Coronavirus: Need to Look Inward


Amor Onyeka
In one of the social media videos, an uniformed little girl of about five years was asked why she was sent back home and in her own understanding of the current pandemic said it was because of “corona drive us.”

I initially frowned upon the proprietary or otherwise of such question which I assumed was mischievous considering her tender age. I even wondered if the interviewer could have measured up the little child’s record at that impressionable age.

However, on a second thought, it occurred to me that Corona is actually ‘’driving us halter-shelter.”
What with the havoc already inflicted on the USA, the European, Asia, Arab and the African continents? What with the lockdown or is it lock up of nations world-wide? The aviation, hospitality industries, government establishments, schools, motor parks, stores, stadia, sport clubs, worships centers that are ordinarily a beehive of activities have now turned into a ghost or simply mere shadows of themselves.

Even in war-torn countries, we have never seen cities and streets so deserted as we have now.
In confusion, the virus drove the US President, “Dr. Donald Trump,” who in his characteristic nature initially prescribed chloroquine, and later hydroxychloroquine an anti-malaria drug discarded long ago because of their resistance to malaria illness, for the cure of the epidemic.

Even after the Federal Drug Agency (FDA) of that country disassociated themselves from what they term “irresponsible statement by” the “most powerful man” on earth, some victims of the global pandemic are still driven by fear to administer the drug meant for clinical management of the ailment for actual treatment, leaving them in worst condition. Surely Corona virus is driving the world in a very uncoordinated manner which is why it is presently a herculean task to curtail.

In a CNN news report of May 29, 2020, the total number of global pandemic was over six million; 2.6 million recoveries and 366,000+ deaths, with most causalities in USA, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Brazil in that order, while South Africa currently leads the pack in Africa.

As at this period, the US was leading the world in confirmed global corona virus epidemics with 1,7million+ cases and over 104,000 deaths. In Nigeria, the total number of confirmed cases for this period was over 9,000, with 2,697+ recoveries and 261 deaths.
In the prevailing catastrophic environment, even doctors are also victims arising from their contact with COVID-19 patients.

As at Friday, March 27, 2020, CNN reported that 51 doctors have died from the virus in Italy alone while 159 workers in Boston, US, have also tested positive to the deadly virus. In Nigeria, we also have many frontline medical workers afflicted with the disease.
The current pandemic has exposed human vulnerabilities despite advancement in technological innovations.

Advanced economies have accessed space, moon, built massive infrastructure, reduced the world to a global village.
“Human” have even been cloned by technological dexterity. Some have been able to change their sexes while others are still are into bisexual relationships. But suddenly, a virus as infinitesimal as it may look is chasing everybody all over the place with some ending in the grave and others still in danger list.

It has dawned on all particularly the learned, the rich, those connected, the powerful and those in authority (whether elected or selected) that they need another kind of help.
We can no longer exchange pleasantries such as shaking of hands, hugging or even sitting close to each other, but must maintain social distance, a new word in our social lexicon.

Prisoners in our homes
Among the rights of any individual is the freedom of movement, expression and association, but corona virus will not hear that. In most cases, it is only those who have committed and offence, tried and convicted that are penalised with prison terms with the aim of reform when discharged.

But Corona has driven and is still driving us to prison in our homes. We can no longer go where we want to go or engage in what were previously our pastimes. We are all holed up as prisoners in our homes in compulsory self-isolations until corona probably says otherwise. Our rich cultural heritage of social relationship has been suspended till who knows when. With the present palpable fear across the globe, you cannot but agree that Corona is surely driving us.

While we wait for the cure
On March 26, 2020 a guest doctor was asked by a CNN reporter on the probable timeline or end of the virus and he responded thus “you don’t have the timeline, the virus does.”

While we await cure for the virus which experts says may take up to a year; while we also adhere to expert medical advice of physical distance of about two meters; hand washing; sanitizers; the use of face masks and other precautionary sanitary measures, it is expedient to utilise the present time to look inward for solution to this ailment.

This is where the local medical practitioners, relegated to the background with the advent of foreign drugs, could be encouraged to find solution to the present pandemic such as the Madagascar experience.

Onyeka wrote in from Abuja