COVID-19, the new strain of the deadly Corona Virus which started in Wuhan Chains months ago, has undoubtedly held the world at the jugular, in a way that very few diseases of public heath importance had done before in the past – in terms of magnitude of cases, disturbing severeness of health conditions, and the devastating effect it has had on virtually every area of our national life, ranging from Socioeconomic destabilization to threat to existence. Today, as I write, more than 270,000 lives have been taken by Covid-19 globally according to data on coronavirus by statista and worldometer – a site that gives live update on the virus round the clock across Nations.
World over, most countries have been on lockdown going into months now, and the end seems not to be anyway near, and the frenzy social panic enhanced by social media misinformation and creation of fear has not really helped matters either. Many thanks to sites like knowCovid19.ng that has been debunking fake and unsubstantiated news about the virus that may cause more danger to our people.
Again, since the first Italian index case has been announced in Nigeria on 21st of March 2020, a total number of 4641 infected persons has since been recorded with 150 deaths, in virtually all States of the federation with an alarming daily increment in States like Lagos and Kano, as at yesterday May 11th.
And even with this unprecedented surge, there are even postulations by Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi that the case in Lagos may still snowball into an unimaginable figure of around 90,000 to 120,000 persons by July or August, following the recent ease of lock down in the state and poor adherence to laws on social distancing and self protections by many Lagosians .
Hearing or reading this alone by many Nigerians have sent chills down to their spines, and this intense fear & panicking alone, if not well taken care of, may be the cause of many other avoidable deaths, even before COVID-19 arrives.
To be frank, Nigerians should be worried about this whole thing, particularly because of the glaring state of our healthcare in Nigeria, records of daily deaths arising from COVID 19 from great & advanced nations, and of course the tentative reality that there is no cure any where and the sought for preventive vaccines from researchers is taking like ever. But then, the succour and reality herein is that there is still a good number of survivors in many countries including Nigeria.
Presently, out of the 4641 cases recorded as at the time of putting this article together, not less than 902 people have been discharged from various Quarantine/Isolation centres across Nigeria as Survivors, which gives us as a good percentage of survivor rate, and a message of hope that being positive is not the end of all, but having a positive mind to fight it and become a survivor matters most.
However, out of the 902 cases that have since been discharged, very few have shared their harrowing experiences, and I think it is proper to archive those their words, experiences, beliefs and advises by these people for many Nigerians to read to either guide to prepare for the COVOD-19 scourge or on how to prevent oneself from onset.
So, here is a list & stories of 10 people out of the 902 (as at May 11th) survivors of Coronavirus in Nigeria.
- Oluwaseun Ayodeji Olufowobi – She’s the convener of the stand-to-end-rape movement and was the very first Nigerian who had confidently come out to share her experience through the travail, at a time when the Nigerian government and media houses, have refused to disclose any identity or traceable information about carriers, except the VIPs and notable personalities, particularly among the politicians.
Reading about Olufowobi’s ordeal as shared with Al-jazeera news network after just returning from United Kingdom on invite for a Conference, was a sigh of relief to many and she remained a beacon of hope to all Nigerians with her story.
The 29yrs old lady revealed how NCDC and the Lagos government took good care of them with good foods and provision of drugs, which made the centre more lively.
She equally credited much of her recovery attribute to her fighting spirit, in spite of the fact that she was constantly vomiting most of the drugs being given to her in first few days.
2. Governor Seyi Makinde: The news of the Oyo state governor being a positive carrier of the COVID -19 virus, came to many as a rude shock and in some quarters, it was received with mixed feelings, particularly among the common men were caught saying thank God, the strange disease affects the riches too” – to show that no one is truly immune to Coronavirus attack, including the ruling class.
The news of the Late Chief of Staff to the nation, Abba Kyari which came days after was another testament followed by many governors like the Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-rufai and his Bauchi State counterpart.
Engr. Seyi makinde recovery was quick and under 2weeks, he was out again into public space sharing his news on what he thinks helps. The governor disclosed that black seed for fighting coronavirus has been lot helpful and was the first to give a clue about possibility of addressing the virus with an alternative cure.
3. Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital, Ibadan
Prof’s experience remains one of the best stories for me and gave a clear personal understanding on fighting the virus naturally and reading up on the science behind of it.
In an Interview he granted just after being declared free, Prof disclosed that an enhanced and sustained body immunity is the secret of fighting coronavirus naturally, i.e by working on viral load with immunity boost to help the body fight the virus naturally.
After carefully reading his robust view, I penned these down as summary of his experience in isolation while it lasted.
- Prof didn’t go to any quarantine centre, the self isolation cum quarantine process took place in his house, taking few things he knows that helps boost immunity.. This is like Seyi Makinde too, who I guess was specially quarantined. May be VIP style.
- The Prof was very disciplined with his quarantine period. His food were placed on a stool at the door enhance like you give prisoners or dogs food, he opens door, picks them, eat and throw the plates in one corner.. He keeps packing every other plates somewhere himself. Lol!
Lesson here is that when you have a contagious disease, do well to protect the people around you and be disciplined about it. Don’t spread the virus.
- He resorted to reading about COVID treatment online, on a site called “up-to-date” where he believes they dish out refreshing discoveries about drug and medications. He said he knows very little about the virus, just like many.
Lesson here: Sit down and learn more yourself. Don’t pretend to know if you don’t.
- He gets call every now and then worldwide in his room from friends and families, and he had to calm them down that all will be well as some are too disturbed than himself.
