The world as we know it, is gone.
Like other pandemics before it, coronavirus will drastically change the world as we know it.
Those who can afford it have already bunkered down.
The rest of us are just hoping it misses us.
Unfortunately, we are a very rural country, with very rudimentary health and social welfare systems. A national shutdown, which is the best way to defeat a contagion like coronavirus, will put a majority of the city-bound population in a state of starvation.
In the west, social safety nets and a tried and tested emergency system cushion the effects.
Here, we tend to depend on family as our own safety net.
Majority of what we eat comes from the market, fresh, not canned.
We even depend on family to feed us when we are in the hospital.
And we go to the village to await death when we are struck with an illness that cost too much for our family to pay for.
But the nature of this means even that notions of going to die close to your ancestors is no longer viable – should not even be considered.
We don’t have the beds, the hospitals, the equipment or the manpower in any state in Nigeria to deal with any small influx of sick people.
We never prepared for it. We instead prepared cozy lives for the political class, so they can buy planes that would have built dozens of the hospitals we so crave now.
So if first world counties are struggling, where would Nigeria be?
This is why we should have shut down the ports of entry tighter than a clinched butt when a fart is being held back in a crowed room.
Now, we are hoping on hope and a prayer.
Town folks, stay away from the villages, for now.
I remember speaking to a Nigerian in China at the time when people still saw this a a Chinese problem and to answer my question on whether he’d like to come home, he said; ‘and bring this to my people in a country like ours? No way. I am staying here.’
Now I consider him a hero.
Someone posted a picture of man that had just returned from Europe that ignored the request to quarantine himself for 14 days and waved away any idea that he could have brought the virus and is sharing.
There are too many people like the latter and to little of the former, our hero in China.
Stay safe and may we see at the end of this one, because it shall pass too, even as it changes our world.
I am Mazi Nwonwu and I am still here too.