He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Mathew 5:45.
Prior to the advent of the coronavirus pandemic there was a lot of polarisation along several lines.
In the United States of America, it was a great divide between Democrats and Republicans. There was the bitter election between Donald Trump and Senator Hillary Clinton. There was a point it looked as if there were two nations in one country. This snowballed into the probe of Russia meddling into the elections.
The News Media were divided between those who seemed to be on the Democratic side like CNN and Fox News that seemed to be on Trump’s side. The investigation spilled so much bad blood between the President, the section of the press he called peddlers of fake news, and his supporters. Trump attacked the secret service and even the judiciary at a time.
Then there was the tariff war between the U.S. government and China. This was an unprecedented retaliatory imposition of taxes on goods between the two counties. While this was on, there was the missile crisis with Rocket Man, the North Korean leader.
Across the pond, there was the Brexit crisis between Brexitiers and those who wanted to remain. The debate on Brexit consumed most of the time Prime Minister Theresa May spent in office, before Boris Johnson came into office, and at least was able to arrive at a deal with the European Union.
In Nigeria, the ruling Party, APC, and the opposition party have been running from one court to the other because of election cases. Just before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been several acrobatic judicial decisions that were beyond the understanding of the common man. There has never been a polarisation of the country between the northern and southern parts of Nigeria, and between Muslims and Christians, as in recent times.
Then coronavirus stepped into the global arena. There was no discrimination between Chinese and Americans in this natural and, at the same time, national disaster. The virus did not ask if you were Chinese or American. The fear of death and the desire to survive became a universal language.
Lockdown was not about capitalist or socialist systems of government.
The United States of America was ordering supplies from China without thinking of tariffs at that point. Russia donated medical equipment and supplies to the US government, and Donald Trump happily received them.
I wrote earlier about Italians celebrating Cuban Doctors who came to assist them. Cuba is a small island nation, a relatively poor nation, and a communist nation; however, all these did not count then and now.
Survival is a human instinct; it is not racist.
Death did not ask if you were Blue state or Red state as the Democrats and Republicans call their states.
Nature is neutral; it does not respect political inclination, and it does not recognise voters’ cards. Those who were sick, did not care if the doctors or nurses treating them were democrats or republicans, Black, Hispanic or White.
In fact, as I wrote in my previous post, some of the most celebrated health workers were immigrants to the United States just like the two nurses, who stood by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his difficult times in hospital.
It is only in comfort and security that we discriminate. We are all naturally the same. All our discriminative tendencies are just vain colourations. Pain is pain; hunger is hunger; fear of death is fear of death.
Christians, I mean good Christians, died during the pandemic. Good people and bad people died. Muslims and Hindus died. Same as Buddhists; they died. Churches, mosques, and temples were closed; even in Israel.
Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tornadoes, mudslides, earthquakes, and floods do not discriminate.
Nature in its purest form is neutral. The closer we are to the natural state, the purer and healthier we become.
How many lunatics or homeless people in the streets have tested positive for coronavirus in Nigeria? How many mad people have typhoid and malaria? How many mad women have obstructed labour? Or how many of their children die from tetanus?
Unless there is a sinister plan behind it, why are our poor Northern brothers running to the South? Poverty, hunger, and survival does not care if you are Muslim or Christian, APC or PDP.
The best of humanity is sometimes displayed in calamity.
The distribution of palliatives in most places were not done along party lines. I have seen several donations by groups and individuals with partisan consideration. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Abuja centre for the treatment of COVID-19 donated by the public sector. The Sahara Group coordinated the construction. It can compete with the best anywhere.
Racial discrimination is taught or inculcated. Religious discrimination is taught. Political intolerance is taught and self-imposed. Class distinction is self-imposed. Children don’t know colour, creed, or class till we begin to make them see it.
Nature in its purest form neutral.
One of the things that I learnt from this pandemic is to celebrate people because they represent God irrespective of creed or colour, but at the same time, I will not allow myself to be intimidated by anyone. We are all vulnerable.
Read previous Lessons From COVID-19 here.
There’s a video trending online of Professor Olagunju Ogunbiyi, a colorectal surgeon in Royal Free Hospital Hospital, UK. He was being celebrated after spending weeks in ICU, and the best doctors battled to save his life because he was irreplaceable. He is a Nigerian of Yoruba extraction from Southwestern Nigeria. His humanity was celebrated; his contribution to humanity was celebrated; nobody cared about his colour or creed; he was neutral in their minds.
Although several Nigerian News Media outlets covered the story, there are speculations that it might be an old video—because there was no one was with face-masks and there was no social distancing—and he was not infected with COVID-19, but a different life-threatening illness. The message, however, is that: there are times we excel in life, and our lives become a purpose and responsibility clothed with colour; the colour, however, is neutral.
God Bless You.
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