By Ibiba DonPedro
As the Coronavirus19 continues its ravaging sweep through countries, cities, communities and across continents taking lives, humbling economies, the airwaves are thick with choking narratives about what 21st century’s first pandemic is or is not.
In an age of humanity linked by ubiquitous telecommunications,social media and news at the speed of pressed phone buttons, an atmosphere of fear rules, as graphic images of hundreds dropping ill and dying on the streets of originating coronavirus 19 city Wuhan, China. The terror spreads.
In Nigeria as in much of Africa, Asia, South America and Europe before now remote villages, news about the Coronavirus 19 moved from a gripping but distant fascination with the horrifying scenes playing out so far away. Many wondered how a seemingly simple ailment linked to the virus which causes the common flu, manifesting symptoms such as a cough, tiredness, fever and difficulty in breathing could be responsible for the narratives of pain and death coming out of Europe and Asia. By mid-February COVID-19 was basically a scary tale about other people. And Nigerians entertained themselves recounting stories of the strong, disease resisting African, standing strong, safe from the virus.
Truly, the black person is a strong, viable specimen of human being. As surviving, thriving descendants of ancient humans, the black person who lives in different countries and communities on the African continent has often by surviving situations of unimaginable deprivation, violence and cruelty including bloody warfare and enslavement during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and its aftermath of colonial domination,developed a larger than life profile, regaled in song, folklore and drama at home and abroad. The black person especially the male variety, is perceived as a symbol of strength and virility, cultivated often by persons who despise his race on the surface.
This profile of virility flourishes even today in a season of death and fear spawn by the Coronavirus 19. For weeks, Africa watched in somewhat snobbish wonder as swathes of populations in first,Wuhan China,then, the United States, Italy, Spain and several others,fell to the ravaging Coronavirus. Now more popularly referred to as COVID- 19, the pestilence was first seen by many in Nigeria and other African countries, as a pestilence from God deployed to punish Western society for abandoning God, pursuing worldly pleasures, same sex marriage, material goods and gods.
As the pandemic made its way round the world,the figures of the affected has maintained an upward trajectory creating leaping fear all round. By the second week in March, 2020 Nigeria joined the infamous list of countries with one infected person who had come in from abroad. Then politics mingled with fear of a seemingly unstoppable pandemic, as Mohammed, a son of Atiku Abubakar, the businessman, former Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007 and presidential candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the 2019 elections was declared a person who had been exposed to the Coronavirus from a trip abroad.
Then, in this confounding mix of fact and conjecture on a nationwide scale, on Monday, March 23, 2020, Nigeria recorded its first COVID-19 casualty and terror spread ghostly fingers round life in the country. The victim identified as 67 year old Suleiman Achimugu, had been receiving treatment abroad for cancer, had returned to the country and soon died. Achimugu was a retired managing director of the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company, PPMC.
Reasoning citizens pored over newspapers, fixed scare filled eyes on television screens in order to get some understanding of the real source and nature of this scourge of the 21st century and its so far unstoppable reach and impact. Plots of a lab generated virus spawn by the trade rivalry between the US and China swamped the media, then stories of a strange viral disease generated by the deployment of electromagnetic signals through 5G technology.
The 5G link
As the COVID-19 snakes its way round the countries of the world and spews its deadly fumes round, decimating populations with daily deaths in hundreds in some cases, altering life as we know it, theories about its possible origins continue to sprout and spread. One perspective that has generated the most controversy, links its beginnings to the development and deployment of 5G technology, the latest mobile network already in operation in parts of China, South Korea, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
5G networks like earlier technological models 3G and 4G, operate through the relay of signals borne on radio waves or electromagnetic signals. These are transmitted through masts set up at measured locations including within populated areas. A major difference lies in the reality that, 5G deploys ten times higher frequencies than 4G resulting in faster internet. A major feature of 5G technology is the requirement for greater number of transmitter masts also placed closer to ground level. This translates to greater proximity and possibly more dangerous portends to human life as all radio frequencies including those sourced from mobile technology, are considered harmful and often, carcinogenic.
A growing trend suggests that COVID-19, is the fallout of the presence of 5G technology within human populations in greater concentration than previous amounts. The danger is said to reside in how the electromagnetic waves damage the red blood cells which carry oxygen in the human body leading to oxidative damage and what amounts to a chocking death for victims.It is also thought to impair the body’s ability to deal with the trillions of bacteria in the body which multiply too rapidly in the condition of lowered oxygen leading to cellular toxicity resulting in the deaths being witnessed in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, this perspective is countered by those who posit that the pandemic arises from a viral origin, not related in any way to 5G technology. In a recent report by the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC, a leading scientist, Dr. Frank De Vocht, following a US Department of Health toxicology test noted that, ‘‘although some of the research suggests a statistical possibility of increased cancer risks for heavy users, the evidence to date for a causal relation is not sufficiently convincing to suggest the need for precautionary action’’.
A question mark still hangs over the originating source of COVID-19. What is not in dispute is its deadly reach. In the midst of the gloom and fear, some hope of a potential cure presents in ongoing research by a team of Chinese scientists based in the University of Beijing led by Zhang Linqui who are said to have isolated what they consider, ‘extremely effective’, antibodies which have proven capability to stop the Coronavirus.
In the meantime, in Nigeria as in much of Africa, the tally of those who contract the virus rises. Compared to the frightening spread and manifestation of COVID-19 in the US, Europe, Asia with 190 countries currently in the throes of the virus and 1,123, 000persons affected, 59,000 persons have also lost their lives to the pandemic. However, the numbers in Nigeria are still low, though troubling. Four persons have reportedly died in Nigeria so far. In all of these deaths, the victims had been ill and receiving treatment for other ailments including terminal cancer, heart disease,renal-failure among other life threatening conditions.
Many in the country following the enforcement of a nationwide lockdown, are slowly shifting from their clearly faulty position of viewing COVID-19 as a punishment for citizens of other countries which have turned away from devotion to God, embraced LGBTQ culture to the reality that the grim viral infection respects no faith or race. Right now,staying alive is all about clean hands, social distancing and loading up on fruits, herbal drinks, steam baths and drinks of the neem tree, dogonyaro, a known organic source of chloroquine, spicy pepper soup and nasal masks made of Ankara for those who cannot afford N95 masks, among other measures.