Paranoid – A Little – in Lagos

I’m writing from Nigeria, and it’s funny with the turn of events, even more so since the third COVID-19 case was recorded on the 17th of March, 2020.

Name: Kester Onyaemaechi
Age: 25
Sex: Male
Location: Lagos, Nigeria

I’m writing from Nigeria, and it’s funny with the turn of events, even more so since the third COVID-19 case was recorded on the 17th of March, 2020.

People have been making snide jokes and remarks about whom the lady involved must have met in the plane before landing in Nigeria from the US, and this really does put me on the edge.

Why?

I’m a walk-a-holic/work-a-holic. My job takes me to a lot of places. In the past few weeks, I’ve been in 3 different states of the Federation, and within Lagos alone, I’ve been in different locations, in tight spaces especially Danfo buses and all that. And, unfortunately, this isn’t just me. So I have somewhat imagined how quickly the virus will spread if it does get to us, and how unprepared we are over here for this.

On Sunday, I felt a tremor while washing plates in the kitchen. I came out to news of an explosion somewhere around Festac, a place in Lagos. Unknowing people died, building collapsed on kids and cars and properties; it was a sore sight. Thinking about COVID again, I imagined people just getting it unknowingly, passing it down to their loved ones, their kids and all, everything unknowingly just like the victims of the explosion. And it’s not a beautiful sight in my head, because before we can say jack, it’d already be a state epidemic.

I feel like we’re not prepared for this, and for a country that’s not medically prepared for a rampage, you’d think they would take preventive measure like closing the borders and preventing people from affected countries from coming in and increasing our chances of getting the virus, but you see, nothing is being done. And this scares me.

In a place as populated as Lagos.

For me, I have been taking a lot of water, washing regularly, changing my handkerchiefs often and staying away from people as much as I can, but one cannot be too careful. This is where my fears set in. Knowing that in the event of an outbreak, if I’m caught on the wrong end, my country might not really be able to do anything to save a lot of us. It’s scary. 

People are saying we need a tangible case before we can start halting activities, but isn’t that another problem? We have to be sure we have the virus before we can do something? Man, just prevent yourself from getting it already! We can’t see viruses, so for all we know, it’s somewhere already, awaiting confirmation. We really have to be extra careful.

One more case, and I’d quarantine myself. I just hope I’m not the next case. 

Please share your #QuarantinedAfrica stories with us. Have you lost your job? Are you now doing your job in different ways? Has it changed your social dynamics? How? Have you spent more time with family? How do you feel about all of this? Do you plan on gardening more after this? Are you playing more board games?

Email your stories to chadia@wakonte.com or via WhatsApp at +13472921603


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