In the last six months or thereabout, the world all over has had to endure one of the scariest pandemics it has ever been faced with. Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China last year, many countries have had to fight ceaselessly to reduce the number of its citizens whose lives have been cut short by Covid-19. Every passing day, the virus kills thousands, particularly the elderly who have been identified as being more vulnerable to virus’ attack. As at the time of putting this article together, the virus has claimed over half a million lives. Fortunately, Nigeria has recorded very minimal deaths, just a little less than 800 as the time of going to press.
But Nigeria’s case has been somewhat peculiar. Its Covid-19 casualties have consisted of quite a chunk of some of the country’s prominent personalities and celebrities. From top politicians to senior public officers and showbiz celebrities, the Coronavirus has robbed us of some of the country’s most outstanding personalities. It has almost become a common situation in Nigeria to wake up in the morning to the death of a prominent citizen. One after the other, we have lost celebs and personalities who were considered larger than life in their lifetime and now, silently, everyone wonders, who will be next? And why is it that, Nigeria, more than any other country in the continent, has lost a sizeable chunk of its prominent personalities to the virus?
According to City People investigation, the reasons why a lot of our celebs have had their lives cut short by the deadly virus are really not far-fetched. The first is that a lot of our prominent personalities have continued to show little regard to the dangers of the pandemic. As we speak, our rich celebs have continued to find one reason or the other to organize parties in the name of celebrating birthdays or some accomplishment that they feel must not go uncelebrated. Of course, they claim these parties are strictly zoom parties but the truth is, because a lot of them live in mansions with spacious living rooms and a wide expanse of lawns to accommodate a couple of dozens of guests, they end up having a crowded party. And the terrifying party of it all is that many of their guests come gorgeously dressed to these parties without their nose masks on! They throw all caution to the dogs as they hug each other, shake hands, give pecks on the cheeks and generally carry on without a care about the risks of contracting the raging virus. There is usually a lot to eat and drink, and top musicians on the bandstand, serenading guests. With all of these, only very few guests would still be able to alert and conscious of the risks of contracting Covid-19. Sadly, a lot of these parties are still organized almost every day and our rich celebs, who in this very difficult economic period where the average Nigerian struggles to feed, continue to hold these parties and throw caution out of the window.
Another reason the virus is snuffing lives out of our prominent citizens, including politicians and top public office holders, is that, like their celeb counterparts, they also pay little attention to the dangers of the virus anytime they are gathered together. It is common knowledge that politicians are forever holding meetings. They are always either settling intra-party conflicts or strategizing to outwit opposition parties. And whenever these meetings are going on, often with a few bottles of drinks to go round, a lot of these politicians forge all about Covid-19 and engage in reckless and endless handshakes and hugging as they share banters in total defiance of the Covid-19 regulations. Unfortunately, this recklessness possibly cost many of our late politicians their lives.
A possible third reason why the virus has continued to rob us of some of our prominent celebs is that, in truth, a lot of them trust too much in their money. They believe they have the resources to engage the best doctors in the land should they ever suspect they are showing the faintest signs of Covid-19. Their thinking, just like that of the average rich Nigerian, is that ‘there is nothing money cannot do.’ Many have exhibited this nonchalant attitude to the Coronavirus and they have paid dearly for it.
This fourth reason has to do with the medical condition of a lot of our rich celebs. From our findings, shockingly, many of these celebs, particular the older ones (60 years and above) who are the most vulnerable to a Covid-19 attack, are battling one health problem or the other. And everyone already knows that CovId-19 kills more the older people, particularly those managing one underlying ailment or the other. So, it is simply suicidal if you throw caution to the winds and carry on with your highflying celebrity lifestyle, forgetting to protect yourself and guard your life jealously from the dangers of the ravaging virus, then you can only have yourself to blame.
Finally, this is rather spiritual. It is on record that a lot of men of God have revealed that that the pandemic is God’s own way of cleansing the land. Some have said pointedly that, for Nigeria, the Virus will operate in a different way. They claim that it is targeted at politicians and public office holders who have not used their God-given positions to better the lives of the masses. They were also quick to add that, sadly, it’s not only the greedy and callous politicians who have shortchanged their people that will be felled by Covid-19, but even the few good ones amongst them will also, unfortunately, be taken away in the cleansing process as well. Whether we agree with this assertion or not, the whole situation does have some semblance to it, doesn’t it?
The lesson here is that everyone, rich, poor, celebrity, commoner, young, elderly, must take the reality of the situation we have found ourselves very seriously. Covid-19 is real and it is deadly. If we continue to treat it disregard, it will continue to take us down by the thousands until we learn to start treating the virus with the caution that it deserves.