The title of our editorial suggests that we are about to discuss a health challenging issue University of Ibadan students especially, are not taking seriously. We could have just gone straight to the point. But it will be considered aberrant if we skip the greetings and delve into this issue almost seriously. You haven’t heard from us in a while and the first time you will this semester, we should convey a greeting at least. So, dear UItes, welcome to the second semester. Welcome to the final lap.
It is no longer news that the country is experiencing the third wave of Covid-19 with a spike in the number of cases in recent times. Now, there is another variant of the Covid-19 which is the Delta Variant and is said to kill faster. This deadly variant was transmitted from other countries to Nigeria. While we can blame the negligence of the government for letting the country experience a new surge, we should always endeavour to stay safe and follow the necessary protocols. To some, the virus isn’t real when someone close to them hasn’t contracted it. But it is real. Cases of this variant are rapidly increasing in Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, etc. Although the Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire has said the country will train experts to contain this variant, we know better. This spike is largely attributed to the fact that many have pooh-poohed the idea that the virus is still very much with us.
It will seem unbelievable when we say there’s still a pandemic even with the popular rumours that the university management is considering a virtual semester to prevent a major outbreak on campus. How would we convince students that there’s still a pandemic when the preventive measures are flouted almost daily? How would we tell students to always mask up when the only point it is made compulsory is when they are about to pass through the school gate or halls of residence? The simple point here is that irrespective of the fact that most students do not follow the Covid-19 protocols, or that the university turns a blind eye to students flouting the protocols, it does not nullify that there is no pandemic. Thus, rather for the students to be careless and act as though the university is somewhat immune from the virus, they should stay safe.
As we have established, this health challenge is still very much with us. It brings with it another challenge. The challenge of a solution. It is true that some countries around the globe have contained the virus and have started to live with it. In fact, most countries have vaccinated their citizens to prevent another outbreak. In this part of the world, the story, as we know, is (always) different. Not all citizens are vaccinated, and even if they are willing to, the available vaccines are not enough to cater to all the citizens. Even when these vaccines are enough, it doesn’t mean those vaccinated are totally immune from the virus. So, when you are told to mask up, that Covid-19 is real, it is not propaganda to create fear in you. It is because of the harsh reality we face.
As it has been said oftentimes, this country does not have the capacity to contain Covid-19 when it becomes a major outbreak like the one in India for example. By now, we should be fooled no more that our leaders are ready to revitalise the health sector considering their incessant medical tourism. Or do we think the doctors are available? The doctors who are always clamouring to get better payments and means of livelihood and who won’t dodge at the slightest opportunity to leave the country?
Dear UItes, it is important we follow the necessary protocols to avoid contracting this virus. Besides that the university will shut down if there are confirmed cases, Jaja Clinic cannot accommodate Covid-19 patients, nor the Ojo Clinic. And we don’t think the university will bear the responsibility of the students who contract the virus. So, beware. Mask up, sanitize your hands regularly, avoid large crowds and stay safe. It pays to prevent contracting the virus rather than becoming a patient. It is said that a word is enough for a wise person. Multiple words as we have written too, is more than enough the wise.
AND MORE THING
There’s an anomaly beginning to root itself on the campus. It is noise pollution. Noise pollution in disguising names of Bonfire and gyration. While we cannot rule out the need for students to have fun, there should be some level of caution. You don’t go about blasting music, chanting riotously because you want to enjoy yourselves, or show that you are in vogue. While you think you are having fun, you are disturbing other students as well. Other students you think are “dull” because they don’t buy the idea of disturbing your next neighbour in the name of enjoyment. And, we are in fragile times. These actions are not needed as of now.
Yes, it is understandable if students want a feel of the campus after being absent for long. But this shouldn’t be the reason why other students should be disturbed. Not everyone listens to music. Not every student likes parties. This is an appeal to the student-executives who are the organisers of this small shows to find a way on how to enjoy without causing noise pollution. As it is now a common lingo here if you must enjoy, enjoy like a UI student, not students at the other part of this academic environment. We hope our appeal is looked into considering the fact that now is not the right time to host shows or fulfilled events that will draw a crowd. We are still battling a Pandemic.
By now, you have guessed right what would end this editorial. But if you have not, adding a few sentences won’t cause any harm. So rather than telling you: beware, Covid-19 is real or stop causing noise pollution, we’d just say:
Thanks for listening.