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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Columnist: David Owaboye

Delta Variant: Our fatuous behaviour towards ‘deadly’ coronavirus

Coronavirus Coronavirus

We were constantly warned on the consequences of flouting the COVID-19 protocols as far back as March 2020 when the pandemic hit Nigeria like a wildfire from a pocket-sized measure at a corner in Ogun State via an Italian who visited the country.

Those warnings most times fell on deaf ears as people went about their normal business observing little or no protocols.

One of their major reasons was that the people who were saddled with the responsibility of making sure everyone is safe, the government and the task force, were themselves guilty of the breach which to them means one thing. There might not be COVID-19 after all, which we all know is not entirely the truth. But if the leaders are flouting the rules they themselves set, the followers would happily say, why not?

Fast forward to this day and you’ll realise that we’ve come a long way with the pandemic. People contracted it, had their fair share of treatment in isolation centres and got better before being discharged. Some contracted it without knowing and somehow survived probably because of their strong immune system or by divine intervention while hundreds were not as lucky, as they lost their lives.

In the middle of all these, when it looked as if we’re getting out of it, enter the so-called Delta variant which to my understanding is more dangerous and deadlier than the ‘normal’COVID-19. And reports emanating from all quarters show that people are actually dying of the variant every other day which is a proof of its potency. Yet, we seem to still be taking it with kid gloves.

Recently, there was a burial in the sleepy town of Oba in Anambra State where almost all the stars in the entertainment industry converged to condole as a certain Obi Cubana bade his mother farewell.

The burial was talk of the town and is still is even up to this moment. Wads and bundles of money were sprayed with reckless abandon as attendants partied. Indeed, there was enough to eat and drink but one major thing that was missing in all that was everything COVID-19 protocol related. No physical distancing and no wearing of nose mask.

Just last weekend in Kano, there was a double celebration for the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)’s family as his son got married while his in-law was crowned as the new Emir of Bichi. In those two days, the ancient city of Kano was agog and filled with people from all walks of life to celebrate with the President.

Disturbingly, the COVID-19 protocols were thrown to the trash can, raising the question again on if there was anything called the Delta variant of the COVID-19 pandemic at all.

To cap it off, the city of Warri and all of Itsekiriland in the oil rich Delta State were a beehive of activities as the new Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Tsola Emiko, the Atuwatshe III, ascended the throne. That occasion also attracted the crème de la crème in the land including former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Yet, the most vital thing was missing: compliance with COVID-19 protocols. This has shown that the people we somewhat look up to, our leaders, somehow have no regard for the COVID-19 protocols. This is a big shame.