Throughout recorded history, plagues and pandemics have afflicted humanity, such as the Plague of Athens: 430 B.C., the Antonine Plague: A.D. 165 -180, the Plague of Cyprian: A.S. 250 – 27, the Great Plague of London: 1665 -1666, the Great Plague of Marseille: 1720 -1723, the Flu Pandemic: 1889 -1890, the Spanish Flu: 1918 -1920, the Asian Flu: 1957 -1958, the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic: 2009 -2010, and the West African Ebola Epidemic: 2014 -2016. These are among several others that have been sources of tremendous instability to humanity.
The case of the novel Coronavirus or Covid-19, a highly transmittable and pathogenic viral infection, which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, which emerged in Wuhan, China, and now a global pandemic, is not in any way different. The trail of human misery it has so far left behind has been intense. Covid-19 has not only worsened global poverty, but has also redefined how we relate with others, as well as how we conduct ourselves in our respective communities. Some people are of the opinion that the pandemic is a leveller, as it has no respect for social status, religion, age, race, or religious beliefs.
It is surprising that even the so-called superpowers or developed countries like the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and China, among several others, are also feeling the heat. These countries have not only recorded massive deaths in spite their developed health systems, but also experienced decline in economic activities, as a result of the lockdown they all initiated as a measure to help mitigate the spread of the disease.
In the case of the African continent, the expectation was that given the pandemic late arrival, her leaders should be able to manage the crisis better and reduce to the barest minimum, its impact both on her people and on her economy. But alas, her poor health system – low standard medical facilities and poor emergency response, poor governance structure, inability to manage crisis and disinformation, and inadequate stakeholders’ engagement/management, had made it impossible for most of her countries on the continent to avoid the fate of the other continents.
Today, Africa has recorded, and is still recording deaths. Even though, measures such as social distancing and lockdown orders were ordered, though with little or no enforcement, not much success is being recorded as we struggle to flatten the pandemic curve. Given the above foregoing, what will be the fate of Africa and Africans? This is a question for us to reflect on.
As mentioned earlier, Covid-19 has seriously affected, and is still affecting the global economy negatively and it will take a while for it to recover. We are sure to witness massive loss of jobs, rise in poverty, and loss of income and other sources of livelihood. Although governments are providing palliatives to the vulnerable and poor segments of our society in the form of stipends and staple foods, these approaches may not be sustainable in the long run. Therefore, there is the need for all of us to in our own little ways support those who are in need in our communities.
The upsurge in donations to charities and assistance to those in need since the outbreak of covid-19 is commendable, and needs to be sustained beyond the crisis period. It should not be an act that is restricted to only celebrities, politicians, or corporate entities.
It is ironic that those who have many luxury cars are not able to drive any of those cars. All the expensive casinos in the world have been shut down. The streets have been cleared from those doing drugs. The strippers clubs have been shut down. In one way or the other, wars have tactically been suspended. The only thing that matters to humanity now is how to survive and come out of this pandemic alive, a collective fight in which we all are fighting! My question is, if humanity can try to make itself so organized in such way, what is really stopping us from doing better with the none existence of the pandemic?
Our charity should be a constant act to improve the lives of humanity in any way we all can. I do hope when we are able to make it out of this pandemic, it will deeply change our orientation towards life, and make us better individuals than we were. We should be people who will change our mindsets and the way we look at the world making our thinking “HUMANITY FIRST”, tolerance, patience with one another.
For those of us who WILL survive this pandemic, it is indeed a second chance for us for a change. This should be a food for thought for all of us.