Lockdown: As We Go Back To Work Tomorrow!

By Alexander Ekemenah

From tomorrow morning, Lagosians will stream out of their houses to go to their various places of work to take off from where they left it a month and one week ago. Quite a lot has happened during this period of lockdown or forced holiday primarily to protect ourselves from the hitherto unknown deadly disease called Coroavirus (COVID-19).

Quite a few of fellow citizens have lost their lives as a result of encounter with the novel disease. Quite a lot too also survived the harrowing experiences of being quarantined in several isolation centres spread across the state and the country as a whole. As we go back to work, after the relaxation of the lock-down by the Federal Government, it would be in order to remember those who lost their lives and could consequently not come back to work. Let us pay tribute to their memories.

About two months ago, before the lockdown, they were part of our workspace. They were our colleagues, friends, acquaintances, even our family members. We will no longer see them. For those still in isolation centres, we should send loving thoughts to them for their full recovery and eventual discharge by the medical/health authorities. We should look forward to seeing them again. But for those of us in full health and ready to go back to work, let us remind ourselves to observe and obey those simple rules and regulations already established by the Government, which to all intents and purposes, are for our own goods and health safety.

Let us conduct ourselves in a manner that will ensure our physical safety. In doing so, social distancing is very crucial. The tendency to rush to shake hands and embrace is very high. It’s become part of our psychological heritage. We have not seen each other for about a month and half. We miss our office girlfriends. So, we are happy to see each other again. But it would be advisable to restrict and/restrain ourselves. This is not difficult to do. This is because this COVID-19 is very shameless. It does not discriminate. It has no respect for gender, age and class.

Of course, one is suffocating under the deluge or avalanche of advises from individuals, groups and organizations through the channel of social media. It has gotten to the point where one may probably not know what to do again. But the basic rules, both from the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government (the latter through NCDC and/PTF) are probably sufficient to guide us in this period.

The situation is very dynamic. It has not escaped the notice of keen observers that the spread rate of COVID-19 became higher during the period of the lockdown. It would therefore be interesting to see what is going to happen as the lockdown is relaxed. Somehow, this incidence of COVID-19 has wrought a lot of changes in our thought-forms, ways of thinking and in many other ways. It has altered or re-arranged our social relationships and ways of doing things hitherto not thought of before now.

These are some of my thoughts as I prepare to go to work tomorrow. What is your thought or thinking right now? My best wishes to all.

*Mr. Ekemenah, the Chief Analyst of NextMoney magazine wrote this piece from Lagos on May 3, 2020.

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