By Halima Imam
Flu naturally tends to spread during the cold season, not because these seasons come with pathogens, but because people tend to stay together in enclosed spaces for warmth. It then makes it easy for viruses to spread faster since ventilation is not an option in an extremely cold weather. People prefer to stay indoors rather than go outside to receive fresh air. Reports state that in the past there has been a spike in flu related deaths around December and January the World over.
Winter has led to an increase in Coronavirus cases in different parts of the World, some countries are going through a second and even third wave and people are been asked to not just social distance but stay at home. Covid19 has come with a warning of protect thy neighbours and self. Since the disease was declared a public health emergency, everyone alive has scrambled for safety, a message that reverberate the Earth being one of care, love and humanity.
Children are known to be carefree people; they do not understand personal space and will touch anything and anyone they see. It is usually hard to make teenagers especially keep their masks on because they are always spitting out “I know my rights” in the face of adults. The trend is one that people should be allowed to live their lives and face the consequences of their actions. Parents, guardians and school teachers are a testimony to the mulish nature of teenagers. With some of them, admonitions just roll over.
Some private schools underpay their staff and that’s no news to us I guess. Teachers with laborious years of service to their employers have zero result to show for it. They remain at the base of the financial ladder, with income that barely takes them through a two week timeline, a people constantly in debt and needing help to survive. The public transport in Nigeria is one that lacks available buses and trains which means that most workers have to take smaller vehicles to and from work.
Dame permiso because I will really like to describe these hatchbacks or minivan, small cars, town cars, whatever you fancy. Some of them shouldn’t be on the road at all, if the Vehicle Inspection Officers do their jobs judiciously. Others are so patched up that you can see that they are parts from different vehicles, others have faulty parts etcetera, that’s not the worst part though. Seven people are cramped up in a four seater vehicle, and that’s not all, no one wears a mask in that hellish condition and well social distancing is not even a thing in there.
Under paid teachers with a non-existent staff welfare benefit from their elite school employers have to commute to work without any form of social distancing, walking miles to get to their final destination, having to exchange pleasantries which could include hugs and shakes with acquaintances that live a replica of their lives. Washing hands and using hand sanitizers does just little because an everyday exposure to the virus is deadly enough. Having to spend eight to ten hours with children and teenagers who have also had their own share of contacts and would literally have to be forced to wear a mask and sanitize every minute is savage.
With almost everyone catching flu or having flu like symptom presently, schools are a good breeding ground for the coronavirus. Authorities cannot be too careful no matter how they try, comings and goings from such organizations makes them vulnerable. People vested with authority in Nigeria have a terrible habit of failing us. They do not go to schools especially elite schools with the intention of doing any proper supervision whatsoever, be it those that are meant to check staff welfare, those to make sure equipment’s for learning are in order, or those that should make sure the environment is conducive for learning or the contemporary covid19 task force,
All they do is stop by the offices of the administrators, listen to a few words that carrares the ears, drink a really nice cup of tea with some fancy snacks to go with, maybe get a “grease of their palms”, and off they go. They walk back to their exorbitant cars and ride back to their offices. Checking nothing and fixing zilch.
Coronavirus is real and a terrible flu hurts as bad. People all around the World have lost loved ones and now that the cold season is here, we cannot afford to make those infectious numbers and mortality rate jump intentionally. Those in charge of making covid19 remain at a very minimal level by enforcing that all public places adhere to the rules must shake off corruption and be human enough to carry out their duties.
Schools must let go of their business venture mentality and put human life first, they need people to be alive to pay fees, and they need their students and staff healthy and in one piece for teaching and learning to transpire. Possible cases of flu or even covid19 shouldn’t be treated as covert for whatever reason. There are people with underlying issues and vulnerable body systems in the homes of those staff and students and protecting them should be paramount.
Founder (Climate Action Team)
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily