The COVID-19 pandemic certainly comes across to me, and I believe to many other people, as a once in a generation event like an eclipse. An event entrenching itself in human history either as an acute pandemic or in the same way as you would look at war, if you consider it has slaughtered more than 100,000 people worldwide in 5 months. It is a plague that has held the whole world by the throat.
It has a global effect like we have seen on several aspects of our existence as humans.
The fact that this cause a lockdown further allows many people to introspect into their existence and pick out the essentials from the non-essentials of life. Like all crises, it is a ladder to rise for many political leaders and will lead to downfall of others.
Economies have gone downhill, jobs have been lost. Interestingly, some are making gains from this crisis and even though, they are humans will wish this can go on for a little while. I, for one, wait patiently for the intrigues of the post-COVID days.
While it is true that many developed countries are currently struggling with the blow they received from this enemy because of its high infectivity rate despite their optimal healthcare system, stable economy and big industries. Only God knows what would have been the effect on a developing economies like our with huge infrastructure deficit and weak chronically underfunded healthcare system.
For Nigeria, this invasion has exposed a number of things. Not, that we didn’t know them before but it took us from mere postulations to a clearer knowledge.
The first place to look at our healthcare system, the productivity of a Nation is directly proportional to the health of its people. This appears to be common knowledge except off course to series of Nigerian leadership, they paid lip service to this important sector for a long time and this has come to haunt them. COVID-19 struck harder in the countries they will usually go to seek for help.
So, they are condemned to taste of the mismanagement they or their predecessors planted as a seed. The COVID-19 saga tells us that charity begins at home and our political leaders will not always have the opportunity to run abroad for health, they must, therefore, invest deliberately in the health sector in their states and the country at large.
Another COVID-19 revelation is that we still don’t have adequate harmonized data of our country. Nigeria seems to make rocket science of simple straight forward exercises. Things as basic as this have been grappled with overtime. So, palliatives that are supposed to get to citizens via their account numbers, ID number, etc have to be through manual means. In this milieu, mismanagement and favoritism are inevitable. If this nation truly wants to be developed, this is a basic thing to look at post-COVID.
The third revelation COVID-19 unveils is the rate of poverty in the land. Given that many countries all over the world– the USA, Germany, etc have well-packaged palliatives for their citizens and the country should do too for her population. But what baffles me is the number of people that feeds from hand to mouth, people that earn just enough or barely enough to eat from their daily activity.
This is a picture of the poverty that pervades in the fabric of our country. A more saddening revelation is that of young boys rampaging on the streets in Lagos and Ogun States, and this is in the supposedly educated South. Imagine, if this situation happens in the North. In educating our citizens, in poverty alleviation, we have a lot to do if we will be better off post-COVID.
Whether Nigeria will be better off post-COVID depends on our honest response to this deep-seated problem (and many others)that COVID-19 has brought to the fore.
God bless Nigeria.