How Coronavirus is changing social life in Nigeria

For the first time in an immemorial time, Nigerians are scared to mingle with each other or even attend opulent parties during the weekend. While that could be explained away, it's almost unthinkable to believe that for a people who are deeply religious that Nigerians could stay away from churches and mosques as well.

But Coronavirus is making it all possible. The impact of the spread of COVID-19 across the world is so profound that it has changed the way people interact with each other. And Nigerians are learning how to forgo most social activities in order to stay safe. From social distancing to self-isolation, suspension of large gatherings and no contact greetings. But we live in strange times where strange things are happening.

No more 'turn-up'

Many Nigerians, especially those living in the hardest-hit state, Lagos, love to party or what we call turn-up at any chance they get. Whether it is at the bar, lounges, clubs and right in the streets. But those days when there were no second thoughts about hopping into parties are over. The rising cases of COVID-19 has forced the government to ban such gatherings. Moreover, most people are not willing to take the risk of contracting the COVID-19 just for the sake of catching fun.

Staying at home

Nigerians like to be out and about without being constrained. They like visiting each other, going about their businesses and just living their lives. This was all before the emergence of COVID-19 changed everything. Nowadays, almost everyone is practicing social distancing by staying at home. Needless to say, many people are finding it difficult.

Anyone coughing or sneezing is a suspect

There were times when people were at ease to relieve themselves whenever they felt like coughing or sneezing. Recently, people tend to avoid anyone who coughs or sneezes out of fear of being infected with Coronavirus.

No more hangout

A trip to the cinema, hanging out with friends or even going on a date has been cancelled by many in Nigeria because of Coronavirus. All the relationships that would have been formed at this time may not see the light of day.

No more bragging about an overseas trip

Nigerians love travelling abroad and more importantly, they like bragging about it. But since almost all the cases of Coronavirus in the country were imported by individuals returning from abroad, the NCDC advised anyone returning from an overseas trip to observe self-isolation for 14 days, making it unlikely for anyone to brag about it.

No more close contact greetings

Handshakes and hugs are almost forbidden these days as people observe social distancing to curb the spread of Coronavirus. This is a strange concept to Nigerians who enjoy getting in close contact with each other. But it has been interesting watching people disengage with each other as a safety measure.

With the growing uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, social life in Nigeria has been disrupted as people take precautions against contracting or spreading the disease. There hasn't been any definite cure for COVID-19 and the best defense against it, is to prevent it from spreading by adjusting social behaviour.

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