Lesson here: When you’re sick, you make others sick too. Do well to be strong for your caregivers.
- He started reading his bible and books to put himself in good mood and to kill boredom.
Lesson here: In your low moment, be with things that often take your mind away from your worries.
He gets professional advice from senior doctors on what’s best to do, to take and things to observe. Here he reveals he ate lot of Amala and gbegiri, took chloroquine, take vitamin C. Eat loads of fruits, especially pineapples, lemon and lots of fluids. He believes once immunity gets boosted, the virus gets overpowered.
Lesson here: The treatment are regimented, and typically disciplined usage of everything that has been written to fight the virus. So when people laugh at little things like this on recovery, we should just ignore. Recovery experience are not the same.
- Asked if anyone can do as he does on things to use, the prof draws caution that before you can prove that any intake has significant effect, it must have passed through comparative research, to compare with & without, to be able to draw up reasonable inferences.
Lesson: Don’t validate what has not been tested – that something cures is different from something may help to cure. Be careful of use of words in healthcare to avoid unsubstantiated validation.
See the main Interview here – What I did after testing Positive – Prof. Otegbayo
4. Seun’O – A UK based Nigerian Photographer – He came into the country for the popular AMCVA award and fell ill days after, but refused to go to hospital until a family he disclosed his condition to, on WhatsApp, made his news viral, especially because he came in contact with a lot of people at the annual event. Well, Seun’O as he was popularly known surrendered himself later and has since been discharged.
In an Instagram update immediately after leaving the isolation center, he appreciated the Lagos government, all Lagos medical personnel and God almighty for the recovery and advised Nigerians who may have suspected anything with their health to come out as there is nothing stigmatizing about the virus. By simply following the laid down rules, one will be fine – He expressed.
5. Hon Frank Okiye – Edo State House of Assembly Speaker. Hon. Okiye contracted the virus while on a trip to UK but became symptomatic with the virus on return to Edo state, after which he self-isolate.
Okiye disclosed that strict compliance with government directives is the best, just as he attributed his survival largely to combination of local herbs and medications. He has since resumed work as the state speaker since April 22nd.
6. Alhaji Bako Shettima – UCH Chairman in Ibadan, Oyo state. He was tested positive along with the CMD of the hospital, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, but took long before he recovered. He was still positive after retesting and spent not less than 21days in the isolation center.
His recovery news was indeed a cheering news to his people at home in Nupe, as many people from his town in Niger state went online to share the good news like he was appointed back to life. Lol. We wish the old man more stability.
7. Emmanuel Manny Asika – An IT Specialist who lives in Lagos – Asika got tested positive in Lagos after reporting fever from Malaria and was also experiencing diarrhoea.
After his condition seemed not improving, he was considered for COVID – 19 test, and the result came out positive.
Filled with shock and disbelief and was also reported to have almost his mental health to worries – Asika went to Yaba Lagos Isolation center and was discharged 10 days after. He narrated his experience which is similar to that of Oluseun Ayodeji, on how he kept throwing up foods, drugs and fluid being given, as he was seriously loosing weight.
His experience was well narrated and worth reading. Check here.
8. Gov Bala Mohammed : The Bauchi State Governor was tested positive on March 25th, and was in isolation for 14days, before recovery. He noted being very sad with his plight having been in contacts with many people while he carries the virus unknowingly, some of which include top politicians, close families and Emirs, many of whom he shook while commissioning projects around.
After coming out of the health challenge, Bala Mohammed ordered that Chloroquine, Zinc and Zithromax should henceforth be used safely to manage COVID-19 in his state, against NAFDAC directives of warning. The governor expressed no regret for his action and has urged the state’s citizenry to use them when they are experiencing fever.
9. Mallam Nasir El-Rufai Kaduna State Governor – Just like that of Governor Seyi makinde, the news of the popular governor contracting Coronavirus shook many of his admirers in bewilderment.
El-rufai narrated his narrow escape from death from isolation, after going through trauma and debilitating headache that almost told him, “look Nasir, the end may be here”. He however credited his recovery to the doctors around him, and thanked his one of wives who ensured the deputy governor, Dr. Hadiza took away all his phones to avoid reading fearful news about the virus while on bed. This, he said has been lot helpful. He concluded that he will never wish his enemies such harrowing experience in isolation and he has since been all about, safeguarding Kaduna state to ensure many people shouldn’t pass through what he went through.
Part of the new measures he has put in place is by ensuring that the popular Almajiris kid are off the street whose records have shown to be testing positive to the deadly virus, and could worsen the case in the state, as it is presently, in Kano State.
10. Bukola Olapade – A Former commissioner for Sports in Ogun State was tested positive around late March 2020, but was discharged a month after, after spending weeks at Lagos Isolation center.
Bukola Olapade was the first person to have come out with a short video announcement of his test status which was showed nationwide on Channels TV.
He told Nigerians that COVID isn’t a death sentence and hopes to come back alive to make same video of his victory and triumph over the assumed deadly virus, which he did.
While at Lagos Isolation centre, he was also the brain behind the first viral video of how the life in Isolation center in Lagos looks like, and how many of the patients were fairing which raised hope of many people outside, with the level of care and facilities at their disposal.
Indeed Bukola Olapade, like many others are heroes against COVID 19.
While the battle is still on, this post is written to encourage lots of other Nigerians that some people have been through that trauma, depression and worsening health condition but they still came out victorious.
We all can, and should be prepared.
We seriously hope that the flattening curve parody will be realized on time, so that all those still inside our various isolation centers can come out hale and hearty to share their stories.