“The book of Exodus, chapter 7 to 12 — The plagues: the River Nile turned to blood and the fishes died, hordes of frogs left the river and then they died, swarms of gnats attacked the people and their animals, and swarms of flies did the same. A disease killed many farm animals, and boils appeared on the skins of man and animal. A violent hail storm ruined the crops and locusts and what was left of them. Darkness blanketed the sky for three whole days and the eldest child of every family died. And also the first born animals died too. This was in 1470 BC.” __ H M Hoyte of the US National Library of Medicine, in the US. 

Nigeria, the most religious African country, and one of the most religious on earth where every decision taken either privately or by public institutions; is ninety percent colorated by religious differences, or attempts to attain a balance between the two main religions of christianity and Islam, has its clerics grappling with the idea of an epidemic, or the doper description pandemic — here on our soil. It is shocking at best, and excruciatingly disappointing to see that our so called developing mentality, where some even claim to be more enlightened than others; is having problems accepting a global phenomenon that is killing thousands daily. 

The streets of Damascus which were hit by bombs from Israel and Alqaeda are now totally empty. Bombs did not keep Syrians in their homes for a good 9 years of war, but Corona is doing just that; in the most definitive form of the term ‘totally empty’. Moroccans are on their roof tops praying at night, Italians are jumping off roof tops – committing suicide out of fear, and their Prime Minister sheds tears on national TV; calling for prayers and mercy from God. President Xi Jinping of China was at a mosque, seeking prayers for an end to the plague, when it was really rife in China. Italy has been badly hit, with a huge loss of over a thousand lives lost in a day. America just declared a death toll of over eight hundred within twenty four hours. Corona has taken close to fifty thousand lives worldwide within the space of a month. Yet our people say it’s western propaganda? 

The nexus between the two hypotheses of corona being china made or Kung Flu, and it being an American biological weapon as well, indicts both world super powers, for their failures in containing and limiting the spread of this ‘orphan virus’. If the claims are to be found admissible, then America could also sacrifice a few citizens, just as it is claimed that China sacrificed a few citizens for financial gain in the global market. The wars of conventional weapons with armoury, involving soldiers, also involves human sacrifices doesn’t it? So the long standing face-off and bickering between Trump and his aides, versus Xi Jinping and his own aides, hardly allows for the truth to prevail, in the circumstances surrounding the emergence and containment of COVID 19. 

Japan is safe and saved from the ferocious virus that is spreading like wildfire, simply because its citizens lead a pre-existing lifestyle that resonates with the precautions that have been doled out by world health organisations and experts. Their population augurs just as well for them and their proximity to Wuhan has not made them vulnerable. Lombardy, Italy- threw caution to the wind, helped by politicians, that countered the Prime Minister’s order for a lock down. People escaped and flouted the order, and now, Italy is worst hit, perhaps even more than the original base of the virus at Wuhan.

Corona has made Trump double speak, recant, mellow, and even succumb to the medical expertise of Prof. Fauci, an immunologist who has headed the Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases since 1984. Corona has overwhelmed Trump and exposed the poor state of health facilities in the US. Trump is learning to take advise and a back seat where necessary. Warren Buffet has had to provide jets for the airlift of masks from China to America. Most of the medical equipments to be used in the treatment of the pandemic are being imported. America boasts of the largest, most equipped and sophisticated army in the world, yet, it is the worlds largest importer of face masks today. Corona is no joke, man made or natural as it may be.

The Federal Government ought to have closed its airports two weeks before it did, and that has exposed us to the virus. But nothing has been exposed with respect to the inadequacies in the critical sectors of health and importantly, education, because we all are fully aware of their pitiful state. If the US and the UK are struggling with medical centres, facilities and personnel, then you need not ask further, in a third world country like ours. Not even Lagos is well prepared for the pandemic,even with the billions being pumped into it that other states are waging their tongues for a taste of. Nigerians are happy some people are infected and mock the while idea of a pandemic amongst us. 

The health minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire has done marvelously well, and so has the head of the NCDC, Dr. Chike Ihekweazu. The health sector and the education sector should have a state of emergency declared in them. The education minister has been asking for a state of emergency to be declared in his sector and it is almost late for doing exactly that – Because the shallowness of our psyche and the deficit in our enlightenment and especially that of the youths in the face of a global health care challenge, speaks volumes of our ineducation. Dr. Ehanire should be supported with a free hand to provide 2 state of the art medical centres in every geo-political zone, especially in states without federal teaching hospitals. Mallam Adamu should be supported by the full might of the Federal government in revamping our centres of learning, including primary schools. Unnecessary bureaucracy that hinder or slow down the drive for the emancipation of our schools must be put at bay, such that it allows for a faster and more rigorous approach to really panel beating our out of shape education sector. Teachers and lecturers need a new education that prepares them better for a digitalised education system. Teachers cannot read, corpers cannot write, lecturers cannot teach, and yet, at a corona time, ASUU goes on strike. Convenient of course but nevertheless, it’s a worrying state.

Atrocities all over the world may have invoked the ‘plagues of Egypt’ at Wuhan and we are once again the architects of humanity’s predicaments. Yes we must pray and whether alone or in a congregation, God is Omnipotent and He listens everywhere and can answer anywhere. Palliatives should be provided in a God fearing manner, otherwise it’s one plague atop the other. If the corona pandemic cannot cause our nigerianness to repent from defrauding the masses and the less privileged, of God sent palliatives and succour, woe betide us, for God will not be deceived. Corona will then be just another bump on the road, which we will ride and move on, further into decadence. Woe betide us if God answers the prayers of the masses that a plague be unleashed on the elite which will eat up the elite alone while the temperature of the poverty in the blood of the masses shall be immune to it.

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