By Florence Anyakorah
In this year’s World First Aid Day, which was held on September 12, 2020, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as other Non-Governmental Organisations, raised awareness, that First Aid should be accessible to all, including the most vulnerable in the society, and should also be an integral part of a wider developmental approach.
While lots of NGOs organized seminars and workshops to raise public awareness on how First Aid can save lives in everyday crisis situations, a lot ran through my mind. I remembered the lackadaisical attitude exhibited by many Nigerians during the coronavirus pandemic.
It was evident that Nigerians did not show seriousness in the battle against COVID-19 until the government at different levels placed restriction on movements across the federation as well as shutting down markets, churches, schools and other institutions.
However, this made many Nigerians to key into the fight against the spread of the virus. It becomes surprising now that almost all the restrictions have been lifted, Nigerians no longer care about the spread of the virus. Market places that were shut down because they did not adhere to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC) protocols are no longer monitored, uniform men that stood at highways making sure that passengers put on their face masks do not care about that again. What happened to the hand washing buckets that were in all the shops at our commercial markets? The COVID-19 task forces that were visible and active during the lockdown are no longer functional in many states. There are so many questions to ask regarding the state of our safety.
Does it mean that these frontline workers are not being paid? or, are they tired of providing medical services to their country? Is the whole idea and processes of containing the pandemic in Nigeria a political game? Why is the tension this low? Why are our churches not bothered about wearing facemasks and keeping social distances? Now that our secondary schools have been re-opened across the federation, how many were fumigated or will be fumigated?
Why are the figures of infected and dead persons released by the NCDC suddenly shrinking even though Nigerians are no longer keeping to the COVID-19 guidelines? Does it mean that COVID-19 has gone? If this virus is no longer in Nigeria, what is delaying our higher institutions from being re-opened? And if the virus is still with us, like many medical professionals often posit, what happens to the safety of our children who are now back to school?