Covid 19 was breaking news in far away China and the general feeling was it can never come to our beloved Naija, after all we are very 'spirit-coco'(a Religious Bunch) not with the myraid of religious centers that beseech our cities. A drive through the major cities would attest to this with bill boards showcasing the wonders of the Almighty God. But when news broke about the index case, of an Italian who arrived in Lagos down with the disease in February, we still carried on with our lives for a few weeks as though we had a unique bodily composition that made us immune to the virus. On days of our Religious Services, Fridays and Sundays we still hugged, kissed and shook hands as a show of love, touched things without washing our hands and then put that same hands in our mouth, eyes and nose. We also squeezed ourselves in public buses and in the markets. Though we were all in a rush to 'stock up supplies' we took on these activities with our bodies touching, greeting with hugs, hand shaking and sweat mixing. But as cases of corona virus rose, unconsciously and consciously people coined several aliases for the disease Coro-Virus, Cono-Virus, Corolla –Virus and the likes. Suddenly, we started purchasing hand sanitizers and face masks in large quantities and then without warning, prices of these items not only sky rocketed but before you enter shops or public space there was a gallon of water with soap, water and sanitizers as well as temperature readers. Then there was also news of increase in the cases of the diseases among The Wealthy, Middle Class, and Lower Class as if that was not enough - closure of Religious Centers, How Can that be? No Mosque on Friday, No Church on Sunday? What would happen to people who come to these places for their weekly bread, what would happen to choir practice, group uniform, prayer meetings, group meetings, holy communion, Sunday wear, Sunday school. Can it be possible that Church or Mosque would close down? Yes, the church and Mosque did temporarily close down, then we became introduced to concepts like-LOCK –DOWN, SOCIAL DISTANCING,WFH-WORK FROM HOME, PANDEMIC. Now our Saturdays owambe Parties are temporarily no more, the Markets too have been closed down and just like that our way of lives have been changed. We can no longer hug, shake like we use too. Even in the bank and on ATM queues, we have to maintain Social Distancing. While also being forced to watch Children and Elderly at home due to closure of schools and homes for the Elderly. The elites can also not travel for their regular shopping and medical check-up. Corona-Virus leveled everyone –we all are stuck in our dear country.
The effects of these new way of living are enormous, what happens to businesses and religious organizations that do not have online presence? What happens to people that are not technologically inclined and empowered financially? Well, in my perspective, corona virus has brought the need for us to start thinking outside the box and do things outside the norm, as when all of these is over, there will be a new breed of persons who will no longer fit it into the society as a result of being technologically inept. The nudity of the corona virus on our lives means that we start making new changes, changes on maintaining positive hygiene as well as our daily interactions with people not forgetting the need for us to continuously develop skills which would make us a force to be reckoned with now and in the years to come.