We, the People

See where we have come.  A new decade that was expected to extend the frontier of man’s hope and optimism.
A world that is locking down increasingly. A virus that is relentlessly on the rampage. And a time when fear is spreading in a manner that man has not felt in a long while.
All of a sudden, there is fear. Nowhere is safe any more. And no one is free either from the crawling virus.
As it turns out, there is no cure and so, the coronavirus is criss-crossing our world at jet speed.
Boundaries separating nations, manned by sophisticated outfits, have been unable to halt the advance of COVID 19.
Great arsenals of war, pride of powerful nations, are helpless at this time. They are unable to attack the creepy virus which has mankind reeling in pain.
More than 8000 people have died since the coronavirus staged a dramatic entry. Some countries have been worse hit than others.
Italy is an example of a country that is ruthlessly devastated. Its death rate is high, higher than what has been recorded in China where the virus first struck.
India with a population of over one billion people  is experiencing a lockdown. The United States  is burdened by the number of deaths and confirmed cases of the virus.
No matter what anyone says, America which sees itself as the leader of the free world is sick, so sick it is struggling to find answers to a viral attack.
In Nigeria,  the airspace has been shutdown, boundaries closed, social activities banned while workers are being encouraged to work from home in an effort to curtail the spread of the plague.
Somehow, the virus is apparently, a step ahead of man’s noble effort to contain it . Given the frightening number of afflicted people, medical consumables such as testing kits, protective gears required by medical personnel, ventilators and other equipment are in short supply.  What is available, from the run of events, cannot  cope.
So, we have seen in the Italian instance, how elderly persons afflicted by the virus have been left to die in order to save persons who are younger.
Leaders have been forced to engage in self isolation. They include Angela Merkel of Germany and Boris Johnson of the United kingdom. Prince Charles may have escaped from the claw of the virus, but he too, was not even spared by it.
Back home,  some Governors are withdrawing from the public. The virus has entered them and to their credit,  they aren’t shying away from admitting so in public.
It’s our world and it is changing, evidence perhaps that we may have to take earth warnings which pertain to the climate seriously.
It is not a matter to joke with. Look at what is happening to the global economy. Recession is setting in while unemployment takes a tentative step forward as workers lose their jobs.
Grace appears to have departed from a world, which from a religious point of view, appears bent on embracing sin. So, we have gay rights, gay priests and even Churches of Satan. Today, men wed men while women marry women.
Can this be God’s punishment for those who are yet to learn that the erection of the Tower of Babbel was an affront? Could it even be a reminder of what happened to Sodom?
I cannot tell, seeing that I am not as deeply religious.
But we all must pray for mercy, and use that which was created as wisdom in the beginning for the benefit of mankind in order to save our world.
The church is in you, and not in those houses built by men. The Son of Man had said so years ago. Years after, his scorn of the saducees and pharisees and the perceptions they held dear remain relevant. Were it not so, why was it necessary to remind mankind that man was not meant for the sabbath?
In all these, there lessons to learn; and thoughts which take our minds deeper into the inner recesses of creation to deal with.
Many would never have imagined that the world would be faced with such a calamity. There have indeed been many calamities through man’s history for the avoidance of doubt. Take the influenza for example. It killed so many. Society has been confronted with the Ebola, SARS, Bird flu and so on. But man has survived, through thick and thin.
Nonetheless, it is our world and no one can salvage the earth without the people.  We are infact told that man got express instructions at the outset of time to dominate all that is in it.
In truth, man has emerged a dominant factor. In doing so, he has willed so much unto himself. Intoxicated by his power, man has altered things to suit his whims.
His actions or inaction are at the centre of our current fate. The dying environment in which we live, the contamination of the earth which has become part of the health hazards that we face, and the advancements that we hail as signs of our civilisation, are all products of man’s adventure.
None can be like man in the animal kingdom that he controls. With a bullet, man takes the life of another. With his arsenals of destruction, he makes wars. What can man not do except recreate himself?
On the back of science, rides the will of man’s attempt to torment the coronavirus, and where possible, eradicate the pandemic which is shaking the very foundation of his existence, and toying with the idea of his longevity that he is gradually taking for granted.
Many say you cannot make omelettes without cracking eggs. So, the reactions of governments all over the world is understandable.
They seem to think that the answer to the query that nature has issued lies in the lockdown syndrome.
