Lockdown blues and other stories



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Lockdown blues and other stories

Olayinka Oyegbile

 



We learn more in crisis than in comfort – Abhijit Naskar

 



 

 

THE reality of the lockdown that was imposed on the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States are coming home to roost. At the initial stage of the declaration, a few had thought it was a good time to catch up on lost times. They silently saluted the move as a way to allow them to slow down and catch up on things that they had hitherto taken for granted.

For instance, a family friend who had always pleaded being busy to slow down to attend to a certain health condition seized that opportunity to quickly dash to his family doctor to diagnose what was the matter. Lucky him, the doctor was able to help stem what could have been a fatal heath decline. However, that was before the Covid-19 pandemic drew fear into the health sector making doctors and health workers to also become careful and negligent (?) of their patient’s condition.

Another had thought the lockdown was a prime time for him to complete some writings and reading assignments which have all suffered some procrastination in the past. The first week had kicked off in a very slow way but he wasn’t too worried because he has always been a slow starter whose beginning is always full of hic-cups before gathering speed that would take a cheetah to stop him! So he wasn’t too worried when during the first week he could barely write five hundred words a day, and could not read up to twenty pages a day of the long postponed book he had planned to read. That was how the first week rolled into the second, the third and the fourth, yet he had not achieved much. What went wrong?

Honestly, my friend as he resumed work last week could not place a finger on what went amiss. He initially blamed it on the fact that his children who are mostly in boarding school were at home, so he was burdened with always engaging them in talks, games and other fatherly chores to make them bond, since they were almost always away and he was also almost absent at home to play the role of a father beyond paying their school fees and taking them out to eateries, cinemas and all those middle class indulgence of nowadays that most think are enough to build to a united family.

He lives in a not too upscale neighbourhood and was therefore compelled to join his neighbours and their night guards to keep awake most nights as vigilante to protect their homes from the much talked about “One Million Boys” whom he never saw but read about in newspapers, social media and even on television news almost every night. He spent the long nights which he had thought he was going to use reading and writing (public power permitting) keeping vigil on the streets of his neighbourhood because his community mandated that every fit adult must participate in the exercise to show their population and power to the perhaps phantom “Boys” that they were ready to take them on any day they decided to invade their community! The “Boys” never came or perhaps because of the level of mobilization that his community mobilized they (the “Boys”) developed cold feet and they never showed up.

Now that the lockdown is over, our friend was only able to read a hundred pages out of the about five hundred pages of the book he had outlined to read during the lockdown! He could not find the energy to read during the day because he always returned home in the wee hours. He had spent the better part of the day struggling to sleep because he is a man who was not given to sleeping during the day time!! So when he manages to do so, it would only be for a few hours and his neighbours do not want to hear any excuses as to why he may not join the vigilante group the next day!! Thus the whole five weeks of lockdown went down just like that. Looking back now he is confused at what he as an individual has gained from the lockdown. In counting his losses he looks around and cursed the day this virus crept across our country’s borders because it has set him back in such a way that he can’t think of how to overcome it.

Daily he reads about huge losses companies are reeling out; job losses, salary cuts, mounting telecom and electricity bills, and children eating with some ravenous large appetite not minding the cost of food items.

What are your lockdown blues that you want to share with us? Were you able to achieve much? Was my friend lazy and only looking for excuses?

 

Tell us at [email protected]   

 

 

Lockdown blues and other stories

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