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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Columnist: MyNigeria

Waiting to die

“So what I think is that this virus has already infected everybody, and it's knocking off those with the weakest immune systems..... this is how my colleague puts it. And I’m forced to agree.- Mercy Abang, Nigerian journalist

My boss shared a similar sentiment the very moment Nigeria confirmed its index case.

He blurted the heartbreak message that we would all get the coronavirus and recover from it. With Buhari gradually easing the lockdown in the worst-hit states like Lagos and Abuja, I rub my hands and smack my lips at the skyrocketing of confirmed cases.

I have been entertained by very funny memes from Kraks TV regarding this lockdown. It's been fun scrolling through tweets on the corona hashtag. You asked for it anyway, so you will be getting it in a week's time.

To be a leader is not easy. Being in Buhari's shoes is not pretty either. However, his speech was totally figurative with all the lexemes utilised. You hear words like "gradual easing," empathetic wordings, palliatives and all- Governance is a true gimmick.

I spare a thought for folks that are falling dead in Kano. The obvious is the case and now that a few more states have recorded the virus- with a moribund health system, Nigerians are in for it when work starts on May the 4th.

Kano's case is a function of the blind leading the blind. This was the same way coronavirus was dismissed abroad until people began to drop dead. What's worse? The grand conspiracy- the cover-up. NCDC needs more reagents but Kano residents don't even believe in conducting autopsies- how low can illiteracy get?

My Dad believes illiteracy is Nigeria's age-long problem. Coronavirus has reflected that we don't think and this is a collective blame that must be shared from the leaders to the elites and to the masses. The masses believe COVID-19 is a rich disease. The elites believed they could fly abroad. I think they have learnt from Abba Kyari's demise what happens when you do not grow local content.

Yet, some other people think relaxing the lockdown in their own expert advice would save the economy. Then again I ask, what economy would be left to save if everyone is dead?

But then someone would say COVID-19 is not a death sentence. If you don't already know, let me remind you that Nigeria has no doctors. If I am to quote my doctor friend, Eghosa he says:

“Before the pandemic, Nigeria had always been pitiably short in supply of Doctors. From the recent analysis, the ratio has been 1 Doctor to over 3000 patients on the average. Other allied professions are in a similar situation. The pandemic has now compounded the problem. Health workers have been stretched too thin."

Yet again Nigeria is not only battling COVID-19. There is Lasa fever, meningitis, polio, malaria and the elderly who do medical checkups routinely. If we lose 80% of our inexistent health staff alone to coronavirus, who will treat the other minor infections?

For the first time ever, I stand by Buhari for giving us an extra week. It's the best decision he's made in this circumstance. Go and slug it out with your immune system. Yorubas say "elemi lo ma last."

Until then, we are sitting ducks waiting to die, like my boss once said. Happy recovery in addy!

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