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Why Lagosians Are Refusing To Wear Face Masks


A resurgence of Covid-19 towards the end of 2020 frustrated expectation of a total relief and perhaps a total stamp out of the deadly virus that has ravaged the world, taking millions of lives in ghostly toll.

As people were regaining gradual confidence of victory after about 10-months battle against a virus that threatened (still threatening) to wipe out the human race from the surface of earth, a new variant of the virus was reported in Europe.

What raised  fear among people is that the reported variant is deadlier than the Covid-19 that has been tormenting the world earlier.

Why the fear? The Covid-19 new variant spreads 70 percent faster than its predecessor. Thus, it could spread more quickly and infect a larger number of people within a short time. Infection of more people could pose a damning challenge for provision of medical care for those who might be unfortunate to catch the virus.

The present medical facilities may become grossly inadequate to cope with the increasing number of patients.

To show or demonstrate the dire situation now confronting the world, Britain has imposed a new round of lockdown to checkmate the fresh spread of the virus.

Despite the serious debilitation and lives-claiming reality of Covid-19, as reported by the mass media, it appears most people - the masses-are sneering at the threats of  the second wave with reckless anandon. Most, if not all, the protocols given by the Federal Government are ignored by people.

In Lagos, that is regarded the epicentre of Covid-19 devastation, and a mega-city that is recording the highest number of infections on daily basis, it is shocking that most people, pedestrians, commuters, teeming traders in various markets, do not wear nose-cover to protect themselves and others against Covid-19 infection. Lagosians as well as other Nigerians display non-challant attitude to the call for compliance and observance of Covid-19 protocols.

Most Nigerians, especially non-elite, do not see Covid-19 as a poor man’s disease. They believe that a few unfortunate poor who could be infected work in close contact, proximity, with the rich celebrities and politicians, especially those who shuttle between Nigeria and Europe, the United States (US), Dubai (United Arabs Emirate) among others. People are suspicious and so doubt their leaders, government officials’ sincerity about Covid-19. President Muhammadu Buhari mostly doesn’t wear nose mask in public appearance and on television, despite that most Covid-19 victims were politicians and the super rich.

People find nose cover uncomfortable. It does not only disfigure people’s appearance in public, it makes identification difficult. The mask, it was claimed puts unncessary pressure on asthmatic patients, making breathing difficult for them.

People who live in the rural areas have not found out that their neigbours were being infected or killed at a fast increasing rate by Covid-19 as broadcast on electronic media.

The hoarding of donated palliatives by government puts a dent on honesty of purpose of government officials. People asserted that the high number of infection published in newspapers and magazines and announced on electronic media were gimmicks by the government to attract bigger and larger donations from foreign donnors.

The youth who are between age range of 21-30 and mix with people in schools, parties and churches are mostly asymptomatic and do not promptly exhibit Covid-19 symptoms.

Again, the government was accused of ignoring the traditional methods of fighting virus with herbs, roots and leaves which the Western European Pharmaceutical Firms have derided in their own commercial interest. That could be why the government might continue to face herculian task convicing people to wear nose cover.

This does not mean that the case could not be reversed and the challenges overcome. To encourage people to change their non-challant attitude and embrace COVID-19 protocols for their protection and public health, City People urges President Buhari to set a good example by wearing nose cover in any of his public function. This will undoubtedly encourage more people to emulate him. A "do as I do" leader easily attracts obedience and enjoy cooperation of his people. Besides, the federal and state government should raise level of public compliance with  COVID-19 protocols by  intensifying and taking the campaign through the mass media to the nooks and crannies of the country. 

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