Our World Is Resetting And So Should We

The bottom line is that the earth is due for repairs and resetting and there is nothing all the more than seven billion of us can do about it.

COVID-19 is giving planet earth the breathing space it needs to reset / Photo credit: economist.com
COVID-19 is giving planet earth the breathing space it needs to reset / Photo credit: economist.com

if I didn’t know any better, I would have asked COVID-19 to spare Nigeria as it makes its world tour.

I would have begged it to look elsewhere, this one time.

Please don’t blame me for that wishful thinking.

Unless, you haven’t been living in this country with the rest of us, or perhaps, you want to play the Ostrich, then you do have already known that after all the grammar is spoken, this country of ours is not ready for Hurricane COVID-19.

Few days before the lockdown, I had gone out to stock up and was alarmed at the gross ignorance out there.

Not among the so called illiterate and unexposed rural dwellers but, sadly among the Abuja woke community, right at the city centre.

The ignorance was literally walking on two legs in the malls; along the isles and even as at the check-out counters.

The roads weren’t any different. The policemen were still accepting crumpled naira notes from all sorts of drivers and exchanging banters.

I even saw one or two Vehicles Inspection Officers (VIOs), without masks, with their faces inside vehicles in the name of official duty.

It would just take one cough or sneeze from the ‘wrong’ motorist and that officer’s health would be compromised.

Let’s not even talk about our government – at all levels – and its readiness to deal with this pandemic should it decide to show its full talent in this country like it’s doing in Italy and some other European countries.

Did we think that we would be allowed to go on living like the proverbial prodigal son without any kind of blowback eventually?

Let’s face it, our government wasn’t ready yesterday and may not even be ready in another decade.

This is not talking down on one’s country.

This is not about not seeing any good in one’s own.

It’s also not about cynicism or pessimism.

It’s our sad reality.

It is what it is.

But make no mistake about it, life on this earth, as we have always known it, is gone.

There was this image that was making the rounds at the onset of this pandemic. The text on the image simply says: Planet Earth; Closed For Repairs!

The creators of this infographic may have done it in jest, but it isn’t funny.

Did we think that we would be allowed to go on living like the proverbial prodigal son without any kind of blowback eventually?

That we would be behaving like the ungrateful and destructive tenants we have become over the years and the landlord would look away indefinitely?

If it wasn’t COVID-19 today, another would come in its stead tomorrow or next.

The bottom line is that the earth is due for repairs and resetting and there is nothing all the more than seven billion of us can do about it.

Of course, you know what happens during repairs.

It comes with pain.

Some parts will be stretched, strengthened, scrubbed and cleaned.

Some parts will be broken, so that they can be made whole again.

Some parts will be discarded if found totally useless and unfit for the new.

It won’t be a painless process and we all already know this.

And we all will feel this pain, it’s only the degrees that will differ.

Some will feel the pains that come with being infected with the virus.

Some will feel the pains of caring for the sick.

Some will feel the pains of losing loved ones to the pandemic.

Some will feel the pains of losing money and other material resources.

Some will feel the pains of losing their freedom and will.

Some will feel the pains of the loneliness social distancing and lockdown would bring.

We will all feel the pains of this ongoing inevitable repairs, irrespective of what we know and (dis)believe.

You think House Party and TikTok and all sorts of games and social media contraptions are going to make this pain go away?

Let’s not even talk about our government – at all levels – and its readiness to deal with this pandemic should it decide to show its full talent in this country like it’s doing in Italy and some other European countries

These are all band aids, designed to dull the pain, make us ignore the hard questions and postpone the much needed soul searching while the wound festers from within.

Our earth is resetting and what about you?

Yes, I am talking about you, the professor, the very powerful president and commander-in-chief, the very brilliant medical doctor, the billionaire businessman with the Midas touch, the Nobel Laurette, the award-winning journalist, the famous footballer and artiste.

Yes, I’m talking about you and I. Don’t you think it’s time we also had our own reset.

Already, all the props we have built around us over the years are coming apart, and I know we can all feel it.

Now, we are finding out that without our careers, we are nothing.

We are finding out that for many of us, once you remove those activities tied to revenue generation, whether as an employee or entrepreneur, life might as well be over.

Unfortunately, rather than spend this downtime wisely, we have all resorted to our favourite pastime; buck passing.

While the world is collectively blaming China, in our individual enclaves, we are all pointing accusing fingers at this or that leader.

However, in doing so, we thereby miss this great teachable moment in our lives.

But it isn’t too late.

In the frequent washing and sanitising of our hands, we may yet be compelled to also cleanse our being.

In observing social distancing and staying home, we may also rediscover ourselves and that which is truly important to us.

In being considerate enough not to pass on the infection to the next person, we may discover the love for our neighbour and how we can always look out for his wellbeing.

The choice is ours, really.

But you know what happens when a student misses a lesson or even fails an exam?

The system ensures that he retakes it.

It is what it is!

Written by Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe

Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe is the Editor of The Interview Abuja, has worked as a journalist in Punch Nigeria Nigeria Limited and also LEADERSHIP Newspapers where she rose to become the Editorial Director.

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