Posted by News Express | 1 January 2021 | 337 times
It is easy to say good riddance to bad rubbish to a bad year any, day, anytime. A year that is gone is gone by the
first day of January of the following year. But only a suicidal person would say good riddance to bad rubbish to a raging pandemic that knows no borders or time and bestrode 2020 like a colossus or a raging bull, in terms of the lives it took away globally. 2020 is gone but the pandemic is still raging globally.
Some one once said –‘time, you old gypsy man; will you not stay, put up your caravan, just for one day‘ Surely that can be said of both time and 2020 but the year is gone, but time, like a gypsy keeps marching on. This time however, both, time and the gypsy are embedded in the pandemic that has refused to go and is escalating when it is expected to subside. It is even more angry and murderous on the discovery of a vaccine to tackle it while those fighting it quarrel over who should get the vaccine panacea, first and last.
Today I pay a most reluctant homage to a pandemic that I wrongly thought would not last long when it broke by promising not to call it by its name until it has disappeared as speedily and miraculously as it reared its ugly head in far away China. I wrote on this column then that I would not call the pandemic by its name in the spirit of denying terrorists the publicity they crave for in killing innocent people, by not mentioning their names thereafter. I later however started ending this column with the rider – From the fury of this pandemic Good Lord Deliver Nigeria. Well, now in 2021 I still continue my attitude on both scores, but in addition, I beg this raging pandemic to leave humanity alone quickly in 2021, and let us continue our lives without the shadow of death hanging over everything, as it did so mercilessly in 2020. Amen.
Today’s title speaks for itself. The only mystery is the wonder of what can be good in a bad pandemic year like 2020. But God is merciful and I will show that later. But the strange events that characterized the year speak volumes on how bad it was. I will illustrate some events with my personal experiences. I will also see how the pandemic intruded into many political and socio economc systems in a way not foreseen till the pandemic shaped and reshaped events with such malleability that simply beggars description.
Let me start with the good side and that is about Nigeria and the third world or the so called developing nations. Even Bill Gates had the cheeky impudence to wonder why the pandemic has not killed more people in Africa and the developing nations as projected. To me that is his funeral and it shows that he and the World Health Organisation–WHO-which made the projection are not God and cannot see properly even though they have good specialist, scientific eyes and minds. The good thing, unknown to these specialists and agents of doom, is that Nigerians have been accustomed to the symptoms of respiratory diseases for long and this gave them immense cover and confidence and that explains the low deaths and the preponderant reluctance to wear masks. That is very apparent in most Nigerian capitals, the SW as I said last week and in Lagos and many parts of the North where people crowd together in very unhygienic circumstances and have not contracted the dreaded disease so far. That to me is the good side of 2020 for Nigeria far above anything else and I hope that continues and prevails till 2021 because it is not science that has saved us but the Grace of the Almighty God. So if you say loudly that God was a Nigerian in 2020 because of the low deaths against all the odds, I readily agree, and pray fervently that God continues to be a Nigerian in 2021 and beyond till the ugly pandemic disappears.
Surely a look at events in the US and the UK show clearly that God is not a sleeping God. The two nations think they own the world in terms of democracy, politics and science. But the pandemic has no respect for all these. The two powerful leaders in the two nations almost died from the pandemic. Here in Nigeria our president who was sick before the pandemic is hale and hearty and does not always wear mask. However two events in the UK and US show that the pandemic affected the political systems and their regional diplomacy and trade quite unexpectedly.
In the US the incumbent President Donald Trump lost power to the pandemic and not the Democrats. He is crying foul but the Democrats are waiting for the next president, their own Joe Biden to be sworn in by January 20, 2021. An aggrieved Republican lamented that Democrats played up the Pandemic not necessarily to protect Americans but to win the election through mail–in balloting. But the results have been certified and Democrats are telling the Republicans to be sportsmen and accept the results and let the train of power which derailed the Trump presidency move on, pandemic or no pandemic .
In the UK the EUand UK struck a last minute Brexit deal galvanized by the fear of the pandemic which escalated in Europe as both sided diddled over a trade deal. To show that all is not well on the deal or that many people are upset with the idea of Brexit which is now a reality , even the PM’s father is urgently seeking French nationality to protest. More than anything the pandemic made the post Brexit deal a possibility as the deadline of December 31 approached and the death rates soared in both the EU and the UK and health facilities were taxed to their limits on both sides involved in getting a deal done. As the Labour leader said in moving his party to support, any deal is better than no deal. But both sides face a pandemic that will not go away even though a vaccine has been discovered and the nations are rich enough to protect their people unlike Nigeria and others who have only God as their protector from the raging pandemic.
On the bad and ugly side again, the Chinese experience is worth looking at especially as the pandemic started from there. The Chinese will be glad that President Trump is leaving as that will give them relief on three fronts. He cannot call the pandemic a Chinese virus from political obscurity. Trumps trade tariffs wars are likely to come to an abrupt end with his presidency. Thirdly given Joe Buden’s son, Hunter’s entanglement with Chinese businessmen, the new president will be very careful on how to react to China in both Trade and diplomacy. The Hunter Biden corruption scandal so often dismissed as black mail by his dad, was one of the best ignored and protected stories of the US 2020 presidential elections. CNN and others of the anti Trump media ignored a story which would have influenced the presidential elections massively against Biden and instead magnified the coverage of the pandemic and its mishandling by Trump. This paid handsomely for Joe Biden’s election and he will be sworn in as America’s 46th president this January 2021. Once again From the fury of this pandemic Good Lord Deliver Nigeria. (The Nation)
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