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Hackneyed COVID-19 pandemic stalemate 

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I have, so to say, stopped watching television shortly after the outbreak of this novel COVID-19 pandemic especially when news mongers keep running into a mad rush to scoop new developments relating to CoronaVirus Disease 2019. Ditto newspapers, except that one has the liberty to select what to read and what to wink at. Television channels also have variety of programs they air but the news bulletin episodes are replete with banal and stereotyped Covid-19 related titles.

This informs more things… perhaps we should find a way to accommodate this now common affliction and reluctantly live with it, willy nilly. Particularly, owing to the fact that the contacting of the highly contagious disease has not and will not spell death to the probable victim; it can be tackled medically, there is a sure cure. Without prejudice to the likely exorbitant cost of the efficient treatment, it should be preferred to succumbing to the chilling hands of terminal death option – as opportunity cost. Herein, the foregone conclusion is just that this ravaging ailment has come to stay, as bitter and morbid as that may sound, the bad news is that, that is the truth. The other aspect of it is also that there is always the good side of everything bad. Someone has said that, “there is nothing that’s absolutely evil and invariably there is nothing that’s absolutely good.” This is not philosophising… instead I am indeed making a bold statement that will fortify us against the time and travails we are in. 

I shall not dwell on statistics exceedingly, but I will make brief mentioning of the facts and figures as broadcast by our media team touching the effects of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak on the economic, social and political formations. The untold truth is that it will be too premature to place a figure on the tremendous impact of this astronomical pandemic event. Whatever fraction anyone adduce now should be considered as sketchy, momentary and staggering. The statistics are soaring and in certain countries, the hope of mitigate the further spread of this brutal plague is either slim or totally non-existing. As I said earlier, it is not my primary concern to showcase serious statistics of COVID-19 pandemic, if not for anything, that morbid feelings may be avoided. Also, I’m wondering of what use is the echoing or publishing of disheartening news when I can disseminate rather certain information capable of stirring ones resilient potentials and make you upbeat, instead. Nevertheless, (let’s fulfill all righteousness) shall I call forth Nigeria and use hers as a case study. As at Wednesday 24th June 2020,the following data filtered the nation’s national television screens and on the following day, it is expected to make, as usual, the front page story on the dailies…  22, 020 recorded cases 7,613 discharged, and while, 542 deaths.

According to Johns Hopskin University, the worldwide coronavirus death toll has surpassed 500,000 as at the third week of June 2020. The United States of America has the highest figure, followed by the world second largest population – India. Brazil is the next closest to India with the current death toll at 57,000. The UK has the third largest death toll with 43,634. The list can go on and on, but let’s make do with this ugly realities. This is a nightmare that is too difficult to imagine let alone experience. If it was a bad wish, not even my sworn enemy would I, in my humane consciousness, offer. But it is a plague, of a cataclysmic proportion that the world do not seem prepared to absorb, contain or contend with. The best approach so far applied is best described as an emergency remedial palliative, the spur of the moment sort of a thing. Some of these efforts may have been fruitful but obviously there is yet to be a concrete solution, tried and tested, approved and prescriptive.

The one that emanated from Africa nation Madagascar, for the origin not being traced to or credited to someone else other than black race, the endorsement and sanctioning by the international community, is still hanging in the air. Be that as it may, to the COVID-19 afflicted casualties who are bedridden in respective hospitals and isolated centers across the length and breadth of the world (and that’s if there is anything curative or therapic about the Madagascar medical inventory) it does not really matter if the world health authorities gave their imprimatur to the marvelous remedial potency and herbal product efficacy or not; they will yearn to have a taste of it before they succumb to the chilling hands of inevitable death.

