Thankfully, I had started the discipline of exercising a while ago. So, when the government announced the lock down for Abuja, Ogun and Lagos, I immediately thought that this would be a good time to increase the amount of time I walked. Walking for at least thirty minutes, five times a week, happens to be my exercise of choice. It was during my walking exercise with my neighbor that is struck me how demystified life had become. Here was my banker friend and neighbor, as we walked carrying out banking functions.
If there ever was a group of people in an industry that most people had sympathy for, it was the banker. They were also the most vilified. They were the first in and first out. Everyone knew there was such a strict code and they were in office like clockwork at a fixed time. They were always under pressure to hit targets, keep clients, perform miracles for their clients especially their high net worth clients, keep the regulatory body happy, turn the profit, take our money, not give us value for the money, and somehow still keep us the regular folk happy.
Here she was at 7:30 AM walking in the estate and conducting her banking business on the go. So I said to her, “You mean it can be done?” and she responded, “Yes.” She reeled out the banking requests that could be done remotely and the ones that couldn’t. What she could do for her customers was basically what we would need her to do on a regular basis. She even opened an account for me on the spot. The bank has used my registered phone number and BVN to verify me without me appearing in a banking hall! It was funny how pre-COVID, everything we’re doing now at HOME seemed impossible to do and here we are doing these things.
If we didn’t seem harried, under pressure, busy, inaccessible, unavailable ETC, it was as if we weren’t doing anything. Now, companies, offices, business are leveraging heavily on technology and are getting work done. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a number of businesses that would need to work from a physical location, but it has been made clear, a huge number of us do not have to be out to be working. In fact I will be surprised, if there aren’t some business that will not close their physical offices and run their business from home from this experience.
It isn’t only work that has been demystified, even religion has been demystified. Though, there are still pockets of resistance to the fact that adherents can’t congregate en-mass to worship God on whatever day of the week for which ever activity, it hasn’t obliterated the obvious; that God is everywhere and that indeed he doesn’t reside in buildings made by human hands. Acts 17:24 Bible, “The God who made the world and everything in it the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.”
Such a simple truth but alas because “religion is the opium of the masses” and the adherents have been used to a certain pattern which has become a ritual in their lives despite the evidence that you don’t need to be in an edifice for God to be God, to access God or for Him to speak. We all so often, get caught up the euphoria of the outward and completely forget that the true act of worship is to be directed to our families, neighbours and strangers and be as ‘god’ to one another. Now we can become more involved with those around us-no one asked you to poke nose! You might still want to transfer your seed, tithe, first fruit, offering etc to church but hopefully the need around us will remind us that the need is around us and we deal directly. This is another very important outcome from the lockdown; what have you done to get to know those around you and have you met needs where there was one? That is your church, that is your mosque.
Schools closed two/three weeks to end of term and suddenly parent were thrown into virtual and home classrooms. I could almost feel the teacher having a field day as he rapidly sent in the coursework for each week. It was our turn to be teachers for the last two weeks before the schools went officially on Easter break. Any parent caught in this demography will tell you that we came out of the experience with a different level of respect for teachers. This was period as provided bonding time for parents and their children; those children that had been abandoned to the care of drivers, househelps and nannies. Now, we had to deal and interact with them. The best outcome is that it became obvious to some parents that it was neither the school not the teachers that is the problem of their child; a great reality check.
Now life has been demystified we are the ones who have complicated life suddenly everyone that used to be busy now has time on their hands no more excuses ask to me why you didn’t visit spend time oh help out. It will be interesting to see how people adjust post COVID. from what I have gathered, there is absolutely nothing that is that serious that it shuts down the very essence of who you are in the name of work. If there ever is a lesson, that is learnt from this experience hopefully it would be that we must balance our lives.
Lagos state is the state with the highest number of COVID-19 patients. You would have thought that if any state would obey its constituted authorities and join in the battle against the virus, it would be the citizens of Lagos. On Wednesday a group of people who still do not understand the gravity of the effect of COVID-19, decided to take advantage of the unusually uncongested road and jog in a group. They met their waterloo, when a roving army contingent on COVID-19 duty spotted them. It has become knowledge that when you fall into the hands of the Army at some time of the encounter you might frog jump. There was no better a time than in this scenario for frog jump to be meted out for disobedience.
This would definitely hasten the offenders’ fitness goals!! Nigerians reactions to this motley crew was straightforward- good for them, since they aren’t taking the stay at home directive and precautions seriously. I think Nigeria has had it good in light of what is happening around the around the world in relation to the pandemic. Granted, we don’t have a critical mass of patients and a very low death rate and so citizens are juxtaposing the number of patients versus the the effects of the shutdown; like the colossal loss the country and its citizens are facing makes it difficult for the citizens to get a grasp of the dangers of what an internal explosion of Corona virus can really do to us.
Hopefully, the example that the police and judiciary made with Funke Akindele AKA ‘Jenifa’ and the example that the Army made with the most recent violators, should begin to make the citizens realise that even though we don’t understand the ‘sledge hammer and ant’ tactics, this is serious business and if you won’t obey willingly there are mechanisms to ensure that we do. Unfortunately, though, in another section of the country, some states have given into the pressure applied by religious leaders and allowed the faithful congregate. SIGH.
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