On 30th March, 2020 Nigeria joined the rest of the world in declaring a lockdown in some of its cities. Since then, we have seen a continued rise in the number of affected persons. Now the lockdown as good willed as it is, has rather been opposed by a few, reason being that close quarter living actually makes it easier to transmit the dreaded virus. This is worrisome especially for us in Nigeria where almost everyone of us live in tight quarters. But be that as it may, we have to trust the health officials. It is much easier than worrying.
However, there are other areas to consider. An article by a certain Dr. Elke Van Hoof has described this global pandemic as two sided. There’s the physical aspect which we can agree we’re doing all we can to contain in Nigeria; and the psychological aspect which few pay attention to. A prolonged lockdown order leads to mass psychological stress and disorder including but not limited to low mood, irritability and depression. This is not something that should be dismissed as ‘unAfrican’ as everyone of us is subconsciously afraid of getting infected, or our loved ones getting infected, as well as the attendant financial hardship. The psychological trauma that comes with this global crisis is one that affects both the sick and the healthy and is one which the government should take steps to check even as we combat COVID-19 in Nigeria.
As it stands, we all should be aware that these reactions are normal and believe firmly that we will pull through.
In the meantime, practice good personal hygiene as well as social distancing and stay safe.