COVID-19: WHY WE SHOULD STAY AT HOME

By Hazel

“It’s a lie, the virus is not in Nigeria.”

“I’m wonderfully and fearfully made, I’m protected by God.”

“The government just wants to use it to make money.”

“Ebola came and went, we are still here. What is corona?”

It is sad that many of us still fall under these categories. We are living in ignorance, going on with our daily activities as if nothing is happening. The shutting down of schools, institutions, religious houses and offices to some, is a waste of time. It is however important to note the popular adage, “prevention is better than cure.” While the virus has not spread widely, we should ensure to keep it away from us.

The most efficient way it can be done is to obey the government’s instruction to stay at home. Staying at home doesn’t apply to you alone. It goes for everyone. This is because once one person contacts the virus from outside, everyone at home is susceptible to being infected. How possible is to avoid physical contact with people at home? Dad comes home and you rush to give him a welcome hug. You don’t do the dishes and mum gives you a slap. You give your senior brother a handshake and side hug when he gets back from school. It takes one to get it for all to get it. This is not supposed to be scary, it’s simply a warning to stay safe.

How much do hand sanitizers cost now? Trust Nigerians to have hiked the prize. Only a handful of people own these sanitizers so, what do the rest of us do? Are we to move around with soaps and water to wash our hands more than ten times an hour? This sounds almost impossible, but, the good is that we have a choice – to stay in our various houses.

Or is your plan to get a nose mask? Sometime ago, the price for one was fifty naira and almost all okada riders owned one. Now, with the evolution of the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria, one is sold for two hundred naira (and above in some places). How many are you willing to buy? How much are you willing to spend on nose masks that don’t even guarantee your safety? Staying indoors remains the better option.

To even consider attending social or religious gatherings of more than twenty people, at a time like this, is more disheartening. You may think you can’t get it from the woman beside you on the pew but, what about from that rich man whose son has just returned from abroad and has been going around shaking everyone? What about  those who have to count the offerings that may have been handled by people with the virus? Or the viruses that spill out from the mouth of the man that shouts, “Hallelujah!” beside you. Is praying at home such a difficult problem?

Just imagine one person at Sango park with the virus. Conductors and drivers drag him from side to side convincing him to take their bus. He sits between two people and makes endless phone calls through out the journey, coughing once in a while. He alights at Berger. Labourers struggle to carry his luggage, touching his hands non stop. “Oga na only five hundred you go pay na.” He goes from there into a tricycle that gets him home and once there, his family members welcome him with giant hugs. How many people do you think this man has infected? Definitely more than ten! Ten people who would have been home, far away from the virus.

It’s hard, especially for the parents and adults, to stay away from work and have no source of income for the indefinite period of the isolation break. But, the top most priority at the moment should be our lives and that of those around us. There are very limited facilities for the maintenance of this virus, so it’s better for us to stay safe than risking our lives. We all want to live past this, don’t we? We all want to live to the time when corona will be referred to in past tense. The best way to achieve this is to stay indoors where you can watch movies, listen to the radio, cook,  take online courses and read novels. The mind also has to be taken care of. This can be done by keeping in touch with friends and family through phone calls and social media.

In summary, ensure to stay home and stay safe.

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