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Covid-19 Lockdown: Implications on Students

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Adenike Abioye

Humans survival has often been threatened by different plagues since existence.Covid-19 is one of such threats. Covid-19 is a pneumonia-like disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. It was first discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January and a Pandemic on 11 March. The disease is caused by a new coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 which is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus. It causes a respiratory illness with symptoms of cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty in breathing. This disease spreads through contact with an infected person’s droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes openly and an uninfected person touches the surface or object which occupies such droplets and then touches the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The first confirmed case in Nigeria was discovered on 27 February 2020, when an Italian citizen in Lagos tested positive for the virus. A second case was confirmed on 9 March 2020 in Ewekoro, Ogun State, a Nigerian citizen who had contact with the Italian citizen. Presently, we have confirmed cases of 46,577 of which we have 12,446 active cases; 33,186 recovered patients and 945 dead patients. There has been a worldwide exponential increase in the number of infections and casualties. Worldwide, there are 19,792,519 confirmed cases of which we have 7,001,553 active cases; 12,060,877 and 730,089 deaths in 188 territories. There is currently no standard vaccine or cure for Covid-19.

The preventive measures against this virus include frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing; avoiding touching the face if hands are not clean and avoiding close physical contact otherwise known as social distancing. People experiencing ill-health are encouraged to self-isolate to prevent being infected due to low immunity. Social distancing is one of the preventive methods adopted to reduce closeness of contact between people in order to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus. When social distancing started in Nigeria, mass gatherings were canceled, congregated settings, where large numbers of people spend extended hours in close proximity, were closed down and citizens were informed to maintain approximately distance of six feet or two meters from each other.

On the 29th of March 2020, President Muhammad Buhari announced a lockdown of major cities severely hit by the coronavirus. He ordered a ban on social and economic activities and gatherings of people in cities affected which include Abuja, Lagos, Ogun state due to its close proximity to Lagos state and surrounding cities to curb the spread of the virus. Some state governments also ordered a lockdown at this same period which led to schools being closed down including tertiary institutions. Hence, the lockdown has affected students in many ways, both positively and negatively.

Lately, there have been more of social networking by students due to their ability to connect to their colleagues in school. They have made use of dedicated websites, applications, or platforms to interact with other users who share similar personal or career interests, activities, background, or real-life connections. The existence of such a platform has helped to facilitate the building of a network of contacts to exchange various types of content online. It has enabled some students to gain more knowledge pertaining to Information technology. The Lockdown has enabled students to access a lot of content online by being socially active.  It has enabled students to learn crafts by checking out the myriad crafting communities on YouTube and Instagram for ideas.

Students have found diverse means to earn even while at home. Some engage in operating mobile kitchens which involves making deliveries of meals to people at their doorstep, some work as logistics, some students who are tailors make face masks for sale. These are some productive things students engage in during this period. Some have created online study groups with course mates to bring some semblance of normality to their everyday life.

However, there has also been report of Burglaries. The number of people out in the street has come to a near halt, the price of foodstuffs has increased drastically creating an unfavorable condition for students who fend for themselves. This has been difficult for Nigerians as there has been a massive drop in the country’s economy leading to Unemployment. Some youths have taken advantage of this to vandalize people’s place of business.

Psychologically, students can be described as not being mentally prepared to resume due to the fact that the majority lack the urge to study. They are skeptical about how well they will do when school resumes. Students may feel nervous or reluctant to return to school, especially those who have been learning at home for months. Students may also find it difficult to be physically distanced from friends and teachers while at school, they should be encouraged to think about other ways to bond and stay connected. Students should be instructed to follow the safety measures in place to keep students and teachers healthy and they should be aware that they can also help prevent the disease spreading by washing their hands with soap and coughing or sneezing into their elbows instead of openly. There should bemean to maintain academic and social skills, as well as psychological well-being, for students who had academic difficulties before the pandemic hit. This will help to limit delays that they may experience. Institutions will need resources to hire specialists such as special education experts and school psychologists to help support vulnerable students.

 

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Maruf Ajimatihttps://marsteinnews.com
Maruf Ajimati is the Chief Editor of the Marstein News which is aimed at publishing both local and international information in a justified, and accurate manner in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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