SURE, we have survived that disasterous year, 2020, but we arrived 2021 with the same debacle that made the past year horrible.
Without doubt, the devastating 2019 version of Coronvirus that stemmed from Wuham, China and spread globally to the World Health Organisation (WHO) certified COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 arrived year 2021 with us.
We still find it around in very strong and fierce form. Around us, we see its victims in seriously many ailing compatriots and rising death tolls across counties, states, nations and continents. According to experts, there is even a very worrisome new twist in the resurging COVID-19. Currently, there is form of the disease that was hitherto unknown.
It tortures its patients more severely and responds stubbornly to medication even amid the heartwarming discovery of anti-COVID-19 vaccines. The outcome is a growing fear and rise in new infections. Specialists in the field call it a ‘second wave’ of the global spread of the virus. This wave is spreading like a tempestuous tide.
In Nigeria, as at last night, the number of recorded cases has risen to over 103,000, out of which 81,574 have been treated while 1,373 have died. Africa’s death toll is about 40,000. Globally, the number of cases has risen to 91.8 million with only 50.8 million persons who recovered and 1.97 million deaths. Studies reveal that many cases never got on record because they were not available to be captured in official reports.
In most cases, such as in developing nations across Africa and the said ‘third world’, hospitals and healthcare facilities are not available in rural areas. There is also the factor of avoiding social stigmatisation and the long-established habit of lack of trust in the government and public establishment by a large section of the populace which makes many people hide from capturing and the healthcare system even when ill with the viral infection.
The COVID-19 disease being an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Coronavirus has some novelty and myth around it. Part of the factors that made it besiege, if ruin, 2020 was the fear its ‘new form of death’ caused all over the world.
While most people who fell sick with COVID-19 would experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment, some others died within hours of contracting it or just before they got treatment. Some who got it never showed any signs of it (asymptomatic). So, the entire medical system of the world was caught napping.
Everybody, from victims to supposed healers, and the rest of the world were confused and even more helpless and clueless. Fear reigned as diseases and death rose in unprecedented rate. Researchers could not get their acts together as the world drifted dangerously in slide. That was what consumed 2020.
It is unfortunate that such a saga crossed into the new year with us. But we must resolve not to give it the undeserved grounds it gained and ruined last year. One edge COVID-19 had over the whole world was meeting a populace of stupidly stubborn, if suicidally nonchallant, people in every nation. Many of our folks saw death on the street and willingly went out to meet it without guards.
Experts alerted that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. They informed us that the “droplets are too heavy to hang in the air, and quickly fall on floors or surfaces,” and urged us to avoid being “infected by breathing in the virus” which can come to happen if someone comes “within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth.”
In a bid to avoid the spread of the viral infection, political authorities in states and countries prescribed and enforced, to the best of their abilities, social lockdowns among other emergency measures across the globe.
Everybody was asked to walk around with face masks; watch hands repeatedly; keep social distance, avoid crowded places among other protocols, but many indifferent persons, if heady, rebels and skeptics ignored the health-oriented calls, headed out consciously, to catch the flu and spread it everywhere.
Some scavengers and cut-throat businesspersons plumbed several oddious ways to gain the system. Many profit-bouyed capitalists even openly plotted ways to gain from the pandemic, including, reportedly, promoting ways of reducing global population. The situation was like man against fellow man, dog eats dog or at best an excerpt from George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Even Nostradamus did not foresee a world so topsy-turvy and rattled.
Therefore, crossing into 2021 was no mean feat. It was real survival in every sense. The world also made a big breakthrough in the debacle with the discovery of the hitherto elusive COVID-19 vaccine which is now being distributed in many countries.
However, the resilient Coronavirus scaled the 2020 barrier in a new form. This new variant of COVID-19 that began to manifest late last month, is dreadful.
Nevertheless, we owe ourselves a vital duty to resolutely fight the virus to eliminate it totally. The fight, this time, must not be half-hearted as it was last year. Everybody must gird his loins, ensure that he is safe and fight the war like in a war.
The world must deploy her vaccines effectively, in the war. Efforts must be made to get those citizens who are more drawn to destabilising this historic mankind’s quest through their polemics, sarcasm and scepticism to join the campaign against COVID-19.
Most importantly, we must kill the biggest demon in the duel which is fear – rabid anxiety. Overwhelming fear handed 2020 over to Coronavirus and we all (including COVID-19 itself) ended up worse for it.