By Hussaina Sufyan Ahmed
When the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, broke out in Nigeria in 2019, things changed, and lifestyles metamorphosed.
The virus moved from an imported case and elitist pattern to community transmission; its fatality rate stood at 2.8%, while the country recorded an upsurge of about 52% of total cases of the transmission of the virus even during the short lockdown.
The preventive measures of the virus popped out, hence the dissemination of awareness through media outlets – radio and television jingles, set up programs, sensitisation workshops, newspaper pages and even films.
The use of facemasks, hand sanitisers and hand wash basins also became common. In addition, the practice of distance communication strengthened: no handshake, no hugs and no body contacts except with those already tested negative.
The spread of the coronavirus in Nigeria started as a sceptical phenomenon. Some towns and villages found it hard to believe a global plague could affect Africans directly. This notion is a myth that has lived in Africa for donkey years.
Some Africans believe that the Black man can hardly contact the virus because of melanin pigment in their veins, which preserves the dark skin. Therefore, for these Africans, the Black man is super strong and has immunes that fight against global pandemics and illnesses. However, with the strictness in lockdown worldwide for a year, many Nigerians and Africans who never believed Covid-19 existed were left to believe in it, hence the use of nose masks.
The nose masks market became a target for most traders. The high demand it continued to attract made it seem like the coronavirus never subsided, and this example is visible in Kano state. Nose masks became the equilibrium product of that time; demand, supply and price at active points.
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reported that the total Covid-19 cases in Kano remained at seventy-three from 22nd of April to 24th of April, during the initial stage of the outbreak. These infection statistics remained at seventy-seven from the 25th of April 2020. However, there was no report from the 25th to the 27th of April 2020. This caused a gap in the state’s record of the infected and non-infected.
The reactionary steering that emanates after an opinion article is released might be expected as this introduction is achieved. So, what is next?
The rise in theft and immorality is relative; however, what is not relative is the understanding of societal norms and inscriptions. The use of nose masks has increasingly seen to the less spread of the virus. What is, however, not really questioned is the increase in crime and immorality in Kano state following the adoption of nose masks.
It is uncommonly common to find out that cheating in marriages grows by the day in Nigeria. This is because many marriages lack communication, leading to the partners engaging in extramarital relationships. However, this article is not about the reasons why couples cheat on each other, but about the narrative the nose(face)mask pushes in achieving the aim of stopping the spread of the virus.
The population of men who visit Ado Bayero Mall, Kano, is seven times higher than that of ladies. They go to woo ladies. They begin with the “I am married” and end up with “be my girlfriend” or “be my wife”. However, the girlfriend narrative is not pushed to a lady in need of marriage. It is to a lady who wants to have the fun of the relationship.
These men use nose(face) masks to shield their identity. This is not to say they are not helping reduce the spread of Covid-19, but what happened to the disapproval of vast Nigerians in accepting the coming of this virus? So, the concept of maintaining extramarital affairs with nose(face) masks is relatable and, at the same time, unrelatable. It all depends on the aim, be it to help not spread the virus or spread the virus.
The women population at the Mall is exemplary in front of the exit gate. This is because more stern security personnel man the entrance gate, so as a pedestrian or one who has no business with entering, you can only go about daily transactions in front of the exit gate.
Females who stand in front of the exit gate pass coded messages to ladies who pass through. Research showed that your nose(face) mask indicates that you want your identity shielded, so the prototype is “shielding your face is a sign that you are in for some business transactions”. This caused some people to halt the use of facemasks except during the entrance of the Mall. This is to kill the notion that they want their identities hidden from some actions they might not be proud of to be seen doing.
Since shyness is part of faith, there is a need to be shy in welcoming transactions that people will stigmatise. However, this is done in the Covid-19 era, and it makes it more serious as we need to curb the virus.
“I seek for a lady that I will take home as I am into women only. Are you game?” This was a question from a woman in a car on nose(face) masks to one of the researchers.
Over time, phone snatching and theft have increased in crowded and isolated areas of Kano state. The increase in phone snatching shows the negative side of nose(face) masks. Some of these perpetrators use nose(face) masks to shield their identities. This helps them curb the spread of Covid-19, of course, but also helps put people in despair over the loss of their treasured asset – their smartphones.
The preventive measures of Covid-19 in Kano have grown more serious as the count of infected people has reduced due to the massive increase in the purchase of nose(face) masks. But then, what about hand sanitisers to match up with this patronage? Personal research discovers that hand sanitisers have gained a decrease in demand. This is to say that the hand sanitisers market does not match up in equilibrium with the purchase of nose(face) masks anymore.
It is important to know that this article should help share the “use nose masks” tag, but the writer will not support the use of the masks while the market of hand sanitisers continue to grow low. So, there is a need to encourage hand sanitisers while the increase in the nose(face) masks increases.
Hussaina Sufyan Ahmed wrote from Kano via firstname.lastname@example.org.