Keeping the end in sight

THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Anything we consume continually has a way of sticking with us. Updates on the global pandemic have now become staples in our daily lives.

Each day we are greeted by bleak news chronicling hordes of fresh cases as the virus spreads further through regions of the world, and more fearfully, the country.

The slow progress seen in efforts made by various organisations to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19) contrasts the steady stream of mortality being left in wake of the virus.

It is important, however, that we keep track of the fact that all hope is not lost. This is hardly easy with our numbers now sitting at almost 5,000 confirmed cases; amongst the top five in Africa. But, this only makes taking positives into account more pressing.

For one thing, mention and commendation should be given to various local authorities putting measures like movement restrictions, testing and quarantine centres into place to prevent its circulation.

Next, we may note that Nigeria has had a 20% recovery rate and a marginally low ratio of deaths, which in no way demeans the sadness of those lost, but should serve as a marker. It is essential to recall because with the overwhelming bad news, we end up forgetting that as lethal and frightening as the coronavirus surge is, it is and can be beaten.

Building on this, we might consider the inspiring stories of those who have prevailed over the virus, including Dr. Amarachukwu Karen Allison who discovered the index case and Emmanuel Asika a businessman amongst those discharged from the Infectious Disease Hospital in Lagos. The common statements from these individuals is that despite the various stages of denial, fear, nausea, sickness and pain, their will to survive and the care they received ensured they pulled through.

What should be understood then is the importance of seeing the infected as still humans and not stigmatising them, since such behaviour would discourage those experiencing symptoms from coming forward.

It is presently imperative that all citizens continue to play their parts in preventing the spread by practising good hygiene as far as washing hands, sanitizing high exposure surfaces, maintaining social distancing measures and taking the appropriate steps if infection is suspected.

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