Wearing a mask is not making a fashion statement

Wearing a mask is not making a fashion statement

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 12:14 pm

Funmi Peter-Omale

By Funmi Peter-Omale, London

No matter how we feel about China today, everyone knows everything is made in China. I bet your phone or tablet you’re using right now is made in China. Even Apple, Samsung, Google and all of them will tell you their phones, TVs, hands free items, batteries, and all are made in China.

As I speak to you, a Virgin plane just landed in London, with all the passenger seats and the hull filled with boxes of PPE from China. And that plane is going back to bring more. 

If they are not up to standard, the UK government and some states in America as well as other countries in the world will not be shipping them in.

It’s nobody’s fault, other than our corrupt Nigerian government officials, who travel to China to negotiate, order and/or pay for the cheapest items they can get. So they can get a cut and pocket the extra. 

It is nobody’s fault if for selfish reasons, our Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, is so fraudlent and compromised, they don’t check the standards of goods coming into Nigeria. 

Why do you think our people prefer to buy and ship phones, TVs, fridges, and all those electrical products and machines from Europe and America? Because even though, those products are also made in China, they have standards and regulations in place to check if they meet the set European regulations and standards. I can go on and on, but I’m tired… 

I have learnt not to be clouded with emotional attachments as regards these things, but be practical and be true to myself. 

As like everything, they, (government at all levels) are playing Russian roulette with lives in Nigeria. And they are not being transparent nor truthful. Everything is shrouded in secrecy, and the Covid-19 task forces have become nothing but a theatre of charade. Invite a couple of newsmen, or better still, they take their own pictures and videos of so called “relief packages” and distribute to the media. We are all expected to take them in, hook, line and sinker. We are not allowed, totally closed to verify.

Nigeria is a poor country, a third of our population is poor. So we’re always improvising to survive. Always finding ways and means to survive, sometimes thinking out of the box. Sometimes doing doing silly things or even criminal or illegal stuff.

And it’s OK for people to improvise.

My problem is that unscrupulous elements in Nigeria are taking advantage of the need for and making wearing mask an “ówàḿbẹ̀” “I-better-pass-my-neighbour” thingy!

Even just an ordinary scarf or a piece of cloth will suffice. It’s stupid for anybody to start making bejeweled, sequined and adding stupid jara to face mask and selling them at exorbitant prices. When most people are struggling to put food on their tables. 

Would you believe that I am in a sewing class that we’re making homemade masks too? But we are distributing to care homes and to people who want them for free! FREE! In some places, people, police and security are on standby, distributing and offering all sorts of  masks free to people. 

For me, I wouldn’t wear face mask because I have a phobia for anything tight or constrictive (thank God I’m not a nurse or doctor). But every time I step out of my door, there is a scarf in my bag, a long one that will go round my face twice!

And I will use it when people around me are talking, making calls or when I’m in the shops, on the train or on the bus. 

Wearing a mask is not making a fashion statement, it’s meant to protect you and others and prevent the spread in case you already have an infection!

Thank you.

#stayathome #StaySafe

-Funmi Peter-Omale, journalist, writes from London

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