From the beginning of time, humanity has been fraught with disasters of different forms: some natural and some are man made. From the bubonic plague that claimed over 500 million lives, to the Spanish Flu and the Black Plague, it has been made clear in more ways than one that these contagious outbreaks have become a regrettable part of the chequered history of mankind. These outbreaks were really devastating and left indelible marks on the people who lived at the times when they broke out. Humanity heaved a sigh of relief when the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the first known strand of the Coronavirus, was thwarted in the early 2000s and the Bird Flu shortly after. Just when we thought we had seen the worst, the outbreak of the Lassa Fever, Ebola, and Zika virus threatened to harm humanity’s survival, but with advancements in health technology, effective health service delivery and sacrificial deaths from some medical staff (Rest in Peace Ameyo Adadevoh), the worst was averted. All returned to normal, ,and humanity could trudge forward once again.
Up until December 2019.
In the city of Wuhan, a direct descendant of the SARS strain was born, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome novel Coronavirus 2 (SARS nCov 2), laying waste to many in that city. Through perceived underreporting, the rest of the world was not ready for what was about to hit them. In a matter of five months, the coronavirus has swept throughout the world, infecting over 1 million and killing just under three hundred thousand as at the time of typing this. As it would seem, nations are flabbergasted and gobsmacked by the deadly nature of this virus and its macabre after effects. Millions are hiding for their lives indoors, and the medical personnel all over the world are battling heroically to get ahead of the curve and flatten it. The disease has indeed proved to be something the like of which we have never seen, however there exists another unseen enemy which we need to take cognizance of.
Good old Aunty Fear.
It has proved to be a big issue for everyone around the world, most especially Nigerians. From the Eschatological Mavericks (we might talk about them later) to the mischievous ones who compose wildly untrue and inaccurate Whatsapp messages and distribute them on platforms where our gullible Moms, Dads, Uncles, Aunties and friends who may be moved by the fear put in them by such messages to infect us with same.
We should understand and bear in mind that fear kills way faster than any disease on the face of the earth. This virus, like others before it shall also be halted. All we need to do is stay calm and stay indoors. It is worthy to know that the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reported that 80% of the calls they receive are prank calls, which we need to stop. It’s enough already that we have a killer virus in our midst, it is worse if we have to follow it up with infantile mischief and fear mongering. Since a coward dies a hundred times before his death, we need to calm our frayed nerves and get a hold of ourselves, and if possible, encourage one another. The Sky is not falling.
We will all get through this. Together.