These hardlines may not be ideal or perfect for that matter, but they are reactions meant to safeguard society and protect man who remains the centre of activity.
At times, measures taken boomerang. It is proof of man’s imperfection. When steps taken turn out in the overall interest of the general good, there is great rejoicing.
The Coranavirus is here, but not hopefully, here to stay and men, good men, are looking for solutions to an ailment that is yet to have a standardized cure.
In other climes, people are looking for ways of supporting the race against the virus.
In France for instance, men, women and children who are locked in have taken to windows and balconies of their homes in the evenings, to cheer those on the streets, in the hospitals who wage a fight so that we may be safe.
These men – doctors, nurses and other paramedics – bear no guns. They simply carry a war chest of medicines and instruments, with which to confront the virus.
They have families and they hope, even when they die as a result, that their families and mankind in general would be safe.
Barred from the streets, confined to their homes, those actions or reactions by men elsewhere, are proof of their humanity.
Those noises remind them in this era of massive lockdowns of their existence in a changing world, and their obedience to what  appears as the will of the State.
It should be a reminder that we all are in this together. Proof that together, we can surmount obstacles that come our way.
You probably wonder why ‘We, the People’ is the title of this piece. This fight is about the people.  It is about man’s continued existence and his right to live in a world in which diseases are not masters.
Across our country and in our states, many are indignant. It may be that man in his natural setting abhors control. Nothing matters most, it would seem, as the freedom to associate, freedom to move about, freedom to enjoy, right to free expression and the right to be who we are.
Yet, in all this, what should society have done to combat the killer virus? This is the question. Should it allow unlimited freedoms at a time like this?
We, the people must act our part in these times. We have a duty to comply with decisions that are being taken in our interest.
If the decision which has the backing of science subjects us to constant hand washing and use of sanitizers; if these decisions encourage us to engage in social distancing and confine us to our homes in the interest of public health and public safety; what is wrong with that?
It will only be for a season. Prayerful as mankind has been, man realises that there is a season for all things. The season to sacrifice is here. After all, to obey is better than sacrifice. Saul, the first King of Israel, learnt this norm the hard way.
The wail on the streets is borne out of fear. The fear that we may not have enough to eat, enough to earn in these times when we must stay home.
They are justifiable fears of a new trend that is strange. It is proof that like the ant, we have not gathered enough before the rains.
But to attempt to throw away the birth water, the basin and the baby, might not be the right route to travel.
The amelioration of these fears, a will to reorder strategies that are adopted to serve the general good in order to accommodate these worries, should be the responsibility of governments everywhere.
Nothing has ever been anything cast on stone. We live in a world of probability, meaning that what is, or what may be, shifts with time, influenced by the dynamics that nature throws up.
Given this background,  the Rivers government and others like it must harken to the voices of the downtrodden.
Rehoboam, son of King Solomon made a terrible mistake when he ignored the advice of elders after his father passed away. The kingdom was torn and most it given to his neighbour.
Governor Nyesom Wike who has come all out to fight the spread of the virus deserves our understanding, but he must show compassion, a little milk of human kindness as well.
To survive the scourge the people have to eat. They must have access to medicine to combat other diseases that are not within the range of the Coronavirus.
They must therefore receive the support of government in order to survive before they are weeded away. Food is an essential. So is access to medicine. The earlier government recognizes this, the better.
Workers in Rivers State have not received their pay. What would they feed with? The markets are locked down. Where would they buy food when they are paid? In a world in which people live from hand to mouth,  what will happen?
While fighting the battle that we all must give our support to, there are issues Wike must revisit at once.
The voice of the people is the voice of God and as rulers, there are times when our hopes for the people, no matter how noble flies in the face of public opinion.
In times like this,  rulers do not need to  stick to their ego, or embark  on reactions that brash just to enforce their will.
The days when kings did no wrong have long gone. In this era, kings do wrong. In these times, the people matter and the goverments that we have in operation are goverments for the people and by the people.
Our hope and our prayer, is with both the people and their government. We must lessen the burden that our people carry. We have to encourage the people to buy into a fight that affects them. We must talk to them directly.
I hope that as rain falls in my part of the city while my thoughts take form and my fingers move on the keyboard, these droplets, if heaven permits, would wipe away the protruding symptoms of the virus.
Above, as I write, there is the rumble of thunder. May it not be evidence of God’s anger.
Science struggles to find answers, but may divine providence which hides behind a frowning countenance be ours forever.

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