Good morning my dear mothers, I am privileged to be among you to discuss a very important topic that borders on our human coexistence, where humanity was almost brought down to its knees with the devastating and perilous effect of the Corona Virus Pandemic. We thank God for where he has brought us and obviously for where he is leading us. Despite the challenging and storming times, we were puffed and rocked but we were not consumed. May the name God be praised both now and forevermore. Amen.
The existence of the human race was questioned by the tragedy of a pandemic known as Corona virus (covid-19). This pandemic shook the world at its base, as its shut down virtually every human institution. In world history, the Vatican City was shutdown, churches were closed, schools were shut down, recreational centres were deserted, markets were empty with food produce and many human beings hid themselves behind closed doors for the fear of contacting the deadly virus and the world’s economy dwindled. As days passed by, the media houses, paid attention to the death tolls from the updates of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
They also captured the alarming rate and the spate of poverty and sufferings people went through as a result of the extended lockdown. It was even more pathetic and shameful that the government and ‘the power that be’ did insignificantly little or nothing to remedy the consequences that humanity was bedevilled with at the dawn of COVID-I9 Pandemic. Even till today, the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic are still very much with us, now, the social, economic, religious, cultural and political institutions of our world are being shaped by the effects of the covid-19 pandemic.
But life must continue amidst these consequences, will humanity sit down and wait till this storm is over before it goes back to its normal life or normal way of doing things? which certainly will be devastating, shattering and overwhelming, they must fashion out ways that they can go about their ways of life even as the virus is still very much with them, and this will obviously give birth to the new normal, a new way of life; where humanity will still have to live their lives and are still conscious of the effects of the virus while taking the necessary precautionary measures in stemming it further spread.
I must commend the efforts of the Catholic Women Organisation of Nigeria, Lagos Archdiocese (CWONLA) for this wonderful initiative of reflecting on this germane topic: “COVID-19 Pandemic: the place of Christian Women Organisation of Nigeria, Lagos Archdiocese (CWONLA) in the new normal” at this very trying time of our human existence, seeking out ways that they can be more productive and impactful to the Church, the society and the family at large. 2.0 A SYNOPSIS OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC The deadly corona virus was first reported towards the end of December 2019, the disease was officially reported at Wuhan, in China.
As days went by, the virus moved out of Wuhan to different areas within and outside of China. The virus spread through contact with the body fluid of an infected person, which often develops in the newly infected person’s body with symptoms like: coughing, sneezing, respiratory problems, fatigue, fever, pneumonia, etc. As the virus moved across countries, the World Health Organization (WHO), on the 30th of January, 2020, declared the corona virus outbreak as a Public Health Emergence of Internal Concern (PHEIC).
And on the 11th of March, 2020, the corona virus outbreak was declared a pandemic because it had spread across continents. The first case of corona virus in Nigeria was announced on the 27th of February, 2020, when an Italian citizen in Lagos, tested positive to the virus. Many Nigerians took to the different social media networks to theorize on the truthfulness of such news. Many Nigerians, based on the level of corruption we have in our system, still waved the news of the outbreak in Nigeria. It became dawned on “Lagosians” that indeed the corona virus is here with us, as from the 17th of March downwards, Lagos state kept on having cases of corona virus infected persons within her territory and gradually spread across the nation
. As a matter of fact, Lagos state has ranked first in the highest number of covid-19 cases among the different states in Nigeria. She also doubles as the state with the highest number of covid-19 deaths, and the state with the highest number of recovered index cases, which leaves us with the reality of experiencing more of the consequences the Covid-19 Pandemic. It therefore on this note that we shall briefly scan through some notable consequences of Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
3.0 SOME NOTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN NIGERIA
No doubt as we all can see, the Covid-19 pandemic has great effects on Nigeria. It has disrupted the order of virtually everything in Nigeria. No sector nor institutions within Nigeria would say that covid-19 pandemic has not tampered with its system.
Hence, the following are some of the notable consequences of covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria: 1. High Cost of Living: The increment in the price of commodities in the market has really made it hard for many persons to still continue to live the way they used to live before the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic.
Petrol price has been back and forth, from N143.80k to between N149 and N150 per litre, now recently the hike of the pump price of fuel has move to N151.56 per litre. Recently also, we saw the sudden approval Electricity traffic N66 per Kwh; what about the increment of Value added Tax (VAT) that was increased by the Federal Ministry of Finance on the 10th day of May 2020 from 5% t0 15%.
As if that was not enough on the 1st of July 2020, the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), disclosed through a press statement that stamp duty will be paid on house rent and Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), in line with its new adhesive duty. What about transport fare, household needs, etc. There are hikes in almost all aspect of trade and these hikes leave us with a question: “How will the poor survive in Nigeria, especially in this hard and trying times?”
2. Disruption of Religious Activities: In the area of religious gatherings, covid-19 lockdown limited our coming together to worship God in our various liturgical spaces for about five months, especially for the Catholic ecclesiastical province of Lagos and this even made some Catholics to doubt their faith in God and the relevance of worship in their lives. Even with the gradual easing of restriction for liturgical gathering to one a week some people are still scared to come to church for the fear of the Virus.
3. Disruption of Educational Activities and Other Sector: The covid-19 lockdown has affected the educational system of Nigeria, as schools have been shut down since the 19th of March, 2020. The closure of schools has made some Nigerian students to take to the streets in order to assist their families in making ends meet. Some students have been sexually abused, some had lost their lives, some are pregnant, and some students’ educational careers appear to been at the brink and some educational careers have come to an abrupt end.
4. Increased Number of Broken Homes: Some marriages have crashed or cracked since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. The covid-19 lockdown, though it enabled many families to stay together and bonded, but it also unveiled the flirt lifestyle of husbands, wives, or children. Some husband just discovered during the lockdown that their wives cannot cook but have been buying soups and meals from eateries. Some wives and husbands also discovered the extramarital affairs of their spouses.