By Boston Edogi
Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) brought the entire world almost to a standstill and state of confusion. However, many countries’ leaders, teams and World Health Organization (W. H.O) battled (and still battling) the ravaging disease head-on and tirelessly with all their medical teams including health care workers, researchers, media teams, volunteers, citizens, as well as a number of support sources to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
I would like to seize this opportunity to extend well-deserved applause and appreciation to the Nigerian government, world leaders, teams, healthcare workers, researchers, volunteers, media, and others for sensitizing about the pandemic and educating everyone to observe all preventive measures including maintaining physical distancing, wearing of a mask, stay at home, lockdown and other guidelines to help minimizing spread of infection between person-to-person. These guidelines have truly helped society a great deal to control the spread of the decease, particularly in countries where the guidelines are adhered to and enforced.
Indeed, the care attention and education given to the masses about COVID-19 has made some remarkable progress, but more is still required to be done on this matter.
Furthermore, one major troubling notation since the outbreak of Coronavirus global pandemic is that countries around the world are still overwhelmed, confused and seemingly powerless of what to do to alleviate the pain and suffering that is associated with this disease because people are going through a whole lot during this unusual time: in the presence of COVID-19 scourge.
This led some countries around the world to extend some supportive measures to their adult and children population. For example, some countries in the western world, have given COVID-19 stimulus payment assistance to their citizens and residents.
Countries like the United States, Italy, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, South Africa, and others, just a few that have supported their needy citizens with one form of assistance or another.
Ironically, countries in Africa have done little or nothing other than the failed or pathetic palliatives distributions that even caused fights between brothers and sisters, took lives of some unlucky persons while struggling in queues to receive their meager palliatives.
There are also reports of cases of communism fighting, stealing from trucks and vans that were transporting goods locally or via interstate highways. All these problems are added setbacks due to unmanaged palliative distributive systems in cities, towns, and villages across the country by authorities and Nongovernmental Organisations.
Additionally, all the airports in Nigeria have been closed permanently since March 2020 without any tentative plan to reopen them, but there is information making the rounds that some airports will only resume local flights on July 8.
This delay in taking the needed timely action which was caused by the government, Ministers of Transport, and Aviation including Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, for not putting the required and proper precautionary measures to handle airport and airline services during this COVID-19 pandemic was quite costly and blamable.
Obviously, billions of dollars have been lost in goods and services since the Coronavirus pandemic was declared globally in March 2020. To also state painfully and truthfully too, many have lost their homes, employment, and schools have been closed indefinitely with no tentative dates to reopen.
The whole situation of things is getting out of control. And every day that passes by, people are faced with the situation of dire-straight, vulnerability and remain in a state of haplessness. When are Nigerians going to experience the light at the end of the tunnel? This is a question that only the Nigerian government can answer?
As a result of the above, Nigeria’s overall economy is almost at the brink of collapse and the government is not doing much to address the current situation. Economy wise; a huge amount in Gross Domestic Revenue and Foreign Reserves has dwindled or declined and continued to collapse to this date.
It, therefore, saddens me to say that many countries around the world have since opened their international airports/borders after putting concrete pre-cautions in place against COVID-19, but our country is still thinking of what to do amidst existing security lapses that have been plaguing us nationwide for years with no foreseeable solution.
With all these problems that we’re contending with, It’s still our expectation that Nigeria’s leadership can do better to address the endemic distress level of the masses.
However, the needed support from the government is not forthcoming, and there are no signs of any help in the foreseeable future, instead of the lockdown and stay at home rules areas are still partially enforced.
Many have blamed the President and presidency for turning their backs against the citizens because no alternative of any sort is given by the government to help out despite the painful cry of the masses.
This silence from the government has given room for the blame game allegations, conspiracy theory, and gradual lockdowns, how government officials politicized the whole thing, absence of vaccine development, rising death toll suffered by all classes of people including prominent persons who were infected, isolated and died including the discovery of some drugs and other related treatments that have yielded no positive results.
At this time, nobody knows when the COVID will be over but only God Almighty knows when this COVID-19 will end. If Nigeria and countries in West Africa were able to tackle the once deadly EBOLA disease, it is our hope that we can also subdue Coronavirus.
So let Nigeria’s leadership see COVID-19 as a usual way of life until treatment solution is found in the First Quarter of 2021 as projected by the United States and other Western countries including the World Health Organization.
This being said, I am making these suggestions and proposals to the Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders worldwide at this time to consider building a ‘COVID-19 Reference Museum in Nigeria and Globally’ that will serve as a memorial.
This Reference COVID-19 Museum will include all the names of the persons including children who died as a result of the infection; total deaths, totally confirmed cases, and survivors of COVID-19 in each state, local government, and community in Nigeria and globally.
The Museum will also provide a historical background of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and how it spread and became a global health crisis within a short period that was never envisaged but overwhelmed world organizations including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and how it crumbled world economies and markets that threw humanity into unexpected pandemonium.
This Museum will serve both historical and medical research purposes that will keep Nigeria and other countries on their toes to safeguard the health of their people and also to ensure best ways to tackle disease outbreaks for effective management, and more funds provided for the health sector and provisions made to mitigate the impact of such health crisis on the economy.
Additionally, this Reference Museum will add to existing historical remembrance to current and future generations yet unborn that will tap into the understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic that swept through the world like a wildfire.
Also, families of the deceased victims will visit the Museum periodically as a way to remember their loved ones, friends, and unknown victims. If the government can look into this proposal and consider it once the COVID-19 has attained a manageable or bearable dimension including recovery from economic recession it will be a point of reference for readiness to tighten the health sector and make our personnel in the health industry including citizens be ready for any future pandemic I don’t pray for.
In the presence of pain or suffering, human beings can still take solace in some of the issues that affected their past as a means to gain strength to navigate themselves into the future.
I truly believe that this suggestion which is being proffered at this time is worth receiving a welcome consideration by the Nigerian government, world leaders as well as political parties that will be void of any party affiliation or inclination.
Boston Edogi, Ph.D., Organizational Leadership Consultant/Public Opinion Contributor wrote from Phoenix Arizona, U.S.A.