A couple of months ago, my friends and I were undoubtedly shackled with zero knowledge and a little dash of ignorance on matters COVID-19. We could crack jokes to no end about how Africans are genetically empowered against Corona Virus. As a matter of fact, we took part in forwarding chain messages and memes on what’s app until reality came knocking. As I write this, there are more than 2900, 7500, 2700 and 627 cases of Corona Virus in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya respectively. The trend has been a steady increment witnessed across the globe, raising informed fears of the situation scaling down to critical levels, especially in Africa.
I do admit I’m not a statistician and as such numbers aren’t my cup of coffee. However, I take pride in understanding what numbers mean. I shudder in awe when taking in the changes in my surrounding. Perhaps, this is what made me an excellent student in Chemistry back in the day when I graced the classrooms of Wangulu secondary school with my determination to ride through books. I loved testing chemical solutions to predict cations and anions that were present. Slowly the science conditioned me to develop a keen eye to detail. Simply put, I was honourably equipped with the ability to observe without breaking a sweat. Backed with my background in behavioural economics that informed me about rationality and decision making, I say beyond a reasonable doubt that emotions tell most of our decisions.
Fear, for instance, is a raw emotion that’s quickly passed around unintentionally. Fear activates one’s stance to protect self from unprecedented danger no matter the cost. Take an example of the serial hoarding of toilet papers we witnessed in our towns shortly after experts announced a possible outbreak of Covid-19 across the globe. In heartbreaking cases, people resorted to flexing gym gains to hurt each other so that they can keep a whole shelf of milk to themselves! Pretty heartless, huh? But you might be surprised to learn that in the middle of it all, some unscrupulous business owners decided to triple prices of essential items to cash in on the pandemic. The whole scenario got me equating the open selfishness to that witnessed in hyenas.
As the craze of hoarding and panic buying withered away, economists rose to predict possible price increment and global economic recession post-Covid. This new wave had me relive the street saying ‘preach water but drink wine’. I witnessed people doing things in contrast to their word of honour. My social and charismatic charm allows me to interact with people from different levels of life, both the young and old. Most people I have met at the gym, school and church have weight and health goals. You can imagine my sweet surprise when my health goals buddies changed the tune to have bread, rice, cereals and wheat flour as there must have supplies. It’s, of course, a no brainer that the aforementioned commodities have a longer shelf life as compared to vegetables and fruits. Nonetheless, the pandemic has affirmed that starch is an integral part of diet despite our strict no starch policies.
While technology is advancing and making life easy, it is a shame that most of us have forgotten the basics like hand washing. Research has it that most men don’t wash their hands after visiting washrooms. How and why the gentlemen are not washing their hands, is a topic we will tackle on a later day. For now, I’m deliriously surprised with the gullibility dropped in truckloads in our generation. There was a clip doing rounds on social media informing people that gargling warm, salty water kills Corona Virus. Like a gospel reality, some people quickly took up the wonder preventive measure and turned it into a routine. It’s no surprise that scammers have grown richer courtesy of the easy does it mentality.
Did you know that development of scientific knowledge has made the modern man less religious? They say the bible was written when people were less knowledgeable. I don’t want to go into the evolution debate as I strongly believe in the creation story as written in the bible. Courtesy of COVID-19, I have noticed that we are more religious than we let on with a profound fear of death. People are avoiding each other like plague because nobody wants to get infected. According to renowned psychologists and researchers, we love being close to each other. Human contact goes a long way in soothing one’s mental state into perspective but seemingly, the fear of death is stronger than the love shared with our buddies.
After all, is said and done; only the wise learn from life threatening experiences. Social distancing has made us appreciate the importance of family. For sure, those who invested in building positive relationships with their family and friends have a story to tell when all these are finally over. I have seen people lose jobs and close their business. Moving forward, that throng of people will start appreciating financial advisers who preach the ‘don’t depend on one source of income’ gospel. Above all, agriculture is the mother of necessity! Lucky are those who have fertile land for they are blessed. In the meantime please take care, wash your hands, keep distance, follow guidelines provided by the government and above all, share your experiences during this hard time in the comment box below.
Featured image by: Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash