Nigeria: COVID-19 Pandemic and Teenagers in Nigeria

It is no breaking news that the COVID-19 pandemic has made the world more chaotic.

This virus popularly referred to as the coronavirus or COVID-19 is something that no one could have anticipated; it has taken a huge toll on every one and even the greatest economies in the world have been affected and among this list of affected people, we also have teenagers.

Being the teenagers that we are, we made jokes about it and some ignorant ones even claimed that younger ones couldn't be affected but they were proved wrong. The whole world at large didn't take this situation with as much seriousness that this issue was meant to be addressed with until the death toll started rising and we eventually had to go into quarantine to prevent the spread and also the contraction of the disease.

The easing of the terms of the lockdown is not making the situation any better because all that is on the mind of most teenagers is going out and catching up with friends and finding different ways to hang out. I am not saying this is wrong but most teenagers have thrown caution to the wind and are not adhering to the new social interaction laws that have been put in place like wearing face masks when out in public places, having a hand sanitiser on you at all times and keeping at least six feet between you and the next person.

I personally believe we should not be going out at this point because of the negative effect the easing of the lockdown has brought to other countries especially Russia. We should learn from the mistakes of others and just stay home until a vaccine is found. Now some may argue that they have school and other things to get back to but all these things will not be worth anything if half the population of the world is dead before a vaccine is found.

There are many ways to keep busy during this period by participating in teenage oriented challenges that seem to come out every day, keeping up with school work as there are now online classes available, finding new hobbies that can be practised within the walls of the home and just staying together as a family. Our teenage years are the stepping stones to adulthood and we should use this period to think about where we are in life and where we want to be in the next five years. We have to think about making life-altering decisions that will make us better people for ourselves and also for the society at large. This is also a time to question ourselves: have we reached our full potential? Are we doing enough to ensure we reach our goals? And most importantly, had we been engaging God enough in our lives before this virus outbreak?

We have to try to focus on the positive outcome of this virus because before this pandemic, most teenagers had strained relationships with their parents and the broken bonds can be replenished during this period, and most families barely had time for each other but have been lifting each other's' spirits. This is a time for those who have been slacking in school to focus more on school works and hopefully get better.

This pandemic should be seen as a blessing in disguise because it serves as an eye opener for government officials who mismanaged funds that were meant to be used for our health sector and other parts of the economy. This same officials who flew abroad for treatment even when they had the slightest headaches had to settle for the sorry state of hospitals they had built. I believe that when this pandemic has blown over, we will have a lot to be thankful for and the government will re-evaluate their priorities and make this country a better place for us as future leaders.

Toyosi Jide-Jimoh, is a student of Lagos State University Foundation Programme, Badagry, Lagos 

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