It will take the combination of the theological, metaphysical, and the scientific to address the scourge coronavirus of currently ravaging most parts of the world, a Covenant University faculty has postulated.
Coronavirus disease, otherwise known as COVID-19, is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness, like the flu, with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. There were 435,000 cases and 19,625 deaths worldwide including 1 in Nigeria at the time of filing this report.
While appraising the situation arising from the coronavirus pandemic, an associate professor and Head, Department of Sociology, Covenant University, Dr Charles Iruonagbe, said that the world had a critical situation in its hands, which had overturned the principle of man as a social being such that when he isolates himself from others he is referred to as asocial in nature.
“What is the virus saying? Begin to do what is against the nature of the normal human being; don’t touch parts of your body, you can’t have physical contact with your loved ones or acquaintances. The situation completely negates the clear understanding of how people should live their lives,” said Dr Iruonagbe.
The Sociology of Development expert attributed the roots of the coronavirus to lifestyle. He revealed that twice late last year, he saw videos coming out of China, where persons went to restaurants and ate uncooked food especially reptiles, cockroaches, bats, and worms. He added that after seeing the videos he told people that the way the Chinese were going the end result might be unpalatable. “Solution lies with God because the situation is overwhelming,” he opined.
Apparently, due to the rising number of casualties, governments across the world had introduced measures to stem the tide, the most prominent of which were social distancing and self-isolation. According to Dr Iruonagbe, social distancing was very necessary but it was creating a high degree of suspicion and distrust in families and relationship with other people. He noted that what the virus had simply done was to create a new way of living really different from the spirit of brotherhood and good neighbourliness.
Prodded on whether the Nigerian government had lived up to the billing in its handling of the spread of coronavirus in the country, Dr Iruonagbe said that the country did not have the right intellectuals in governance. He stated that Nigeria needed leaders who could think and follow trends of events across the world to address the issue. He, however, commended the Lagos State Government for rising up to the occasion, ostensibly due to the urban exposure and intellectual know-how of its governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The sociologist agreed that being careful would minimise risk and curtail widespread of coronavirus, “but end result is you cannot be too careful”. He advised people to abide by all the dos and don’ts as recommended by medical experts, and the measures put in place by governments, otherwise, the final casualty figure at the end of the pandemic could be in the range of 45 million people worldwide.