Uncertainty

So much uncertainty; on all sides, death is pressing.

Nothing about this year has been normal. Feels like the last time we had a normal day was an entire lifetime ago. The news, never positive, has taken an even grimmer turn. What will tomorrow bring?

In Nigeria, we begin or close each day with a new death, or rumours of death. Some prominent figure, once dazzling and imperious, now rendered mute by a killer whose name we only learned this Easter. Some gloat. Stupid. You or a loved one may be next.

“Test to death in one week,” someone said today over WhatsApp. How?

Where once the dry nightly statistics issued by NCDC were watched like a sort of daily death league match, stories of dying have seized control of our imaginations. I wrote a post about stories being more powerful that statistics, but goodness, even I wasn’t ready for this.

Where I once scoffed at the garlic and ginger home remedies—now I drink garlic and ginger tea. It can’t possibly hurt.

Uncertainty.

I worry. I worry about being away from my family. Videos which once delighted—a successful experiment with baking scones—now leave me pensive and pondering a dreadful, dreadful question: Will I see them again?

I worry. I worry about my parents far away, cloistered from the world, social distancing. What sort of evil disease hunts people entering the go-easy stage of life? It is one thing to worry about surviving for your young family, it is quite another to ponder the far more concrete possibility of one’s older, more vulnerable loved ones being snatched away. Will I see them again?

Who can answer such questions?

So much uncertainty, so much death, so much fear. Tossed in the currents of this unfamiliar river, we press on holding faith that there is a bank somewhere ahead.