COVID-19: IN A SIT-AT-HOME (ESSAY)

by Anikulapo Macmillan.

Anyone who has switched on the television set, in the last few minutes, listen to radio or surf the internet will be aware that sit-at-home is epoch. It is now duty to stay safe from this pandemic.

Writing about this is to address the sense of playfulness and perspicuity to things that are related to us; although, it is now gosling to see how oneself can play alone.

It is out of being playful that I keep this as a memento to write what sit-at-home actually means to a vagrant. Someone who often spends his time hustling could see this as wickedness for 14 days without movement— and phrase ‘’ social distancing ‘’ has erred to our lifestyle. It is certainly a wrong impetus for someone like me to describe this without not considering the fact that, being in one place is something that is vigorously tiring, and it is sickly to my respiration; even than this so-called Coronavirus.

It is a solitary confinement of high esteem. It is like a prisoner who has no right to relate with other prisoners. Anytime I hear news about COVID-19 in Nigeria, I become worrisome. And I often ask myself, how long will I continue to be a prisoner of this pandemic? Is it that next week will be the same? These questions keep coming to me as an act of soliloquizing. Being in the same state of condition, is devastating. The globe too has propelled to ‘’ social distancing ‘’ as a campaign to eradicate the microbe.

Seriously, I have never seen myself to be bored like this. To be bored in this time is a special kind of bareness, the bareness of subconscious from oneself. While this has caused lot of people to see boredom as something trenchant for them to explore all sort of crazy potentials. I begin to understand that the act of boredom is birthed from inner thought to some certain things, perhaps, it lingers to credulity of the mind to achieve things without rethinking of the consequence.

For this fact, this sit-at-home has become a way for other people to imitate different kind of gesture because they are bored; with all kind of challenge, most especially on ‘’ WHATAPP, INSTAGRAM and SNAPCHAT ‘’ with the help of ‘’TIKTOK APP ‘’ and this makes me to be a corner-bored to sniveling with their jocularity. It is this moment that an artist understands the act of being in the state of oneself, to conjure the ability to build the temerity of his action, even to understand that being an artist is part of seclusion like quarantine.

Sitting at home is tiresome. It is indeed an inert to many things affecting me. I become restless as many time as possible like others who spend most of their hours online watching NETFLIX or chatting. As a writer, it is essential to be safe inside the whale, until the storm dies down because It is a privilege for me to write my memoir and read enough books. But those philandering men find it difficult. It is even puritanical to religious bodies.

I notice that this COVID-19 has changed the periscope of our hygiene. It is stylishly reshaping the model of our working structure; and paradoxically it is building enough creativity in people, just for them to know how to stay at home. It is indeed in Wole Soyinka’s prison note, I know what it means to be in a solitary confinement. To be oneself is an omnibus; though, it is also an act of giving new discovery to oneself in a way that it isn’t bored.

This is what made every body to run to the pharmacists to buy chloroquine when the ludicrous American president in a press briefing ‘’ malaria drug can treat coronavirus ‘’ this is the dystopian George Orwell wrote in his novel, ‘’1984 ‘’ when reading such novel, someone will get familiar to the novelty of Donald Trump as a narcissist, who is also somewhat a churlish, because watching his interview to ABC news on this pandemic is gibberish to call ‘’ Chinese Virus ‘’

This virus has grappled fear into us. And lest we begin to console ourselves about the painful experiences coming to us daily, we should be reminded of the movie walking dead. Or maybe a new movie is in the offing. Like many have said that this pandemic has screened before as a movie but nobody pays cognizance to it. But in communication, cognizance theory is an attempt to represent the condition of a particular thing— it is densely wrong that the world couldn’t pay attention to such movie even if it is fiction.

In many fiction novels, the writers always write their stories sometime base on events that have happened or futuristic events that serve as mnemonic to the past. Writing is like talking about the past into the future. However, this is an exploration that Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote in his novels. Sometime it is even surrealism or kind of magical realism that describe an issue of a particular time or in the most vivid way for the reader to have insight. Thus, whoever has written the movie of such pandemic, would have understood what the aftermath would become to the world’s economy.

