisical attitude is seen in the high level of death rate since it landed into the country. And this is the behaviour of the average Nigerian who holds the believe that the existence of the coronavirus is a scam and non-existing.
It is my pleasure to remind Nigerians who believe that the coronavirus is a scam and that this was exactly what was seen during the era of ebola. They believe that ebola was easily defeated, therefore coronavirus will also be easily defeated too. But the truth remains that the government during the ebola disease era was proactive and Nigerians were also serious in tackling the disease, but this cannot be said of today Nigerians or the government. We have seen more of restrictions and bans rather than other salient proactive measures that will cushion the economic effects of these restrictions and bans.
As a matter of urgency, the National Orientation Agency must have to quickly move into action to sensitize Nigerians who still hold the believe that the coronavirus is a scam and the possible precautionary measures to be taken to prevent one from being infected with the virus. This has become pertinent because of the present ignorant posture of most average Nigerians as failure to do this, and the continual disbelieve in the existence of the virus without taking the requisite precautionary measures will hit the country harder than any other country in the world.
For the records, the coronavirus appears to be elitist for now in Nigeria, infecting only those in the upper class, and the believe that this cannot affect the lower class is an illusion that must be discarded. My fear is that if the average Nigerian gets infected with the virus, the death rate will be unimaginable; therefore, necessary actions must be taken to enlighten the average Nigerian on the necessity of taking precautionary measures to avoiding the impending feast of doom.
The proactive actions already taken by the government at all levels is commendable, but the banning of inter-state travels and movement will lead to economic hardship and even death as some people make their livelihood through such means. The clamour for the government to make available some fund for every family in Nigeria to enable them adequately stock food amidst the planned shutdown of the economy is the best available measure for now, as has been seen in other parts of the world that have towed the line of economic shutdown; and it will be inappropriate to try to save Nigerians from the virus while pushing them to starvation and death.
Also, the issue of falsehood and rumours that have caused so much fear should be dealt with. The media must also report the positive angle of the virus, as a particular doctor has argued that an individual with a strong immune system has 95% chances of surviving the virus. This should be on the front burner to enable Nigerians work on their diets intake that will boost their immune system rather than disseminating threatening messages and false news that have flooded the social media. This is not a time for political propaganda or hate speech as we must unite together to end the existence of this deadly virus in our midst.
Azowue O. Emmanuel