May 4th seems to be the new October 1st.
It’s not like October 1st ever had that much of a cheery disposition in the first place but Nigerians are positively ecstatic at the idea of the lockdown lift, scheduled for Monday the 4th of May.
Coupled with the sudden explosion of facemasks of all types, colours and format, the general consensus seems to be that we are ready to hit the streets.
But are we really?
Considering the increase in the number of infected people in the last few days and our unrivalled precedence to bungle things up, is it really a good idea to open up the gates and send the sheep out to pasture?
Okay, wrong analogy; we are not in any way like sheep, are we?
A sheep is more docile and accepting, Nigerians are for the most part unarguably offensive and overly confrontational.
So, why are we not getting more condemnation for the proposed lockdown lift?
Granted, people are frustrated and the isolation is not doing much good to everyday Nigerians who make their meagre earnings from working daily. The Government on the other hand, as much as they are putting in place ‘palliatives’ to help ease the looming hunger, are at best short-handed.
And because we have what the white man notoriously calls ‘cabin fever’, we are a little riled up and are probably not thinking this through.
As is expected, memes have flooded social media on how there will be an explosion of ‘coro parties’ and other imaginative, post apocalyptically-dark scenerios.
Maybe, we should just take a step backwards and analyze the possible outcome of this lift. The present number we are grappling with is 2,170 with daily skyrocketing odds.
The last statistics being 238 new cases in one day, morbidly distributed across the nation.
Although the idea of going back to some semblance of normality leaves a lot of people giddy with excitement, a few other people are against the proposed lockdown lift.
Are there measures in place to activate an extensive contact tracing protocol, if and when the numbers spike, due to the cancellation of the lockdown?
Can we really trust Nigerians not to throw caution to the wind and break all social distancing protocol? Is this a good idea at all?
The idea of a whistle blower channel is a genius addition by all standards. It’s a perfect way to keep overzealous Nigerians in check. The fact that someone might probably report your well organized, banging ‘coro party’ might be enough incentive to help slow your roll.
My advice is twofold; as regards the lockdown lift, everyone should tread carefully, no point protecting yourself all this while only to now, as a result of exuberance, end up being a part of the dreaded statistics tomorrow.
The second advice is, if you find anyone flaunting the no gathering directive, go ahead and use the whistleblower channels available to you.
It’s your right to safety.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here