For the past couple of months, fear and anxiety have been building over the novel coronavirus and the respiratory disease it causes, known as COVID-19. With a relatively small amount of infected, some people in Nigeria remain skeptical of the pandemic. They believe it won’t affect them… or they just don’t care and don’t want to panic at all.
While commercial transports across the state are still operating regularly with little or not safety mechanism against the spread, most commuters who are chocked within the buses space, chat and mix up recklessly like any other day and do not believe there is any virus called COVID-19 lest the thought of getting infected. Some of them will declare that they are covered by the blood of Jesus while they carelessly flank their hands against their faces unprotected.
As concern over the spread of Coronavirus grows, people around the world are changing the way they do things over the coronavoris spread.
Some have cut back on travel plans and are avoiding crowded spaces. Others have dropped greetings like handshakes and hugs for elbow bumps and foot shakes.
Churches, mosques, temples and synagogues are also changing rituals in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
So how easy is it to maintain the sense of spiritual connection when the way you worship has to change? This is why most people believe the loud noise over the deadly virus is a mere attempt to challenge their faith in God.
It was the refusal to make adjustments to worship that has been blamed for increasing the spread of the coronavirus in Italy. The fear of some churches not obeying the Stay at home order may however escalate the rise in the spread.
Despite the precautionary measures taken by Lagos State for instance, crowds of people are still walking, kids are hanging out at the playground, people with huge bags are coming from the grocery stores like every other day.
Some people, who are expected to be highly informed also believed the thought of Coronavirus or the believe in it is ridiculous.
“Seems like people haven’t studied at school. There is no Coronavirus. We are just forced into all this stupid panic”, a school teacher said.
There are also a school of thought who believed that the deadly Coronavirus is s disease of the rich. They believe that the fact that most people who have contacted the virus are either just coming from abroad, or are at the social gathering of the rich.
They believe the poor are innoculated from the virus, and there is no way of contracting the virus, since it can only be contracted through close interactions or touch.
Another misconceived idea, which is closely related to the ancient law of Karma, is the believe that God created Coronavirus only to Punish the rich and corrupt politicians.
Some dont even believe that the virus is in Nigeria because, according to them, China has the virus because they eat live animals, pets. It is no longer news that there is a market in the central city of Wuhan where live animals are harvested and consumed by the Chinese i.e, snakes, cats, rats, bats, octopus etc.. these living things are eaten alive by young and old in China.
The emergence of the virus from China presupposed their thought that God is angry with the Chinese and not the rest of the world. This is the misconceived mindset of an ordinary man who doesnt believe that coronavirus is in Nigeria, yet.
Another notable reason why most Nigerians don’t believe in the virus, is because they have not seen anyone they know, get infected. They claim the news of the virus infection is only reported in statistics without identity. Despite the news of the Chief of Staff of the President, Abba Kyari, there are still doubts that it is real.
The news of the guests who attended Justice George Oguntade’s 80th birthday is another premise which the virus-unbeliever laid their claims. The birthday was held in the UK on March 10th, 2020 and as of the time of this report, none of the popular socialites and industrialists have shown any signs of infection after over the 14 required date. None of them.
AMVCA 2020 awards was also held on March 14, 2020, and there were claims that some of the actors who attended flew in from the UK which is one of the virus-prone areas, yet none of the actors have been reporetd to be down with the Coronavirus sydrome as of the time of filing this report.
The last argument of the disbelievers is the notion that the black-skinned people are genetically immune to the virus, as no known black person have been repoeted to have died of the virus. Suleiman Achimugu, former managing director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), who was reported to have died of the virus, was said to be diagnosed with several other infections before his death, and therefore could not be concluded that he actually died of the virus.
The confirmed number of infections in Nigeria had now risen to 56, with cases registered in largest city Lagos, the capital Abuja and four other states.
Africa has so far registered lower numbers than the rest of the globe with around 1,500 confirmed cases and 50 deaths — but testing has been patchy.
Nigeria has closed down all international and local flights for a month and shut schools and restricted gatherings in a string of regions in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. Inter state transports have also been shut down indefinately to curb the spread, while 6 patients have been reported to have recovered.
The country of over 200 million people is seen as highly vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases given its weak healthcare system and high population density.