Saturday, 28 March 2020

Covid19 and the Catholic Church in Igbo land by Alisonomi

As the coronavirus creeps into the interior villages of Nigeria, some of our citizens are still struggling to accept its presence in our territory. Unfortunately, many decision-makers seem to be touring this road that might end up sending some Nigerians to their early grave. And though I would hope that my fears are unfounded or that I should not have to write this that Covid19 is more dangerous than we take it in Nigeria. 
When the leaders of Christian Churches and Muslim communities, unanimously suspended their public gatherings in Quebec, many people thought they were being excessively cautious. But today, everybody is rejoicing over their foresight, for, even with very functional health services, Covid19 continues to propagate like a harmattan fire in Canada.
Initially, our people thought it cannot survive in hot weather. But, unfortunately, two weeks after its arrival in Lagos, our weather couldn’t kill it. So, not minding our lackadaisical attitude towards it, it continues to creep up without our permission. And, as our Government didn’t take it seriously, Covid19 finally decided to plant its temporary tent in Nigeria.
And followed by the government order, few Catholic dioceses stopped their public celebrations and saved their members the danger of being a breeding ground of this imperial virus. However, certain dioceses did not learn the Italian lesson. They still hope that the virus will either miraculously evaporate or wait for them to finish meditating before spreading in the city.
For example, all the Catholic Dioceses in the Onitsha and Owerri Ecclesiastical Provinces seem not to have heard that the virus could be propagated in the Church. Who knows if they believe that our Churches are too holy to welcome such an unholy visitor? Yesterday, two cases of Covid19 were confirmed in Enugu. And instead of taking immediate action, the Catholic Bishops of Enugu State issued a guideline, directing the Churches to hold their Sunday masses and then close their activities on Tuesday.
One would say that the Church is law-abiding as she follows the State’s directive to close its markets by next Tuesday. Unfortunately, many do not see it as being law-abiding as it could make one ask if the bishops care enough for the lives of their members. I would accept to be unnecessarily afraid, but I pray that these three more days would not be three more days too late for people who might be unnecessarily exposed to this deadly disease.

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