In a race of horses, if it be for survival, the cripple who has no horse will embark on this struggle for survival months ahead of the set time. This should be the attitude of Nigerians to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking at how China, Italy, USA & other world giants in development – medicine, science & technology, economy etc. have fallen head long to the dreaded COVID-19, then wisdom demands that those of us in this part of the world (Nigeria being a third world country) should take all the preventive and precautionary measures we can, far ahead of time for our collective survival.
Reflect on this excerpt I got from a story online: “John Alexander Dowie was a pastor of a church in Sydney, Australia when the bubonic plague struck around 1875. He buried forty members of his church in less than one month and four more people from his congregation died and were yet to be buried. Many others became sick with this awful plague, in which there was no cure.” What would any Pastor do should he find himself in this situation today as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic? All we may say now is “God forbid!”
For many of us, this is the first time in our life time that we are experiencing a global epidemic with far-reaching impact as this. Measures put in place by government and health experts, be it the lock down, curfew, stay at home or whatever it is called, are really not convenient. But they are to our advantage, if they will help us curtail the spread of COVID-19. Looking at the trend that this dreaded monster of a virus has ravaged, crippled and brought our world to a halt today, one would no doubt agree that COVID-19 is better prevented than treated or managed.
The stay at home restriction put in place by government across some states requires that people stay indoors, avoid social gatherings, crowded places, stay away from going to work, and avoid corporate religious worship, among others. This is strange to many of us as we have never had such experience.
As a religious nation, many Nigerians are worried with the restriction from having congregational worship. But then, it does not deprive any serious minded believer/worshiper from worshiping and praying to God. With this, we should raise worship and prayer alters in our families: head of households should rise up and play the roles of priests in their homes – let’s rededicate our lives to God afresh in genuine repentance and true faith, pleading for his mercy on our nation and the world, and seek His face as never before for His intervention upon our lives and land.
The Holy Scriptures speaks of a trying time where the people of God are required to stay indoors until those days of trouble are over: “Come, my people, enter into your chambers, and shut your doors behind your; hide yourselves for a little while, until the fury has passed by” [Isaiah 26:20 – ESV]. COVID-19 has brought us to such a time that the “Lockdown” or “Curfew” has become necessary for our well-being and continuous existence.
At this time, it is important individuals learn to practice high level of personal hygiene, maintain social distancing, keep to all recommendations that have been made by health experts, create more awareness on preventing the virus and avoid anything that could lead to contracting or spreading it.
Government at all levels also need to assess the impact of the lockdown on people, particularly, on the less privilege and see how to cushion the effect by making urgent provision to help them meet their basic necessities of life while the period lasts as America did of recent. We are all aware that there are people who no going out on daily basis means no food for them. Therefore, let’s avoid the case of “A Lion (COVID-19) outside and a python (hunger) inside – at home”, so we don’t end up having more people that would die of hunger than those that will die of the virus.
-Pst. Mike Maikarfi
CAN Chairman, Sanga LGA, Kaduna State.