The world at present is visibly shaken, at all corners one could see the cold intimidating stare of despair boring holes into people’s heart. A major household name in the world today is the Coronavirus, our numerous news outlets have not relented in feeding our ears and eyes of the virulent and unmitigated attack of the virus. Thus the common slogan at the moment goes ‘the fear of coronavirus is the beginning of wisdom’. For there is no gainsaying the terror the virulent hands of the dreaded virus is currently unleashing in all parts of the world even as many hands are on deck to contain the virus.
The outbreak has had the most devastating effect on China, the virus having originated from Wuhan, a town in China. As at the moment, China records about 3,162 deaths and about 80,950 confirmed cases of the virus. The next country pitched close to China in bearing the brunt of the virus is Italy, recording about 631 deaths and about 10,149 confirmed cases of the virus. As at the moment, all of Italy is under lockdown; public gatherings banned, sports suspended, schools, universities closed, cinemas and theartres closed, Discos, pubs closed, funerals, weddings banned. The only movement is going to work and emergency. About sixty million people are affected by this.
Africa seems to be one of the continents where the virus has not been too eager to spread, compared to what is obtainable in other continents. According to the reports released by the World Health Organization on Wednesday March 11, only about eleven African countries at the moment have confirmed cases of the virus, with Algeria having about 20 confirmed cases; Burkina Faso, 2; Cameroon 2; DR Congo 1; Egypt 59, recording 1 death; Morroco 3, including 1 death; Nigeria 2; Senegal 4, South Africa 13, with 6 new confirmed cases; Tunisia 5; Togo 1.
One good effect that the virus has made is that it has made most people to be very much concerned about their health and general cleanliness, which earlier before now was downplayed. But with people now scared to their bones, people, Nigerians have become more religious with their general well being and the neatness of their surroundings.
If this particular consciousness can be applied even after the malaise of the coronavirus is conquered, would it not be very much profitable? If public officials are to be more religious with their duties and focus on solving existential problems just the way they are hell bent in finding solutions to the virus outbreak wouldn’t we be better off?
As at August 2014, when the Ebola outbreak made waves, many died in Nigeria not due to the virus, but of the false preventive measures they heard would help dispel the fangs of the virus. So many went salt drinking, others used pepper. Some of them died, not by the virus but the wrong information they got.
So, at this moment in time, the various news outlets on the saddle should make sure to have a firm grip of the bridle, that even as they give information on the virus, they should be prudent and cautious, and should not unnecessarily exaggerate the whole thing or give wrong information about it lest they end up suffusing the masses with fear in this critical time. We survived the Ebola virus, we are surviving lassa fever, this too will not be any different, no need to give into despair. We shall survive