BY TAIWO OGUNMOLA-OMILANI
The lifestyle of people all over the world was normal and went on smoothly before the sudden emergence of novel Coronavirus outbreak, which emanated from Wuhan in China on the 31st December, 2019.
After the appearance of the deadly disease in China, Nigerians were optimistic that the virus could not have its way into the country because it was a foreign disease not meant for Africans.
Some people even said that they were immune against COVID-19.
Shortly after, the first case crept into Nigeria through Lagos on 27 February 2020, when an Italian citizen tested positive for the virus caused by SARS-CoV-2 on March 9, 2020 and a second case of the virus was reported in Ewekoro, Ogun State in a Nigerian citizen, who had contact with the Italian citizen.
This later led to lockdown, which subsequently changed the lifestyle of people all over the world.
In the past, we used to greet each other by shaking hands, hugging and so on, though this was not our culture, it later became part of us.
Now, hugging, shaking and physical contact have become poisonous because it is believed that Coronavirus is easily transmitted via these means.
Medical experts prescribed use of facemasks for everyone; both young and old to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
As the cases and infections began to rise, Nigerian governmentsnmade it compulsory for all and sundry to wear facemasks, which had never been part of us.
However, nobody thought 2020 would introduce people to new lifestyle and dress sense.
All over the world, this tiny virus called COVID-19 has caused serious damages and even wrecked the economy of powerful nations of the world.
One of the most powerful nations, the United States of America said recently that they might need to maintain social distancing till the end of year 2020. Whereas, all over the world we appreciate social gatherings, but this might not be possible again till the end of the year.
Back in Nigeria, the situation is a bit fair going by the number of infections and death compared to what is happening in other countries of the world.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha said on the the 6th May 2020, which marked 100 days of Coronavirus in Nigeria, said that the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus, which he heads, introduced the wearing of facemasks in public to prevent the spread of the virus. Also, PTF encouraged local production of face masks, hand sanitizers, protective gear etc.
However, medical experts have said that we might live with this virus for sometimes before its disappears.
Invariably, people might continue with this lifestyle as long as the virus is with us.
Moreover, face masks have now formed part of our wears on a daily basis.
Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing said on his twitter handle that, “its 49 days without a handshake. Social Distancing, the new normal. #When was your last handshake?”
He was simply saying that a norm like shaking of hands is gradually dying because of COVID-19.
Upshot spoke with some people on how they feel about the use of facemask while going out.
Mrs Adelani, a trader said that the new lifestyle is what people must abide by. “If we fail in our own capacity to adhere strictly with these rules, we might continue to live with this virus.
“Wearing of masks, social distancing, washing of hands are good, but social distancing might not really work depending on the nature of someone’s work and business,” she said.
Also responding, Ayo Ajiboye said that he had been coping with the new lifestyle easily. “Well coping has been easy for me.
“I am working with an excellent organization that is humanity driven. We attend webinars, regular meetings, send key updates of staying safe, empowers my work with data and fuel subsidies and we ensure timely payment of my full monthly compensation,” he said.
Ajiboye maintained that he tried to move away from crowd and adhere strictly to guidelines laid down by the government.
“I have selected store where I can get things easily. I stayed away from large supermarkets and found smaller alternatives that are not crowded. I focus on learning and taking new online courses to increase my value after the lockdown.
“I don’t shake hands with people and I try to avoid gathering. I always have sanitizers in my pocket. At times I lock myself in my car and drive round,” he said.
So far, Nigeria has recorded 381 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 3526.
The 381 new cases are the highest Nigeria has ever recorded in 24 hours since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country and the number is still increasing as a result of ease lockdown.
Away from Nigeria, in the United States, these ways of greetings, physical contact, shaking of hands among others might not be part of their lifestyle again.
Moreover, In less than three months, more Americans have died from Coronavirus than the number of US service members killed in the Vietnam War, according to updated numbers from Johns Hopkins University on Tuesday afternoon.
The American death toll in the Vietnam War was 58,220, with the fighting stretched for more than 10 years.
According to Johns Hopkins’ tally of cases in the United States, at least 58,365 people have died in the US from Coronavirus in just 82 days. The first known US Coronavirus related fatality was Feb. 6.
Julius Karl D. Five from the United Kingdom while speaking with Upshot said, “I have been indoor for the past 8 weeks (month) with none or minimal movement. It is however stressful and mind boggling.
” Life is never the same again. All my classes were cancelled and done online. I however has more time for my assignments and researches.I feel more tired each passing day.
” But I am happy to safe and also happy others around me are also safe.
StayAtHome and #StaySafe
With the havoc caused by COVID-19 lifestyle of people may never return to normal in the nearest future.
Experts have said that wearing of facemasks, washing of hands, keeping social distancing might continue till the end of 2020 if the virus persists.