Muomezie Chioma Loretta. Nigeria.


Living with Coronavirus in Nigeria

Muomezie Chioma Loretta. Nigeria.So hopeful were we when we heard that the Coronavirus cannot survive in hot temperate regions, only to wake one day to a different story.

As a thief comes in the night, this deadly virus known as the COVID-19 has sneaked into my continent “Africa”, and into my dear mother land Nigeria. Just like that, unprepared we have started experiencing the plight of the city of Wuhan, China.

.Just like in the western world everything has been affected; daily life routine, greeting culture, disrupted abruptly across the country.

The Federal Government has ordered a one month lockdown on all states as the cases of COVID-19 suddenly rose from 12 to 49, with one confirmed death case. Schools have temporary shut down (primary, secondary and tertiary institutions), university students living in the hostels were forcefully asked to return to their homes. Having no fixed platform for learning online as the country didn’t prepare for such, some teachers now resort to WhatsApp platform for their teachings, while most don’t do anything but just seat at home.

All civil servants from grade levels 1-12 have been ordered to stay at home.

Church services with more than 50 congregations have been banned.

Some states have temporary banned open market just to avoid clustering. Businesses have been affected. For example, a friend of mine who owns a mini studio inside my school has been forced to close down and this has affected his income, right now he’s not just worried about contracting the disease but also how his family is going to survive this lockdown period.

The truth is, we have all been asked to stay indoor in order to limit contacts.

Even though this order is never obeyed by some residents, especially in my state, Anambra as we haven’t officially recorded any case, some of us find it difficult to associate with our friends and family members due to fear of transmitting the disease to them or contracting the disease from them. Ever since the lockdown, I personally have not visited my two sisters and their families and neither have they visited me and my mother, because we are all scared and have to take precautionary measures. I guess after hearing the rate of infections and deaths in some parts of the world due to the virus, we try to be very careful by loving our families from a distance.

Airports have been closed, international flights stopped from coming in and Immigration has stopped issuing passports to citizens.

The Government has also ordered transport drivers like taxi drivers, tricycle drivers and busses to limit the amount of passengers they transport yet to no avail. So, some people have resorted to spending more on transportation than usual by paying for double seats just to make sure nobody sits close to them.

Our biggest fear now is that we might not succeed in controlling the spread of this disease as some people have chosen not to believe that there’s anything like Coronavirus, they think it’s a myth, some sort of Government conspiracy to scare us. It is not that they don’t listen to news but because they just choose not to believe, thereby going about their normal business as if there’s nothing wrong. Africa especially my country Nigeria, being a land where superstition thrives, some people just believe that they are invisible, that they can not be infected because they believe that COVID-19 is a western disease.

One thing is for sure, we have no idea when this pandemic is going to phase out, and this has plunged us into fear.

This is my Coronavirus experience.

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