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Getting creative within the rules
By Victor Akande
As the world grapples with the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, it has become clear that the distress and uncertainty caused by the pandemic are additional doses of worry. Having heard of one dying before their death? This is the situation in which many have found themselves – romancing wrong remedies – in their desperate attempt to keep safe.
For a virus said to know no cure, anxieties have grown with suspicious contacts, and imaginary preventive measures now take centre stage. These measures, which include self medication, alcohol consumption and ‘peppersouping’, among other intakes perceived to be tough on a virus, appear more convenient for most Nigerians than self-isolation.
I have had a lot of mind-bugging feelings over how Nigeria is responding to the global call for self-isolation and social distancing as a way of flattening this dangerous curve, and I see how the lacuna in our system will again make us different for the wrong reasons. Apart from the peculiar lifestyle of my countrymen, our government’s default insensitivity to the issues of health, electricity and other basic facilities is about to, once again, reveal how infamous we have chosen to be.
Against the backdrop of how technology is filling just more than the 2-meter space with palliatives that could help in these trying times, there is no gainsaying that ‘NEPA’; the now derogatory appellation for our electrical companies will not be there to facilitate the desired succour which entertainment has offered others. That said, whether or not we have the capabilities to handle a full-blown pandemic is a matter for another day.
The big lesson from COVID-19 — Consultant surgeon, Lagos General Hospital
Practising self-isolation is not as easy as it seems, especially for a highly physical interactive society like ours. In Spain, Italy and other countries where stay-at-home enforcement is total, one may understand that this kind of solitary confinement could cause anguish and provoke serious mental and physical health problems. It can even be worse for juveniles in their formative stage, as this can have a profound effect on their chance to rehabilitate and grow.
I have been monitoring new lifestyles recently, as millions of people around the globe are being ordered to stay indoors as much as possible, and I see how many are getting creative with their approach to socializing. This changes in their day-to-day lives nonetheless, connecting with other people remains incredibly important in these uncertain and stressful times.
But while the rest of the world may have no problems getting on the Internet this period, we may either have ‘NEPA’ to blame for not giving us ‘light’ or the NCC for not making data affordable. Even for a slightly reduced pump price, how long can the people depend on ‘generators’ for a pandemic no one knows when it would give way.
As a result, I see grown people violating this rule to mingle – children taking to the streets to play football – many putting their fate in God’s hands – and from others, the more disdainful saying: ‘something must kill a man’. It can be sad how citizens take serious issues with levity, worsened by little or no social orientation from relevant government agencies.
For those who think that sitting to watch television is the real deal, you would soon realise how tiring doing that alone can become, because the body would ask for more. We may not have an indoor swimming pool to keep us going, a personal gym or large compound to ride our bicycle; the world is making do with some form of creativity. It is just time for family to bond, and you’d be surprised what the children can come up with if you lend your mind to it: Some local games; story folklores; some dancing; some singing… everything possible within the home.
On the other hand is some virtual interactions that have made viewership gone up on streaming sites like YouTube and Twitch, a video live streaming service operated by a subsidiary of Amazon. I think that this is live-streaming’s moment because people need to be in touch. I read about some of the new streams that are happening on Twitch. A husband and wife are doing some cooking streams just as teachers and students are hosting daily yoga classes and so much more. Interestingly too, in some countries broad, schools are hooking children up with their classmates by sharing video/photo messages daily, considering that part of being in the kindergarten is the social learning that happens. I wish we had such facilities, but this is no time to sulk. These are unprecedented times indeed, and I see the need for us to get creative within the rules and eschew more crises.
Getting creative within the rules