COVID-19 is back and with a vengeance. The steady increase in the number of people who are infected every day is not the only source of worry. This time around, fatalities are on a worrying rise too. And with the government still tinkering with the idea of imposing a lockdown, it’s safe to say we have continued from where we were in 2020. Nevertheless, the coronavirus is not the sole source of concern for the Nigerian, these days, a citizen of the most populous black nation in the world has to make peace with the idea that he may wake up to a blocked telephone line, no thanks to the ill-timed directive to get the National Identification Number registration done.
On one hand, there’s the deadly virus hot on our heels and unrelenting in its quest to continue to wreak havoc. On the other hand, there’s the threat of being rendered incommunicado as a result of an ill-thought-out government policy. I mean, what better way to get frustrated than to lose the one thing that connects you to family and friends?
Our phones lines are the only thing that has kept some of us sane. Imagine being unable to make or receive calls during the almost 2-month long lockdown, especially in a country where electricity supply is still largely erratic? It’s only January and we already have two threats to contend with, hard-pressed just a few weeks into the new year.
But then, Nigerians are used to living with threats. What’s more…our threats are peculiar. They are not borne of natural disasters like the earthquake in Japan or flooding in Honduras neither do they take the nature of a tornado in Oklahoma. More often than not, they are self-induced; stemming from inefficiency, recklessness or wickedness, or how else do you explain the compulsion to have everyone converge at a government agency to obtain some card at a time when an infectious disease is running rampage?
Makes no sense. Never will.
Our threats come in human form: the tipsy police officer cocks his gun and threatens to let one go if you hesitate to stop; government threatens to take away your channel of communication if you fail to obey a stringent order. Anonymous bloggers and faceless internet trolls threaten to expose the most intimate details of your life just because they can.
So you see, we are quite familiar with our own brand of threats.
Needless to say, the uncertainty and anxiety that marked 2020 still hang in the air, and what happens when one finds themselves in this state of flux is the inclination to do nothing and just be. While it is ok to be still for a while either to take a break from constant activities, it’s just as important to not stay still for too long; to keep it moving despite the unpredictability of our world.
Keep it moving.
There’s never going to be a time when the conditions are perfect to live one’s life. As humans, we will always have to deal with something that should be holding us back. However, it is our responsibility to ensure we aren’t weighed down by the issues that plague us for too long.
Government plans to borrow your life savings through the pension scheme to execute other projects, the cost of goods and services keep rising, and available jobs only represent a drop of water in the ocean of unemployment.
What should your attitude be?
How should you respond to these challenges?
It’s okay to lament the state of things. I do not belong to the school of thought that believes a complainer cannot be a solution provider. An excessive complainer maybe, but not one who expresses their disappointment or frustration about the status quo. Venting and solving problems are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, I’d say discontent is a precursor to solution-finding. If you are not dissatisfied enough, you’ll probably never find a reason to change your situation, so by all means, complain if it makes you feel better. However, you should go one step further to devise a means to enjoy life despite its many twists and turns.
Your relationship with the people that matter, finding time to indulge in your hobbies, and staying away from the news (because they never anything good to report) are some of the ways you can not only retain your sanity but also wear a genuine smile on your face,
And so, before our lines get barred or the coronavirus spread necessitates another period of hibernation for everyone, I hope you do well to see that you are not just surviving but thriving also.