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What to believe about COVID-19

Published by The Nation on Sun, 10 Jan 2021

By Lekan OtufodunrinI try hard not to get involved in arguments with people who dismiss the reality of COVID-19 or claim its not a big deal to warrant the various measures taken by governments worldwide.I wish I could ignore their many conspiracy theories, but I get worried that they are misleading those who dont have necessary information and endangering the lives innocent persons.Despite the daily updates of people who have tested positive and died globally and in the country, some of whom are top personalities, some persons, for whatever reason still claim that there is no need to be worried about the deadly disease now in its second wave of infection.As at last Thursday, COVID-19 cases in Nigeria was 95,934 with 77,982 survivors discharged and 1,330 deaths recorded.Its shocking to hear some people claim that among others, COVID-19 is a scam, that it is a ploy by the government to divert money, get grants and get people vaccinated against their will.Some religious leaders who should be very careful of their utterances are endangering the lives of their followers by encouraging them to disobey government directives.Even some supposedly knowledgeable persons who should know how deadly the virus is havechosen to promote false narratives on the matter at the expense of those who trust their claims and not that of the government.What better proof is needed than the number of persons lost to the disease already' Why would anyone think those who recovered from the infection are making up the accounts of what they went through and are still experiencing after recovering.Read Also: Abia expresses worry over rise of COVID-19 casesPerhaps it will takemembers of their families gettinginfected before those still in denial accept that COVID-19 is real and should be responded to with the seriousness that it deserves to reduce the devastating impacts.The government has theresponsibility to ensure the wellbeing of its citizens and should therefore not hesitate to go to any extent to curb the spread of the disease.The unbudgeted expenses which the government has incurred in responding to the virus is so much that its crippling effects is already being felt in meeting other crucial responsibilities of the government.We can save our country from further complicating the poor state of our economy by simply abiding with the guidelines for protecting ourselves and others around us.The inconvenience the protocolswould cost us and whatever individual or organizational loss we may incur cannot be compared with what we stand to lose when we dont take necessary precautions.There should be no need to convince anyone that what we have on our hands is a pandemic which if not properly managed will cost us more than we can imagine. It should not require the use of force to get anyone, irrespective of his or her status to comply with directives issued by the federal and state governments, but for those choose to disobey the guidelines, they should be penalised accordingly to serve as a deterrent to others.If only many have abided by the guidelines, we would not be having the high figures of those testing positive being recorded now after the decrease that necessitated the relaxation of the restrictions.With over 807 cases last Thursday, Lagos recorded the highest figure in a day in the country in recent weeks.We should count ourselves lucky in Africa that we are not recording the projected high figures of deaths in our continent, but we must not take it for granted that the situation may not become worse if we continue to carry on as if we are immune from what other countries are experiencing.
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