Come to think of it… what has become trite and too familiar – COVID-19 catastrophe – may actually have certain unexplainable good sides to it. Unexplainable… Yes, because given the option, no one in his right mind would have the predilection to settle for this sort of monstrous episode before learning certain vital lessons. But now that fate have dumped and abandoned us all in this intractable situation, it behoove us to prove our mettle and demonstrate our enduring strength and unexplored fortitude. We cannot afford not to show our human valiance while we muster the requisite courage to conquer this now ubiquitous disease. Let truth be told, life did not promise its inhabitants butter and bread throughout their sojourn days and years on earth. To think otherwise will be childish or one suffering from myopism or some quixotic indoctrination.

This can be your wake up call… to the fact that time must come sometimes in life when you have to “stand up and fight so to be a man,” (apologies to Kenny Rogers) Failure to flow with the tide or beat the time, you will be relegated to the background, whether you like it or not. Flowing with the tide isn’t as proactive as beating the time. One is reactionary while the other one is not. I urge you to settle for the latter – be proactive, be dynamic, be innovative and be passionate and confident. Fight against that human fraility of disregarding what seems to have become common and run of the mill. The person or thing you despise may have the key to your greatness at their disposal. Strive to always be ahead but not behind time, it pays huge dividends and it is safer.

That brings us to the center and subject matter of this write up – expression and demonstration of our human dynamism and vitality during this unprecedented plague period. Apparently, this is never the time for self pity, apathy, and lethargy. For a maximum appreciation of what I am about to highlight, it may be necessary to quickly and briefly consider the unpopular alternative to my proposition. Even the government of the lands, (especially African nations) have done little or nothing to boost the morale of their citizenry who easily may have caved in to depression, despondency and disheartenment. So, many people of the world we are living in have been left in the lurch, so to say. The vaccine remedy as promoted and championed by Bill Gates, Microsoft Boss is unreliable and riddled with suspicion and precarious agenda. 

The best that the citizens and residents of the developed countries got is “stomach infrastructure,” (apologies to Ekiti State ex-Governor Ayo Fayose.) But how much and how long can such intervention or subsidy sustain the people? Your guess is as good as mine. So what do we do? Restrategise. Reevaluate. Refire. Reappraise. You’ve got to do what you must have to do, to support your meaningful living and not just existing. It is a true and verifiable story of the flourishing of certain businesses even in this entire hard time precipitated by the eruption of COVID-19 pandemic. What then could that be that is stopping you from changing with the time. Must you be old time illiberal and stereotyped conservativist?

On several occasions, I have had to promote what Adams Smith in his classics The Wealth of Nation coins “Creative Destruction” in my previous writings and this is now, as ever before, quite imperative, presently. The need to employ Adams Smith economic perspective, an idea which was created in the 16th century (1754) towards the management of this difficult time seem to be urgent, prescient and exigent in the face of prevailing present-day realities. Creative destruction is the collapsing and dismantling of long-standing practices (or for short status quo) in order to make way for innovation and introduce, install a more advanced system. It usually doesn’t sail smoothly, so to say. Indeed, if it is not confronted by stiff opposition or rejection by the old timers, then it cannot be entitled to be credited as creative destruction. The nature and attribute of this essential economic concept is that it stands rejected at its inception by the naysayers. If any acclaimed version of creative destruction is embraced by those who are in the system, then truly it has nothing new or special to bring on board. 

In conclusion, I still want to savour Adams Smith words on marble provided they are pertinent to point I’m trying to make herein. My concentration and concern goes to the general masses, perhaps the middle class too whose plights and ordeal may have reached heaven. “The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations,” lamented Adams Smith hundreds of years ago. Therefore, you would have acquiesced that your financial incapacitation or scarcity of liquid cash, is merely a shadow of something more fundamental – the bankruptcy and destitution of vital ideas. Nigeria political leaders, sorry Africa in general, are jinxed for adopting this selfish mindset… “All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.” But this also has come to be “quarantined,” as it is fast losing its legitimacy. Let the sovereign individual rule his world. Carve your niche and flourish there. Leverage on the information technology powered by the internet, and your income shall know no limit. 
Orajiaku, a freelance Journalist and Social Activist, wrote from Lagos. 


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