Why the Coronavirus Has not Killed You
By: Deji Yesufu
A few days ago I came across an article I wrote last year just about the time the lockdown was beginning to happen all around the world. The stories we were hearing about the Coronavirus then was not pretty and many people were certain that the end had come. I had also caught the apocalyptic bug and thus I penned a piece calling on everyone to prepare to die. I appealed to health workers especially to play the man and treat the pandemic as warfare. And I made it clear that if need be, some of us non medical personals, will be joining medical workers to forestall the tide of the killer disease. One year after, while the pandemic is not officially over – life has returned to near normal in most places. The doom that we expected will come with the disease did not happen. Streets in Africa has not been lined with dead bodies – in fact Africa, with our near zero medical infrastructure, has been the least hit by the disease. Most of us are not dead yet. I have thus asked myself why I have not caught the bug. I thought I should ask you too: why have you not contracted the Coronavirus, yet.
In the heat of the pandemic last year, a friend got in touch with me from Maryland, USA, and narrated how the Coronavirus nearly killed her. She had been working as a baby sitter for a doctor in the hospital. One day her boss informed my friend that she had tested positive. My friend eventually took the test and the result returned positive. She immediately got quarantined at home, only for her symptoms to emerge that same night. Headaches, shortness of breath, sweat and so on introduced her to the disease. Living alone with her two young daughters, she immediately informed the health services and she was advised to remain at home and ride the virus out. “Only call the hospital when you have extreme difficulty of breathing…” she was told. She said she understood what that meant: call when you are ready to die.
My friend got in touch with relatives in Nigeria and she was inundated with recommendations on how to deal with the disease. She eventually found one that worked and gradually, over a space of two weeks, she found her health back. Something else that might have helped her was that a year before, her doctors had placed her on a daily medication of Vitamin D. In the end her immunity won the battle. What baffled my friend the most was her children. While they didn’t take the test, they never came down with the disease. After hearing her story I began to realize that this disease appears to have a mind of its own. Another friend told me recently that he contracted the disease a few days after getting vaccinated!
As the world celebrates one year contending with this disease, I would suggest that scientists should take sometimes and come to Ibadan and see how the Coronavirus has been fairing here. When Lagos State took the decision to shut down their state last year, Governor Seyi Makinde – Governor of Oyo State – said that it was not practical to shut down Oyo State. He made the point that most of the people living here are persons who earn their living daily. No matter the palliative offered, the State will be plunged into hunger if he shuts down. While Coronavirus will not kill the people outside, they will starve in their homes. Oyo State was not shut down. In fact our biggest market here in Ibadan, continued to operate at full capacity, with less than 1% of the traders and customers using face masks. Up till today Ibadan folks do not use face masks and we are yet to see the public health crisis that we were warned against. It is important that scientists tell us why Ibadan streets are not being lined with dead bodies from an outbreak of Coronavirus in this State. If they cannot offer this answer, we may need to return to the drawing board again and conclude that most of what was forecasted about this disease was not true.
Let us come down to this matter of face masking. Who has face mask helped? I use face masks religiously but I can assure whoever wishes to hear that since the face mask culture began, I have discovered that no one uses them correctly. On a lighter note: when schools resumed and our children returned to classes with their face masks, I arrived one day to pick them and saw my seven year old chewing his face masks. It was at that point I knew that the whole ordeal was a waste of everyone’s time. But even those of us who do not chew our mask, do not use them properly. Most of the mask sold do not have proper lining. Most of who use these mask use them beyond the 3 hour period recommended to be used. One day I saw a woman in the hospital, lost in thoughts: her two hands were clapped on the mask. Going by the manner people use the masks, we should have had more disease breaking out from those than even without the mask. Yet, we are still here: we are not dead yet.
A month ago University campuses opened up for classes. At the University of Ibadan, my own neighbors, students have been told not to come to the campus. Lectures are being held on zoom, while the students stay in their various abodes. That is what is on paper but that is not what is happening. The very week the school opened, students who were already tired of staying at home returned to Ibadan in droves. Without accommodation on campus, most of them have had to rent places in Agbowo – a small residential settlement opposite UI. I’m told that to cut cost, as many as six students stay in a room meant for one person. Students crowd around one laptop to attend zoom classes. Cost of accommodation has risen by about 100%. The whole thing is a mess. In keeping covid-19 guidelines, the school has inadvertently opened up these young people to contracting the disease. I will be suggest to UI to consider giving 100 and final year students accommodation on campus, while others work from home. This will reduce the stress that these young people are going through. Indeed our academic institutions should reevaluate everything they have been told about the Coronavirus.
Let me conclude this essay by suggesting three reasons why you have not contracted the Coronavirus, yet.
No One Knows for Sure How the Virus Works: In fact at some point I came to the conclusion that the people most fearful and most careful about evading the disease are the ones that get it. No one knows how this thing works. Yes, we know a few things. We know that people with comorbidities have greater likelihood of being killed when they get the disease. We know that overweight folks have greater battles with the disease. But we do not know how the disease spread. Masks and social distancing has been made nonsense of in places like Ibadan! Those who imposed the initial covid-19 guidelines need to return and reevaluate the while thing.
Your Health is Yours: While we do not know how this disease works, we have seen that many of its victims are the high and the mighty. Those who are comfortable. There seem to be a direct coloration between this disease and how we handle our health. Ladies and gentlemen it is time to cut down on the weight. Many years ago Prof. Otegbayo, who is the present Chief Medical Director of University College Hospital, Ibadan, told us a few of us at a health talk in a church this secret. He said we should use every opportunity of our day to exercise. Instead of driving that one kilometer to buy something, walk. Rather than use the elevator, take a jug up the stairs. Many people, particularly our ladies, are morbidly obsessed and thus making themselves mince meat for a disease like the Coronavirus. We can also cut down on our eating. Most adults don’t need more than two meals a day. Others can do with one meal in the morning and a feast of fruits at night. If you have not been killed by the Coronavirus it more likely that you have an immunity that has beaten the disease and not because masking has worked.
God Has Been Merciful: It is John MacArthur that said that the Coronavirus will not kill any more than God will permit it to. In other words you and I are still alive because God has been merciful to us. This does not mean that we should now take our health for granted. It only means that we are not dead yet not because we are wise and careful enough but because God has been merciful and thus we should thank him. When this pandemic hit, we religious thinker began to call on the world to think more of eternity and not just the here and now. There is more to life than acquiring certificates, getting a job, getting married, having children and growing old comfortably. There is an eternity to live in. And I appeal to you my readers to thus consider Jesus Christ who died to redeem all men from their sins and save them from God’s coming wrath. Believe on him and you will be saved. Coronavirus is not God’s judgement on the world. It is only a foretaste of it.
Disclaimer: Deji Yesufu is not a health professional and what is written here is an opinion not a recommendation.