Nevertheless, writing a screenplay has no difference in writing 400 pages of novel. Both have the same connection of plot, intrinsic dialogue, which detours a meaningful narration from the writer’s imagination. In Nigeria, writing movie of this pandemic will be strenuous because Nollywood has developed relic to viewers. Painstakingly, Nigerian movies are the same as the president.

Before this imperious sit-at-home, I saw what Nigerians expected from their vacuous president. They wanted him to speak. They wanted him to count score of victims who have contracted the virus. They wanted him to show his skinny body from Aso Villa. Interestingly, at this time, Nigerians make me laugh that they are borne to have a grotesque moment with their president— to whom they accuse he said ‘’ COVIK 1-9” in his speech before his chief of staff, Abba Kyari became positive to this virus. Nigerians are jocose even when they are about to die.

Although, anytime President Buhari opens his oxymoronic mouth he reveals the incapacity of his presidency for public view, both in politics and welfare. It is a view which includes, standup comedy, situation comedy, satire and deflation; because those of whom are social critics see the country in beetle-browed ideology in a time like this because his governance has made Nigeria to be in this hurly-burly even before the virus travels to Nigeria.

To me, this COVID-19 has made our politics in Nigeria to become non-partisan. It has brought coexistence between the political parties; for this, I remember what George Orwell said in his essay, politics and the English language (1946) he wrote: ‘’ in our age there is no such as keeping out of politics. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasion, folly, hatred and schizophrenia ‘’

For a man as truthful as Orwell, politics has represented the antithesis of our worldview, most especially Nigeria, when we see CNN or BBC giving a sartorial reportage on this pandemic. Using the word ‘’ sartorial ‘’ to represent this: is to show the seriousness of journalism in this time of defoliation. In my journalism class, we were thought, that news is bizarre, but this aspect to news is informative but not like a folly speech that was delivered by a president; which caused rancor on Twitter or between party members and non-party members.

Social media has been useful during this sit-at-home. I imagine what if this virus affects our internet server that nobody can connect or see the daily result of those who have contracted the virus with the help of our impressive Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); that means China has conquered the world. This boredom will become virus on its own. Well, when Marshall McLuhan made the phrase ‘’ Global village ‘’ nobody believed what he was saying to be real in this pretext that the only thing that cures boredom is internet.

Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to oneself in the most assertive time like this— even the act of fiction is willingness to reconceive, to rearrange, to reconstitute reality like this sit-at-home, which has now become an activity turning thorny into a preemptive condition.

In the meantime, this is a bloated bewilderment because even with this sit-at-home, we can see all sort of memes and all sort of music compositions by individual, and listen or watch the world from the corridor of our homes. Therefore, sit-at-home has made us to understand that internet is essential like advertising telecommunication campaign that says ‘’ DATA IS LIFE ‘’ without data in this era, it is like a prisoner who has no uniform— but this pandemic is still like conspiracy because President XI Jinping has not said anything since Donald Trump has been saying ‘’Chinese Virus’’ is gradually disrupting the global economy.

I think this sit-at-home is a new way for everybody to prevent his/herself from this ravage because there’s no cure yet. I now prefer writing and watching movies, learning what is relevant to my profession, as advertising writer during this time.

Meanwhile, in Lagos, I am fascinated with the governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu and the state commissioner of health, Prof Akin Abayomi for establishing world-class insolation centres and giving update to the citizenry and disinfecting the state. I could watch this because of boredom. This boredom has given me a positive impact, in such a way that I could now create time to follow the trend on COVID-19.

Lastly, if books and films could be made and consumed in the belly of this sit-at-home, it might be possible to consider them as reality beyond entertainment, or even, as an occasion that will palpitate the future like the WW II; or whether this boredom will birth a remarkable sojourn in our way of life.

Published by Adekunle Writes

Adekunle is the author of a poetry collection, 'Arise Nigeria'. A young writer, Adekunle is a correspondent at Church Times Newspaper and Contributing Editor for Interviews at OPEN: Journal of Arts and Letters. He's the recipient of Daily Trust Newspaper's Poet of the week, January 2019. Follow me on Instagram on https://instagram.com/adekunlewrites https://platform.linkedin.com/badges/js/profile.jsAdekunle Adewunmi

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