By Dr Dons Eze
The world is on total lockdown. Everything is at standstill. The world economy has collapsed. There is confusion. Uncertainty pervades everywhere. This is because of a strange disease called Coronavirus, specifically named COVID-19, that is ravaging the world, and spreading like wildlife across the globe.
At the last count, Coronavirus has spread to about 200 countries, with over half a million people infected, and more than 23,000 people dead. The disease is travelling very fast. Nobody is sure of what will happen the next moment, or who will be the next victim.
So far, there is no vaccine for Coronavirus, and no cure has been found. Everybody is at a loss. Scientists are doing their best to find a way out, but there is no breakthrough yet.
The world is now in pain, in anguish. Coronavirus has brought sadness to many families who lost their loved ones. It has brought discomfort to many people who fear about the disease. Coronavirus had caught everybody by surprise, unawares. Many people were in the dark. Even the prophets, those who claim to see tomorrow, did not see it coming. None of them prophesied it.
Both the government and the ordinary citizens are panicking, because they were not prepared for the disease. They did not envisage anything of such magnitude, a disease that claimed thousands of lives within a short period of three months.
But the good thing is about Coronavirus is that it is no respecter for persons or places. Both the developed and developing countries are infected with the disease. Coronavirus does not make distinction between the rich and the poor; between the high government official, and the ordinary citizen; between the clergy and the laity; etc. Coronavirus is a leveller. Nobody is immune to the disease. That is why many people are afraid.
For now, the developed countries appear to be the worst hit. This is in spite of their advancement in technology, and the best medical facilities at their disposal. Over 80 per cent of those already infected with Coronavirus, and even those that have died, are from developed countries.
They say that Coronavirus hardly survives in a hot environment. That is why, at the moment, there is low rate of the disease in sub Saharan Africa. This is a mere hypothesis, yet to be confirmed.
In a country like Nigeria, Coronavirus, at least, for now, appears to be a big man disease. So far, most of the carriers are big men or high government officials, people who are always in the air, junketing from one country to another, to enjoy themselves, and to hide their ill-gotten money. In the process, they had contacts with those who carry the disease, and subsequently, imported it into the country!
Interestingly, many of our big men are now compelled to stay put with us here in the country. With Coronavirus in the air, nobody travels overseas any more, to access medical treatment, even for such minor ailment like headache or malaria.
We hear that the Aso Rock Clinic, which the President’s wife had complained was without a single equipment to check blood pressure, is now being reactivated. This is fine. We are happy that our President no longer travels to London to see his doctors. So also are many of our other high government officials.
For those of our other big men, who have fallen victim to Coronavirus, they equally could not travel overseas to treat themselves. They are now admitted to our local hospitals which they had refused to equip, and are being treated by the local medical staff, who they had long neglected. Such is the irony of life. Some people now pray that Coronavirus should last much more longer so that those in government would be forced to begin to look into the poor state of our healthcare system.
We also hear that many of our big men are bringing their children back into the country from overseas, for fear of Coronavirus. They do not want them to die there. It is because of the reason that their children study overseas that they do not care about the rot in our education system.
Flights within and outside country have been grounded for fear of catching the deadly disease. As such, many of our big men now travel by road, and have started experiencing the jolly rides on our badly damaged roads. Perhaps, when Coronavirus would have been over, government would become serious about fixing many of our dilapidated infrastructures.
Since the advent of Coronavirus, we have not heard much about armed robbery and kidnapping. Perhaps, those that engage in these illicit games fear about their lives, because their targeted victims, our big men, could be carriers of the deadly disease. Therefore, they decided to distance themselves from them.
In the same vein, Meyatti Allah, the godfathers of the murderous Fulani herdsmen, have now asked the group to leave the towns and relocate inside the bush. For now, we are having some respite: no kidnappings, no Fulani herdsmen attacks.
Similarly, those who thought that God had disappeared, because they had reached the peak of civilization, and therefore, had nothing to do with God, that is, the developed countries of the world, have begun to seek the face of God, because of Coronavirus.
The other day, we saw Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, came on television amid tears, asking the world to look to the skies and seek God, while a Spanish priest was seen weeping bitterly and travelling over 15 kilometres in streets blessing people with the Blessed Sacrament. People left their houses and came outside to be blessed. Drivers parked their cars and trucks to receive blessings.
These were the people who earlier had turned their back on God, who stopped going to Church, who banned religious activities, and who approved abortion and gay marriage. They now call for prayers.
On a lighter mood, many children now enjoy the company of their parents, as everybody is forced to be staying indoors, self-isolated, quarantined. No more hustles, no more bustles. Thus, Coronavirus has brought everybody to his senses.