Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
Today is April 1, alias “All Fools’ Day” or “April Fools’ Day”, but there is no joke all over the world.
The day belongs to Coronavirus, alias Covid-19, the unchallengeable king that has sentenced all the peoples of the world to prison in their very own homes.
I am sure you are holed in inside your house reading this – thanks, or no thanks, to Coronavirus, the unassailable sheriff in town.
The pandemic has put to shame the scientists of the world who boasted to have mastered nature. Coronavirus has put science in a new shelf: Fiction!
Come and see all the scientists of the world making illiterate guesses about the pandemic or epidemic – just like Amos Tutuola’s drunken “Drinkard” looking for his dead tapster!
The World Health Organization (WHO) waffles with confusion on a day-by-day basis: “The disease is not airborne.” “No, the pandemic is airborne.” “Wait, the epidemic is not airborne…”
What is the world to believe? Everything is confusion.
The pastors of magic and miracles have been exposed for the empty fools they are. They can’t even cure themselves and have perforce abandoned their wonder churches.
Now the pastors are asking for tithes via wire transfer.
The pastor who claimed that the epidemic would disappear on March 27 is still wondering what hit him somewhere in Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos.
One funky pastor in Abuja dared to open his church in Abuja against the government’s orders and was promptly arrested by the authorities. He followed his arresters so meekly making one to wonder if he ever had the witch-catching powers that he boasted of.
Due to Coronavirus Nigerian fraudsters are now on the loose asking gullible countrymen and women to click on all makes of links on the internet for magical riches. Once you click, your life saving is gone!
There is the other dimension of claiming that the GSM networks are sharing free data because of Corona – it’s all lies aimed at duping he unwary.
Some are even conned with the crooked information that the government is sharing money. Even the banks in some instances are also said to be doling out money. Fall for the scams, and you are finished.
If the Coronavirus does not ruin you, the scammers on the loose definitely will.
Fear rules everywhere as forwarded messages on social media make all kinds of claims on the pandemic. As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt told Americans during The Great Depression, “The thing to fear is fear itself!”
Coronavirus has made fools of everybody, especially the mighty men of power. Nigerian powers-that-be are daily tasting positive to the devastating virus. The politicians daily wait for the results they cannot rig. It’s either Negative or Positive. No inconclusive results, thank you.
The potentates who could travel abroad at just the drop of a hat for medical treatment are now all in Nigeria knowing that Coronavirus appears to be more menacing overseas. Nigeria may now number as the safest country on God’s earth!
Not even the royal family of Britain is spared the scourge. The regal Queen Elizabeth is under the bad weather. His son, Prince Charles, is under too.
Maverick Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hit by the sharpshooting Coronavirus. Need I go on?
There is even the talk of Coronavirus hitting one leader of a country so badly he ended up addressing his nation from faraway Cuba!
With all the alcohol-based hand-sanitizers available, most Nigerians are lamenting that they have drunk more alcohol with their hands than with their mouths!
Even Google has cancelled its April Fools’ Joke this year. This brings me to a futuristic cartoon in which an interviewee was told that the year 2020 was missing from his CV. The man promptly replied: “I spent that year washing my hands!”
The world remains locked down. But in Nigeria the lockdown is observed in the breach amongst the mammoth crowds at the ATM machines. Social distancing and personal hygiene count for nothing as the crowds are ever so eager to get to the money-dispensing point.
But then, Coronavirus is not a death sentence. I have just been authoritatively informed that a 102-year-old woman in Genoa, Italy beat the disease after being in hospital for 20 days.
Now you too can beat it. So forget about the tension, fever and shivering. The overdose of Corona news is even more dangerous than the virus.
This is no April Fools’ Joke because All Fools’ Day has been postponed by Coronavirus.
-Mr Uzoatu is a journalist, poet and social critic.
-This is Lagos