Lagos is a little disappointing.
Amidst the doomsday, post-apocalyptic scenarios and measures put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 by discouraging gatherings and by communicating proper social distancing practices.
My hood is still a thriving ecosystem of bodies and businesses.
I live in Ajah, Lekki, a few miles from the Ambode-commissioned Jubilee Bridge.
Don’t get me wrong, people are taking precautions as regards Covid-19, an abridged form of it though, with badly-worn masks and gloves that will make any bacteria’s day.
Now let me explain myself, each day I do some sort of morning workout thingy (being cooped up indoors all day is overrated) where I take a long walk. To be honest, I actually do more of looking around than actually working out.
So the first time I set off, I somehow expected to see like in the movies empty streets, abandoned cars and contagion-infested bodies left unidentified on the streets (that’s just my hyper-fueled imagination making the rounds) but I was taken aback when I saw able-bodied men eating steaming plates of rice served by road side food merchants.
A fleet of Kekes blared their irritatingly-loud horns to vie for passenger attention, while a horde of hopefuls where clustered in front of a bank in a bid to get in.
Nothing had changed.
In spite of the social distancing advice everywhere, people were going about like they had lost the proper use of their ears.
Wild, wild country.
I stared slack-jawed as I saw people opening shops, sweeping around the premises in readiness for the day.
Masks wearers were far and in-between. I saw a mask seller and immediately understood why.
N300 naira for one thinly-lined mask that probably gave no kind of protection. I tried to ‘price’ it as is the Nigerian way, and the seller looked at me like I had just landed from Mars.
“Oga, this one even cheap. Other people dey sell am N400 naira sef.”
I deflated visibly.
So I braved the pandemic and struck a conversation with a maskless Keke driver and he explained that his own reluctance to be clad in protective gear was due to a belief that only God can really protect us from Covid-19, nothing else can. Not even a truck load of WHO-sanctioned N95 masks.
On how his business had been affected by the fear of the virus, he laughed (I actually edged further away from him, obeying the 3 metre rule) as he used the ‘God-knows’ factor on me again.
The local supermarket in my area was obeying the buy-only-food-related-item rule put in place by the Lagos State Government.
I bought a large can of coffee.
No point being stuck indoors without caffeine to fire you up.
A maskless woman was arguing with the salesgirl about not being able to buy other house hold items, as I slowly eased out of the store.
My route back home took me past the now-abandoned police post at Addo road roundabout.
A surprising development.
I hope the coming weeks will be better, equipment and enforcement wise, because it is no secret that Nigerians don’t do too well with pandemics.