In the last few weeks, my colleagues and I have been inundated with survivor stories from victims of Covid-19. We got stories about people who thought they would die but somehow, escaped death literally by the skin of their teeth. Now most of these survivors hadn’t been vaccinated when they contacted the virus and there were a few who had been vaccinated and yet contacted it.
However, it was the unvaccinated we were focused on; the ones who didn’t believe in vaccination or simply didn’t have time to go get their jabs, caught the virus and went through hell… but survived.
So my partner asked, especially of those who died even before the vaccination came to Nigeria, “Would people who died from Covid-19 have died at the time they did if they hadn’t contacted the virus or was it just their time to die?” (Underlying ailment or not)
This was like testing the God, right? You could literally be asking God; “Baba God, would you have spared so and so if they had got the vaccine or you would have made them a statistic for their foolishness or ill luck at not being able to get vaccinated?”
We argued back and forth over this at the office.
Some of us agreed that, yes, they may have died of other diseases or even by accident because Covid-19 or not, these people had their time set with death, there’s no changing that appointment with death .
Others, like me argued; no, they wouldn’t have died at the time they did because there is such a thing as “preventable death.” If these people had been able to manage of their underlying conditions before Covid-19 and lived, who says they couldn’t still be alive if Covid-19 hadn’t got them?
It was quite a heated argument with some even suggesting that the entire Covid-19 was a hoax as there are more deaths annually from opioid users, for instance, that far outweighs statistics on Covid-19!
While some said, opioids or not, the world has never seen a pandemic that shut down the entire globe and the scale of fatalities recorded is matchless. I won’t be regurgitating stats you already know, go google it.
Anyway, it was at this point that my partner shared a story, of a man who had been told he would die on a certain date. The horrified man left his house before the said date and travelled far so that Death wouldn’t meet him at home. On the appointed day, Death came knocking but the man had left for a far place. Death went away to keep another appointment with another person in a faraway town, he stopped by at an inn and sat beside a road-weary man. Not recognizing themselves, Death and the man, ‘our man’ sat side by side drinking and making small talk.
“Who are you?” Death asked, “You don’t look familiar.”
“I am so and so. You are right. I have been traveling for a while, I left my town because I was told Death would come for me today.”
An amused Death looked him over and said, “By Jove, I was told I would meet you at an inn today.”
You can already guess the rest of the story.
So, back to the headline, should people be made to get their vaccine, after all if death is meant to come it would still find its way to them, right?
Already, people in Edo state are protesting against the State government for planning to enforce Covid-19 vaccination. As at yesterday, the state had recorded 11 deaths from the Delta variant. In order to curb its spread and reduce fatalities, the government has stated that from mid-September, 2021, everyone not vaccinated would be forced to do so or prevented from accessing banks, churches, event centres, mosques… I might also add schools, hospitals…the list will be endless.
While some say this is not a policy that should be made a law because it is a citizen’s prerogative to refuse vaccination but by enforcing, it, the government would be infringing on citizens’ fundamental human rights!
What is going on in Edo state is being echoed on the streets of Lagos, you hear people saying, vaccination is government propaganda; Covid-19 is a hoax, how many people have died from the so-called Covid-19 in comparison to ordinary malaria, even in the last few months?
I have no answers, I do know, however, that this dilemma faced by governments be they state, federal or international is common. Even the American government can’t enforce vaccination on its people despite the fact that they have about the highest fatalities worldwide, the government is still appealing to the unvaccinated to get their jabs. They are not threatening or are they?
There are many people campaigning against getting vaccinated even in Nigeria, from the pulpit to the market square, it accounts for the low turnout at vaccination centres nationwide. Their arguments range from the bizarre to the totally unsubstantiated scientific facts. They say it genetically changes humans thus ensuring mankind would be wiped off in a few years to come; some even say it’s 5G element aimed at controlling people by the government.
Although we do not have huge statistical data to prove to people that getting vaccinated would help them live, should they contact the virus; me thinks that people shouldn’t need to be persuaded to be vaccinated in a country where everything is collapsing.
Who wants to add contacting Covid-19 and not getting medical attention because of the current Doctor’s strike going on in most states and where there is no strike, the doctors are overwhelmed add to that obsolete or dilapidating facilities; security of lives and property is constantly challenged and undermined…why add not getting vaccinated and contacting a nuisance just because we want to thump our noses at government?
Then again, some people have a death wish, “Let it come ‘anywhichway.'”
Second base, please!