Whereas elsewhere in the world, the ravaging health impact can be seen pictorially, in Nigeria, every midnight a few numbers are added to a chart and the people are not the wiser.

The numbers betray our emotions and with jaundiced eyes of a drunk, we do not see the deaths. The best of us turn the results to a game of puns; triple letter score; welcome to the four figures table; Lagos tops the livescores; and lots more.

If the virus had eyes; it would be shocked by the recklessness of the average Lagosians where the numbers on the chart topples over seven thousand cases. The “odeshi” attitude of most lagosians with poor immune system and abysmal hygiene standards, and indeed everywhere else in Nigeria, could or would have been our biggest
undoings, yet experts adduce that the country has not peaked.

The average Nigerian abandons the principles of social or physical distancing without second thoughts; claps of handshakes and the buzz of hugs easily perforates the ambience at any typical gathering. Beer parlours and local restaurants are still pouring out with people. Whereas you may tell the difference between 2019 and 2020 in most countries in terms of social gatherings, in Nigeria you would not.

When it comes to the use of facemasks; herein lies the greatest treachery and defiance of standard regulations. Many people go around without face masks and would only be forced by a bus driver to go buy one. Coincidentally, the bus driver has made his own facemask an accessory for the chin.

Those who use the face masks have it perpetually as chin guards; and hand sanitizers are a great burden to carry around by the majority of folks.

With the technical easing of the lockdown protocol, life has quickly returned to status quo, in most places, with much gusto in defiance to the presence of invisible microbes. In Nigeria, the Corona virus is a meme and somewhat of a clout chaser or one to ride.

Of course, these behaviours are based on some beliefs. Some believe there is no coronavirus in Nigeria, that the government only wants to steal more funds, and you shouldn’t be quick to blame them.

The government, a perennial suspect of distrust in managing public funds. Yet, a number of fire has burned offices during this whole fight against COVID-19 that only fuels such suspicions. If you care to ask how much has been donated into the COVID-19 basket, it runs into several billions of naira. If you probe how the funds have been utilised, you would appreciate the thoughts engineering such mindset in this category.

Now, the NNPC wants to concern themselves with building hospitals for the virus, leaving our refineries in states worse than graveyards. All these further aid the mindset that the Nigerian political class only imported the test kits and not the virus for business and if so, Sinzu money is cashing out big time.

Some believe that there is COVID-19 in Nigeria, but it is highly exaggerated. There are rumours of healthy individuals walking into hospitals with a cut that needs stitches and being added to the COVID-19 digits of the day. As ridiculous as it sounds, it is not beneath the corrupt practices of Nigerian systems.

Also isolation centres elsewhere show people struggling to breathe and stay alive through ventilators. But in Nigeria, our isolation centres hold mini parties daily and the patients are so healthy that all they complain about is not getting enough food. Some even complain that they do not even get any medication apart from paracetamol.

To some, they think it is only the high and the mighty that get infected, after all it is an international virus. So to such people, someone that’s not crossed the border cannot “catch the foreign bug.”

The average Nigerian would identify with one of the three broad groups. In numbers, we are saying millions of literate and semi-literate individuals that you would ordinarily expect to know better. Yet instead of knowing better, we do worse.

A certain Naira Marley concert still held in Abuja last Saturday, June 13, 2020, with thousands in attendance. How he and his team were able to fly in and out of Abuja remains sketchy in details. However, it further buttress the point that majority of Nigerians call the virus a hoax in Nigeria and those who think it is in Nigeria do not care so much about it, to adjust their lifestyle yet.

So is it a surprise that the figures keep rising? Of course not. The more reckless and apathetic we remain to standard precautionary practises, the faster the infection rates and the higher the curve (assuming it isn’t malaria that NCDC calls COVID-19).

It is now clear that the only real time solution in Nigeria now is a vaccine. But even that has its own barrage of cynics to deal with. Much thanks to 5G conspiracy theorists and the Bill Gates distrust.

I smell trouble for Nigeria and in the words of Asa; there is fire on the mountain, but no one seems to be running in Nigeria.

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