In reality, COVID-19 is not a death sentence. It is a decease that will soon burn out of circulation. Humanity will ultimately survive it. As dreaded as it is propagated to be especially to the senior citizens, we have seen and read about 88, 92, and even 102 years old grandparents that survived the infection. Yet, we have seen adults in their 40s, 50s and 60s that have passed on due to the complications from the virus. We don’t even know what to believe now, a viral video on Italian scientists is saying that the killer element in COVID-19 is bacteria. Anyway, we will conquer it whether it is virus or bacteria.
Nations start from the family units. In the Bible, Jacob and Esau for example, God referred to them as “nations” while they were still embryos in their mother’s womb. And today, the nations of Israel and Arabs are the reality of that divine pronouncement. So, potentially, each person is a nation in the making.
If we tackle COVID-19 from our homes, in a matter of weeks or months, the pandemic will become like a common malaria in our clime. The first step towards this feasible method is for our government and the Nigeria Centre for Decease Control (NCDC) to halt the ‘copy and paste’ approach in tackling the pandemic. We need to treat the pandemic by applying our cultural perspective of decease control and lifestyle. Africans naturally live communal lifestyle. It is in our culture to stay close to one another in extended family setting.
We express our family intimacy through clustered gathering as family units. This enviable lifestyle is the reason uncles, cousins, aunts, nieces and nephews find it convenient to live together as members of the same household. Way back in the good old days, all the extended family children will struggle to find spaces for themselves on the mats (or mattresses) to sleep. They will encircle a bowl of amala or pounded yam and eat from the same plate. Coming to social environment, anything that happens to one member of the family will certainly involve the rest.
We grew up as one family unit which only death can separate. There were epidemics and contagious diseases in those days too. Whoever is down with such decease would be quarantined or be isolated from playing with others until they feel better. They used herbs to treat and cure all manner of deceases at the time. So, COVID-19 will be defeated speedily if the fight starts from the home. Social distancing is not our style. It is natural with the West. They don’t have family lifestyle that we have in Africa.
Nigerians are observing social distancing in public places not because they see it as a preventive measure but just to satisfy the mood of the moment. Visits to some offices, cafeteria, stores, and market places show that people even wear nose masks for wearing sake. Therefore, social distancing may not really work in our clime. Rather, we should look inward and design indigenous approach to curtail spreading the virus via body contacts. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson twitted on Wednesday that from July 4, 2020, household members would be allowed to interact, exchange visits and socialize.
But here, we are still crucifying ourselves, threatening fire and brimstone over body contact as if the pandemic originated from here. The most effective curative treatment for COVID-19 lies in African herbs. There is a video released by a nutritionist that went viral during the total lockdown in which he analysed the protective and curative properties of organic items like garlic, lemon, ginger, turmeric, and some other herbs and fruits as the reasons their combination is effective in combating the virus. He also highlighted the functions of zinc, Vitamins C and D in the treatment of the virus. Even in some isolation centres, Vitamin C, eggs, exercises, exposure to sunlight and anti-malarial drugs are the common medications administered on them. Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State announced that he used Black Seeds Oil, Vitamin C and anti-malaria drugs to recover from the infection. His Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohamease med, said he was treated with Chloroquine and Zithromax. Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo said he treated the virus with hot amala, gbegiri and ewedu soup with some common drugs. Chief Raymon Dokpesi, founder of Daar Communications and Dr. Doyin Okupe, a medical doctor and former presidential spokesperson, announced that they were treated mostly with anti-malaria drugs at isolation centres. So, why the panic? Why creating fear in Nigerians? Meanwhile, the PTF had earlier announced that those that died due to COVID-19 complications had underlying health issues like diabetes, hypertension etc. Before the pandemic, these health conditions have been a source of deaths around the globe. However, people with debilitating health challenges can be treated with minimal risk despite having COVID-19 infection.
A former Nigerian Medical Association president explained on a live television sometimes in April that COVID-19 patients should not hide their medical records. For example, he said anybody that has diabetes or any other disease should tell the healthcare providers so that the treatment would be comprehensive.
While treating him for COVID-19 infection, his underlying dis-ease will also be treated simultaneously. The unfortunate thing is that they rarely disclose their health issues aside the virus. What I expect the government to do is to embark on intensive campaign to sensitise Nigerians on the need to concentrate on building their immunity through diet, supplements, exercises, and immuneboosting veggies. In addition to building immunity, the use of anti-malaria drugs, Chloroquine in particular, should be encouraged in anybody or family where COVID-19 infection is suspected. I know some people who manifested COVID-19 symptoms but resorted to home-made treatment with herbs and anti-malaria medications. As at today, they have forgotten they were once infected with the virus.
There’s no big deal in the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms, we are familiar with them already. Creating fear and panic in people is not ideal. We need encouragement, strength and boldness to confront the pandemic and stamp COVID-19 out of our midst. This is Africa, the warm climate of the strongest race of humanity. We are genetically stronger than the white. Their cold, humidified atmosphere and disasterprone climate is a comfort zone for viral pandemic. One other factor that gives us an edge is that herbs do cure effectively and wholesomely than chemical medicines. Stigmatization issue does not arise at all. I’m aware that some segment of the society are scared of disclosing their COVID- 19 status for the fear of being stigmatized. If the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, some of our governors, known personalities like Dokpesi, Okupe, Atiku’s son etc. could make their status known, I see no reason why anybody should feel odd, embarrassed or hide if infected. After all COVID-19 is an infection of the elite, brought to Nigeria by the elite and ravage the elite class before infecting the masses. From every home in Nigeria, let’s frontally and confidently tackle the pandemic. We will all survive the pandemic. Do stay safe in good health.