By Sylvester Udemezue
If we want results different from what we’ve been getting, we need to try approaches different from what we’ve been using. If the first lockdown was effective in stopping Covid-19, there wouldn’t be any need for another as Covid-19 should by now, have been a thing of the past. If on the other hand, the first lockdown was not effective, why impose, go for or plan a second lockdown? I therefore beg us in the name of God Almighty, let no one impose any more lockdown on Nigeria. It’s not necessary at all.
First, we’re already living our normal lives, and striving hard to wear masks and observe other relevant protocols. We’re already used to coping with the menace of coronavirus. We hope the pandemic goes, but the better option is, let us all wear masks and observe other reasonable, non disruptive social distancing measures. If however anyone gets Covid-19, let that one get treated but let our lives not get disrupted or interrupted again on account of COVID-19. Let no one restrict us to our houses again. May I remind us that education, primary, secondary and university education, has been disrupted and suspended in Nigeria for about 10 (ten) months on account of COVID-19. Where does our hope for progress lie without a sound education for our children?
Second, experience has proven that lockdowns are almost wholly useless in stopping spread of COVID-19. As of 27 March 2020 when the first lockdown was imposed on Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja, only below 100 cases and below 10 deaths had been recorded of COVID-19 in Nigeria. However, by the time we were done with lockdown, interstate travel ban and all sorts of needless restrictions, over 300 had died allegedly of COVID-19 and more than 11000 cases had been recorded. So, if you ask me, I would tell you that lockdown helps to spread Covid-19 faster. When you lockdown, you encourage large clusters of people, crowds and overcrowding, on streets, suburbs and neighbourhoods; people that would otherwise have been away at their various work places and offices, observing necessary safety protocols. When you lockdown, you encourage closer relationships and frequent gatherings in the streets and neighbourhoods. Yes, because, since these people have no work to do and nowhere else to go, and they stay idle for much of the day, the available option is to find new relationships, new partners, new friends and new acquaintances along the streets and neighbourhoods. Staying together all over the place and freely exchanging whatever one has with one another. As all these go on, no masks are worn, safety precautions are hardly observed. The result: risk of spread of spread of COVID-19 gets higher.
On the other hand, when there’s no lockdown, everyone is privately busy with his or her private affairs while most offices and places of work strictly observe relevant protocols which are hardly ever observed on the streets during total lockdowns.
I will write further to explain myself in detail and better and to show lockdown is a useless way of preventing or curtailing spread of COVID-19. If anything, total lockdowns help Covid-19 to take its roots deeper and find its feet faster on the streets, and to easily ravage more people than it would have, if there were no total lockdowns restrictions. Besides, more than 80 percent of people that lose lives during such lockdowns, die of hunger, starvation and boredom, occasioned by Government’s total inability to provide for people on lockdowns. In the final analysis, pending my return with more details, I have two relevant questions for us to ponder upon:
▪️1️⃣. If the first round of lockdowns was effective in preventing spread of COVID-19, why a second round? I ask because if the first was effective, there wouldn’t be any need for a second round as Covid-19 wouldn’t be any more, would’ve become a thing of the past.
▪️2️⃣. If the first round of lockdowns was NOT effective in preventing spread of COVID-19, why a second round? I ask because if, as I believe, lockdown has been found to be ineffective in preventing spread of COVID-19, why continue to take recourse to lockdowns? Why not settle for more effective options? Albert Einstein’s famous line is apt here: “[It’s unwise to be] doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
I shall be back on this.