The stark reality we face now is the fact that the World is one; we are interconnected, woven and knitted. The present Corona Virus- Covid-19- has shown the level of powerlessness of what I describe as ‘anti-integration of the world governments’ who hitherto felt so sophisticated that they build barricades to discriminate against what they term ‘seeming wretches’-immigrants- who are often dehumanized.
The Cable News Network CNN intermittently pops up an ad ‘’The Global View.’’ A talk show focusing on significant international issues hosted by World Affairs Correspondent Ralph Begleiter. This ad displaces pictures from all over the world, people wearing face masks and socially distancing, adhering to other new normal behaviours humans must now have to learn and live by globally. It shows pictures of compliance from sophisticated and advanced cities like Washington DC, London, and Beijing to weak and developing cities like Khartoum, Mogadishu, Accra, Lagos, et cetera.
One thing is common with these photos- a people plagued by a public health hazard. The degree of infection and extent of damage might be different but we are all suffering from one disease that has kept us from our too busy schedules and our loved ‘Disney Islands.’ The virus has damned our sophistications and taken on our humanity- that which is common to all humans.
Covid-19, inasmuch as it smashed our humanity as pessimists would see it, has also cautioned us to foster ways to collaborate and care for one another. The advent of the virus saw Italy battered. It was very interesting to know that European Union that was nursing the wounds of Brexit got her acts together to help the likes of Italy, Spain, and many other European countries that were hard hit. There was even discussion of establishing a euro bond. There has been philanthropic activities going around across continents, billionaires from different continents, CEOs of reputable firms have been dolling out millions and billions of dollars in aids to not just the poor countries but to sophisticated and developed countries as well.
One would expect that after the heat of this pandemic the world’s bilateral relationships in all its spheres would be devoid of inhumanity and demonization of those thought to be grabbers, gold diggers and beggars. In Nigeria today when you go to any cabaret, one of the most heated arguments is not about the intrigues of love, deceit and rejection playing around Erica, Kiddwaya and Laycon, the burning love between Nengi and Ozo of the unpopular Big Brother Naija reality show ; not even how Bayern battered Barcelona and their eventual victory over PSG to clinch for the 6th time UEFA Champions League Title, nor the desperation of the players of Edo Politics but the fear and utmost decry of the Federal Government’s borrowing money with every ease from the Chinese Government. This is occasioned by not only the fear that these monies will not be judiciously used for the common good of Nigerians but that these loans are very likely to be like the ‘Greek Gift’; that the terms are unjust and exploitative.
Immigration is ubiquitous. People migrate for economic, cultural and environmental reasons. Recently, there has been unfairness in immigration. Developed nations have closed their doors to immigrants from some certain countries and banned some visa packages leaving the dream of some of those whose irresponsible leaders; and many other whose fate, due to no fault of theirs, have been held in chains of poverty with no hope for a better life. This has made those determined to have a better life by all means embark on dangerous journeys of trekking to their promised land. Documentaries abound with migrants tossed by tumultuous headwind resulting to countless deaths on Libya’s coast and those who make it through are dehumanized before they are chased back to where their lot lands them.
We only but hope that after this pandemic the world would truly be integrated. We are taught by the pandemic that we are interconnected; we are all the same in spite of our classifications. The measures to prevent COVID-19 are one and the same – regular washing of hands with soap and running water for a considerable number of time regularly; the use of face masks, maintaining enough social distancing in gatherings; right respiratory behaviours and many other hygienic precautions. We must adhere to these practices faithfully and await what the picture of the globe would be after the pandemic because it is not uhuru yet.
Fada Timothy Etsenamhe
Rector, Holy Cross Catholic Church Iyuku;
Directorate of Social Communications, Auchi Diocese.