FACE MASK OR FACE MIMICRY?
Face Mask or Face Mimicry by Bala Ibrahim
Nigeria has joined the league of other nations that have made the wearing of face mask compulsory when going out, or when entering public places. The aim is to help prevent the spread of infection and prevent others from contracting any airborne infectious germs. When a person coughs, talks, or sneezes without cover, he or she could release germs into the air that may infect others nearby. Wearing a face mask is, therefore, an infection control strategy, aimed at eliminating cross-contamination.
With the coming of coronavirus and the sudden increase in demand for face masks, the masks became scarce in the market, while their prices shot up dramatically. People were compelled to be innovative and creative, and typical of Nigerians, some have turned theatrical.
In mimic manners, all sorts of stuff are now used to cover the face, in order to meet the public hygiene directive of the government. From leg socks, headscarves to neck mufflers, people wrap all kinds of fabrics round their faces in the name of face masks, making some even look like masquerades.
Despite the daily high profile briefing by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, headed by the Secretary to the federal government, Mr. Boss Mustapha, explaining the dangers of contracting the virus and the benefit of taking preventive measures, there are people that are treating the issue with levity and mediocracy.
MORE ARTICLES FROM THE WRITER:
- ULAMA: Confronting or Compounding the Corona Crisis?
- KANO: GANDUJE GRADUALLY LOSING THE GRIP | Bala Ibrahim
- KANO CONUNDRUM: THE LEGEND, THE LESSON, AND THE LADIES.
- KANO: CARRYING ALONG with OUR CONSCIENCE
- KANO COVID-19: Lockdown at a Near Knock Down
- Kano COVID-19: Time to Enforce the Fake News Law
- KANO: REJOICING OR REGRETING? By Bala Ibrahim
- Columnist Corner: It’s too crude to be true | Bala Ibrahim
However, sometimes some of these actions only come to buttress the level of public distrust for the government. Because of the disconnect and suspicion about the government’s accountability mechanisms, sometimes people feel obliging the directives of the government is like supporting fraud, illegitimacy, or illegality. Both the rich and the poor, see the system of public policymaking and government’s sincerity in some projects as being rigged against them.
Public discussion on the distribution of palliatives always captures the anger of the society, particularly the quantum of money involved and the number of people mentioned as beneficiaries. I have read cynical comments saying, at the end of the pandemic, there must be a novelty football match between the officials of the NCDC and those of the EFCC. The same is being said about the ministry of Humanitarian affairs, who are accused of overpromising and under delivery.
The impunity of corruption is the biggest factor in citizens’ distrust of government, so they see insubordination as a patriotic duty, even where it’s on something that has to do with their health.
I remember in those days when the government made the wearing of helmet compulsory for motorcycle riders, in taunting mockery and sneering defiance, people chose to obey the order with contempt. Instead of the normal helmet that has all the protective properties, people were using different caricatures, including calabash, to cover their heads while riding motorcycles.
Last Part of the Write-up: FACE MASK OR FACE MIMICRY?
On face value, they have a cover over their head, but in real safety sense, they are a risk to themselves. No one cares, all they want, is to register their disrespect and distrust to the government.
While I get amused by seeing people in such freakish appearances, I become bemused when I contemplate the repercussions of their actions. In one of his briefings, Mr. Boss Mustapha said unequivocally, that Coronavirus is real, and our health is our responsibility.
We can protect or make it better by taking seriously the advice of medical personnel or mar it by making a mockery of what they tell us. The option is ours, but the most important thing to note is the fact that everyone’s life is on lease from God, who revokes it at will, without notice.
Stay safe, wear the correct face mask, please.