April has to have been the most dully remarkable month in this decade, that is, for those who can agree that this is a new decade. For those who can, they will agree on one thing, that the new decade started with a bang just not the type of bang we would have expected.
We all were expecting good tidings only for the corona virus to bring the world to its knees in every aspect imaginable.
April is special because it is the month the whole world collectively agreed that they had a problem.
With several countries finally going into lockdown and some others (like Nigeria) extending the lockdown. The lockdown has definitely revealed the flaws in most governmental administrations such as terrible health systems, underdeveloped educational systems, corruption, insecurity and penury.
It has also (hopefully) served to help us reevaluate some practices. Now, some employers know that working from home can be a thing, some people have realized or will realize that having intimate ceremonies for some of their functions isn’t so bad and some other people have realized their toxic attachments and are actively working towards bettering themselves.
Nigerians had been on lockdown for 2 weeks and the cases were increasing at a meager rate. Essential workers, the only ones allowed to move during this period were harassed by Police officers. Market women had their goods overturned once they stayed past the required time and Law enforcement agents like Soldiers and Police officers killed and assaulted people across different states while trying to ‘enforce the lockdown’.
Although the lockdown was detrimental for all Nigerians, some citizens advised to stock up were not able to because of the absence of power supply to preserve food. The ones living below the poverty line could not afford to because of the reliance on wages for daily sustenance. But they still persevered and hoped that things would go back to normal as soon as possible, only for their hopes to be dashed later in the month due to the prolonged lockdown.
Despair and desperation set in after the third extension of the lockdown. People who couldn’t work had already exhausted their savings. Companies couldn’t and wouldn’t pay April salaries. World economies were crashing and thousands of people had already been laid off work. Some couldn’t also stay home because of the insecurity plaguing parts of the country. There was terror in the streets and the homes
On the 17th of April, the Chief of staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari, who tested positive for the Corona virus on the 27th of March died and was buried on the 18th of April according Muslim rites.
On the 18th of April, cases had started rising by 50s and sometimes declining to 30s.
By this time, the reality of our health sector was avidly portrayed. Barely any tests were conducted daily, testing kits were also barely available, there were few doctors and not enough rooms for a normal day in Nigeria.
The only way Nigeria could have had a fighting chance would have been to stay at home but the few Nigerians who adhered to the lockdown had now stopped. The ones that had recently returned to the country were not self-isolating and were lying to doctors about their travel history and symptoms leading to hospitals (that already weren’t enough) being shut down and doctors (also not being enough) having to self-isolate.
On the 21st of April, the figures had started getting to the hundreds, the cases had spread from the Initial 5 states to 25 states across the federation. The increase in the confirmed cases being as a result of the scale up in testing capabilities. Nigeria testing by hundreds before had then started testing by a thousand.
Nigeria realized that it still has a long way to go in terms of employing online formats to teaching (something other countries have long since adopted). ASUU Chairman and the Minister of Education having a spat on the plausibility of such an adventure.
The Mystery in Kano
Later on, hundreds of people had died/been dying in Kano as a result of unknown causes. Some believed it to be as a result of the Corona virus and others believing it to be from something else. Later on, the governor said they had of Diabetes and/or Hypertension.
On the 24th of April, Nigeria surpassed 1000 and had recorded 1095 cases. On the 25th April NCDC announced Nigeria now had 15 labs capable of testing for COVID-19.
28th April, 17 labs were commissioned. By this time, the lockdown had been extended 3 times, the first by 2 weeks, second by 2 weeks, third by 2 weeks and the last time by a 1 week. The president proposed that the lockdown would be relaxed on the 4th of May in Lagos and Ogun with curfews in place and total lockdown in Kano due to the unknown deaths.
By the 30th of April, Nigeria had conducted 15759 tests, recorded 204 new cases and had a total confirmed of 1932 cases across 35 states. It had also discharged 519 and had 58 deaths.
After the proposed Lockdown relaxation, everyone pushing for the end took to various social media outlets to predict the explosion of cases after a few days of the relaxation.
This was what April looked like from my perspective. We have resources on this blog to guide you on what you should know regarding COVID-19 and how you can maximize this period.
What was April like for you? Feel free to share with in the comments.