2019 rolled around. There was a crazy anticipation in the air.

It was the turn of a decade, the last year in that decade and everyone was eager to see how the new decade would turn out. Years before, we had a pretty futuristic view of “2020” and the years to follow. We had all imagined crazy technological innovations such as flying cars and fully functional robots.

Although we’ve had notable technological improvements in the past years, we haven’t really fully ‘lived out’ all that is in our minds.

With the turn of the decade came an evil no one expected. The Coronavirus or COVID-19.

News of COVID-19 had started gaining grounds at the end of 2019 from the far East where we heard of people getting hospitalized in thousands and people were dying in their hundreds.

Watching reports of the spread of COVID-19 on TV in Eastern countries, especially in China, felt like such a faraway occurrence.

No one believed that in less than 6 months, the virus would have spread to more than half of the world and that two years later, people chiefly remembered 2020 as “the COVID-19 year”.

The WHO declared the virus as a pandemic in March 2020, and advised all countries to take it as seriously as possible.

There were lots of fear mongering that year. Coughing or sneezing in public more than once got you curious looks from the people around. Then they’ll strategically arrange themselves to be as far away from you as possible.

Great people caught the virus and died. Medical workers who were the first-line warriors, dropped like flies. A friend of mine who was a doctor, arguably one of the best in his field, and was ready to retire from active duty that year, also tested positive for COVID-19 and died.

It was a literally dying field. No one heard you tested positive for COVID-19 and thought you’d be alive before the month ran out.

According to reports, there was symptomatic and asymptomatic people. There were people that were just carriers. So no one had any idea if the person they were with had the virus or not.

Lots of ‘herbal cures’ were touted by people who knew nothing about the virus but claimed it would solve the problems of the afflicted. Economics took hits that they will spend the next few years shakily trying to overcome.

In 2019, I started feeling heavy and tired so I went to my doctors to conduct tests. I got the news that the kidney problem was back. I was warned by my doctors to be careful with my habits and started treatment immediately.

Fear gripped my heart, but I believed that the same God who took care of me the last time would take control this time as well.

The National Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) soon announced that Nigeria had recorded its first case of the virus and was going to put in place ‘lockdown’ measures to curb the spread of the virus. Businesses shut down during this period and everyone was ‘stuck’ at home.

I was warned by my doctors, both home and abroad, to do everything necessary to avoid contracting the virus. I wasn’t safe and they could not assure me that I was healthy enough to withstand the virus.

I adhered strictly to their warnings. I stayed at home while also adhering to all measures put in place to not contract the virus. I constantly washed my hands, wore a nose mask around the house, had my sanitizer handy and refused to receive visitors.

However, man proposes and God disposes because before the year ran out, I contracted this same virus I went out of my way to avoid. It was the beginning of what now appeared to be a nightmare to me.

How did I contract the virus even with everything I’d done not to contract it? I have no idea but I have a few theories.

My first theory is about the people who were frequently at my house during this period. The lockdown had been lifted and a curfew put in place instead. People went about their daily businesses as usual, albeit with the shadow of the virus hanging over everyone’s neck. Use of face masks were compulsory in public and organizations turned away anyone who wasn’t wearing their face masks.

Pastor Wale Adeduro is a Pastor in Charge of one of the Provinces of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. He is a trained journalist, a writer and an author whose works have been published since 1986 in the many Nigerian national newspapers.

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