Conventional wisdom dictates that one runs from the source of danger, not toward it.
I was out of Lagos when COVID-19 made landfall there, ordinarily, I would have stayed away, but my placenta is buried in Lagos, and you know how possessive placentas can be…; like I remember where exactly it was buried, and as if it would still be there after all these years!
Actually apart from my younger sister, younger brother, his wife and two sons, who live in the UK; everyone else from my immediate family is currently in Lagos viz my wife, son, daughter, my parents, and three sisters. If I include cousins, loved ones, friends, colleagues, et al, then this would end up being a very long list, rather than a human angle article.
Like I said earlier, I was out of Lagos when COVID-19 made landfall here, and the state governor of the city that I was in at the time, had announced that they were going to go into lockdown mode, therefore it would actually have made more sense to stay there as they have only one reported case, unlike Lagos which is currently the epicenter.
But I imagine I would have run out of my mind if I was self-isolating over there, and having to rely on audio and video calls for updates of the goings-on with my family members; fortunately, I was able to get on one of the last flights before the shutdown.
It is said that in one’s final moments, highlights from their lives, flash before their eyes.
But when as is the case presently, COVID-19 has slowed down the world and life as we know it, thus that final moment simulation is somewhat extended, it becomes a sort of slow burn and one has a chance to consciously review those images and their accompanying memories.
At times such as this, one gets an opportunity to reflect on what’s really important, because most times it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of daily busyness, irrespective of whatever our individual businesses may be.
A year ago (April 2019) the missus and I were finally able to make out time from our schedules, align same with Ethan’s term time (Zoe had yet to commence schooling then), and embark on a long, deferred and well- deserved break, as well as see family members whom we hadn’t seen in a few years.
It was a hassle to get footfall at Time Square (pun unintended), before making our way to the UK to see our crews over there, the last day of which happened to coincide with the London Marathon.
Fast forward to March 2020, and everyone’s schedule has been cleared out for them, schools have ordered shut, Times square is in ghost mode, London Marathon as well as even the Olympics have been postponed, and one would probably need a private jet with special waivers to be able to land at most airports the world over.
All of these bring to fore, the smallness of the world we have built around us, and the fact that in an instant everything can change, to compel us to stop, walk into the garden, lay down, stop and smell the roses.
For the 1%, they are probably consigned to one corner of the mansion, huddled away from the staff, lest they be infected, closet full of designer clothes, Rolls Royce in the driveway, private jet on the runway, and absolutely nowhere to go!
We are forced to solemnly consider the transience of our existence. The sound of the tinsels and laurels we endlessly pursue after, never sounded more hollow. One doesn’t need to be a thinker to see the pointlessness of it all, somebody recently commented that the goal for 2020 is to stay alive, hence getting rich can wait till 2021, indeed it is only a person who is alive that is capable of getting rich or being aware of their financial status.
Prior to now, it’s probably the first time in a long time that some persons are home during daylight hours on a weekday; and due to the fact that he always left home before sunrise and returned after sunset, one woman was said not to notice that her husband had grown a beard, until after the start of the covidholidays (please don’t bother looking that word up).
I often say that time is the great leveller, as we each have only 24 hours; however the real challenge is in what one does with it, thus it’s not unusual to hear people complain about not having enough time.
With this pandemic and its attendant lockdown, I guess the lie would be put to our usual excuse of not having enough time, as it’s always been about how we efficiently spend our daily allowance of 86,400 seconds.
We each have another shot at reassessing who/what is truly important to us, take out time to express ourselves to our significant others and family, truly appreciate our blessings (and I’m not talking material items, because the blessing is not in the stuff we possess, indeed some of the most priceless things in life are free), help those who are less opportune than us, and also show gratitude to the Creator.
Cliche as it sounds, family is everything; kindly note that family need not be only blood relatives.
It’s still early days, so Q(wifey) and I haven’t gotten in each other’s hair just yet (LOL). Ethan and Zoe are still very elated that I’m home and not going anywhere at all (I do take out a few hours daily to work from home though), and Yes, daddy does their interrupt TV time, in order to watch news, he also does ensure that the children are tucked into bed sooner than they would want to, even as there’s no school/church the next day, or the day after that, ad infinitum for now.
Hopefully , before this break in regular transmission is over, I don’t turn out to be the villain.
Ps: True confession, our Christmas tree still hasn’t been put away; and if not for COVID-19 it might probably have been here till Easter! (actually it still just might be…)
PPs: We eventually put the Christmas tree away on Sunday, 29th March 2020. If your husband says he’ll do it, he will do it, after all three months isn’t forever!