COVID-19: THE GAME CHANGER

There’s a popular saying ‘health is wealth’.  While others believe that wealth gives health, many are of the opinion that there’s a limit to what wealth or money can acquire. According to a Buddist saying, ‘to keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.’ To Billy Graham, ‘when wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost…’ A sound and healthy individual has the strength to make wealth which he can then use to ensure he maintains his healthy state.

On the 31st of December, 2019, a pneumonia which had an unknown cause and was discovered in Wuhan, China, was reported to the country’s World Health Organization’s office. After continuous analysis of the strain of pneumonia, on 30th January, 2020, the outbreak was declared a public health emergency of international concern. As a result of the massive geometric spread of the virus which had led to increased number of deaths, COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the director General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The world is now sick and her resources (wealth) is being heavily channelled towards surviving this pandemic. As seen in the news, COVID-19 has exposed the preparedness of countries to adequately and efficiently tackle any form of large-scale global sickness. According to available data, globally, there are over 1.6 million Confirmed cases of Corona Virus, with over 95,700 deaths and over 354,000 recoveries. The United State as well as European countries are judged to have the highest number of cases. Nigeria has also experienced a geometric increase in the number of cases. As at 9th April 2020, the total number of cases, death and recoveries stands at 288, 7 and 51 respectively.

Can the importance of the health institution be overemphasized? COVID-19 has exposed the weaknesses of world health institutions as many hospitals of viable and wealthy economies are ill equipped to handle this wide scale pandemic. Over the past few weeks, countries have been forced to divert resources to the health institutions so as to enable the fight against the virus as against the meagre resources allocated to the institution in previous times. Nigeria’s health institution is in a deplorable state and cannot afford a full blown upsurge in the number of cases of this virus. This is why the Nigerian government continues to declare various measures to curb the full-blown spread of the virus.

Many would then ask, should Nigeria have been in this position in the first place? As a result of corruption and terrible leadership, in 2018, Nigeria was adjudged to be the country with highest poverty rate in the world. Can the majority of citizens who can barely survive on $2 daily be asked to stay at home and not fend for themselves? If asked to chose between hunger and covid-19 as cause of death, what will a poor Nigerian choose? With corruption being lord over government officials, will the palliative measures put in place for poor Nigerians get to them? won’t the lives of Nigerians be politicised due to the selfish interest of those assigned to lift their burdens? With the happenings during this crucial time, Nigerians are beginning to lose hope in the possibility of a better Nigeria. So many questions to be asked but will the government provide credible answers?

According to Henry David Thoreau, ‘there is one consolation in being sick; and that is the possibility that you may recover to a better state than you were ever in before.’ Will this be the case after COVID-19 ceases to exist in Nigeria or will it be back to status quo? will government see the need to invest heavily in the nation’s infrastructures? will this be a wake-up call to the world to invest more in health than they currently do? will there be a change in world order? what will be the fate of countries during post COVID-19 era? For Nigerians, COVID-19 should be seen as an avenue to access the ability and performance of the government and vigorously demand for an improvement and development of Nigeria. Let’s stay safe and follow the safety guidelines given by the government and her agencies as only the living and healthy can demand for a better and improved country.

We appreciate all Health Workers around the globe fighting this pandemic, COVID-19 is beatable only if we stop its spread.

SOLA ALOGBA

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fatherlandgazette@gmail.com

www.fatherlandgazette.wordpress.com

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