CommunityNigerian Youths Express the Effects of COVID-19

Nigerian Youths Express the Effects of COVID-19

Photo courtesy of Tope A. Asokere
The spread of the COVID-19 has seemed to stop time around the world. Suddenly all schools were forced to go online, all businesses were closed, and we’re all forced to stay six feet (2 meters) away from each other. While the whole world seemed to panic at the sudden rise in cases, most of the African continent has been able to avoid widespread infection. Although only 2% of COVID-19 cases appear to be on the African continent, Nigeria was one of the main hotspots of COVID-19 infections. For a while, there were less than 800 cases reported in Africa, however over the past month the world has seen a surge in cases in Nigeria requiring the government to take swift action. By the end of May, the number of COVID-19 cases exceeded 10, 000 putting it in the top three countries with the highest number of cases on the continent.  While many foreign outlets have been able to paint a grim picture, the Nigerian youth have been able to weigh in on the virus’s impact and what it means for their future.
Like most students around the globe, Ozima is concerned about how the pandemic’s impact on her studies. A rising junior in high school means that most of the school years most important tests have been pushed back, gone virtual, or canceled altogether. 
Photo courtesy of Muhammadtaha Ibrahim Ma’aji
“Nigeria has closed all its borders and the chief of staff has unfortunately passed due to the coronavirus. All of our school’s exams and external examinations have been pushed back until further notice. Now I’m stuck at home all day. I’m starting to get tired of it, and I’m hoping school and life will go back to normal soon. Especially for high school and college students, we all have important exams to take soon.”
— Ozima (16)
    High School Student
The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone mentally and physically but some students are starting to see some good in the outbreak from healthcare to simple mental health. 
Photo courtesy of Tope A. Asokere
“On an economical level, it’s been terrible. All productivity has stopped. We’re all pretty much required to stay indoors due to the lockdown. However, I’m realizing how privileged I am, able to do social distancing so comfortably. Not many people are able to stay with their families and there are a lot of people working through the pandemic. I hope all of this changes our idea of health, and how to stay healthy.” 
— Olajide (20)
    University Student 
Photo courtesy of Rachel Seidu
“Our economy has taken the biggest hit from the virus. Our everyday lives have changed drastically. We can’t gather for church or other activities and honestly, a lot of people are scared about what’s going to happen. However, I do think now most of us will start to find a sense of purpose. As a student especially it’s easy to just lie around doing nothing but I think we’re all quickly realizing how boring that is. I’m hoping by the end of all this, Nigeria will come out of this stronger economically.”
— Ahams (19)
    University Student 
As Nigeria moves into easing the lockdown and preventing the second wave of infections, hopefully, the youth of Nigeria will be able to find a glimmer of normalcy in the pandemic.

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