The COVID-19 crisis is still with us but life appeared to have returned to a resemblance of normalcy during the week as the Federal Government relaxed the lockdown. People are, therefore, momentarily back on the streets as the government is making great efforts to flatten the curve of the pandemic. Every aspect of life that came to a halt because of the crisis appears to be coming alive again.
Isn’t that a good thing? Well, for some it is; many other Nigerians actually welcomed the easing of the lockdown with trepidations. For this class of people, the battle against the virus is a marathon and the government shouldn’t be too quick to allow people to return to the streets. For others, however, the majority of Nigerians, it doesn’t matter whether the fight is a 100-metre race or a 10-kilometre marathon; all they want is for the lockdown to end.
So, this week, we went to town to find out what your favourite celebs did on Monday and how they responded to the news of easing the lockdown generally.
Sola Fosudo: Actor, LASU lecturer.“I’m coping quite well. It’s not the best of times, but staying safe at home is never too much a price to pay for staying alive. And thank God, the family is together, so it’s not too boring. Though I was in the office on Tuesday, since students are not back on campus, activities cannot be in full swing.
“We have been working, using alternative media to reach out to students and to teach. You remember that the governor directed some weeks back that tertiary institutions in the state should begin online teaching. So, the university had opened an iClass Envivo platform where our prepared lecture slides are uploaded to be accessed by the students.
“All the precautionary measures announced by the government have become a necessary lifestyle adaptations. Regular washing of hands, wearing of nose masks, sanitizing the hands and trying always to observe physical distancing have all become routine activities for me now. Our prayer is that God will intervene and put an end this scary scourge”.
Orits Wiliki: Musician.“Tough very Tough, because some of us don’t just live for ourselves only; there are people who also look up to us. So it becomes very sad when you can’t do much for those who look up to you.”
“It wasn’t a wise thing to do (rushing out because of lockdown); even now l am still locking down.
“What can one do? We all have become Zombies one way or another. I just have to work out a new work and lifestyle. Our lives can never be the same again.
“I will have to take seriously all the guidelines and even more because it’s going to be a very tricky thing because you may not be able to know how serious others are taking it”.
Ara: Drummer .“I didn’t step out because I knew it was going to be a very busy and rough day on the streets of Lagos. I also wanted to study the turnout.”
“Indeed, most people didn’t observe the social distancing rule. What we fear the most might come upon us with the attitude of our people. Self-responsibility is key. I don’t know why this is so difficult to adhere to”.
Sammy Hassan: Poet, filmmaker.“I’ve been coping with meditation, prayer, studying and building my mind while preparing for the direction the world is taking. I’m learning how to manoeuvre the new curve. And yes, I’ve been worrying equally.”
“I don’t see the lifting of the lockdown as a reason to hit the ground running. I think it’s time to test the waters. But yes, as soon as people knew things were changing, I began to get calls so yes, I have resumed but not to business as usual.
“Work would be remotely done, mostly calls; meetings via zoom; broadcasting through IG live; studying online and minimising physical interactions to the barest. We have to be careful.
“Personally, my lifestyle has always been cautious. But mainly, I’m going to maintain social distancing as much as possible and continue with all the other measures already recommended.”
Ayo Balogun: Artist.“I can’t say I’m coping well enough but I live each day as it comes. Initially, I had panic attacks from too much thinking like, how will I cope with everything, especially family demands; not being able to work will affect everything about and around me but I’m gradually settling into the reality of it.”
“I did not resume to the office on Monday as I believe it’s not advisable. We all know that the entertainment industry will suffer more. It will be the last to re-open.
“Social media is all we can use to reach out to only a few of our fans for now.
“The only sensible lifestyle anybody can adopt now is staying at home, be more prayerful; you can only step out if it is very unavoidable. Cut frivolities till this pandemic is over”.
Belinda Effah: Actress, presenter.“I stayed at home because after such a long time being indoors, I must have a purpose for going outside. If we were asked to stay indoors due to the pandemic and then there is ease in the lockdown, does it mean the pandemic is over? If it’s not over, then what’s the motive for going out? I need to understand the direction of things before I step out. People that out have a reason for going out. For now, I don’t. I will wait it out some more.”
Tessy Yembra: Dancer, trainer.“It has been a situation where I have had to use all my wit to manage life. You know, as a socialite and an events compere, there have been no social gatherings and parties where we make our money. I am hard hit right now.”
I have been at home going nowhere. I called my society friends and musicians and they equally said they are at home. No gigs, no parties and no performances. It’s a sad one for our pockets.
“No mosque, no church, no ceremonies, how do they want us to eat and survive? Our foodstuffs bank was exhausted this week. I had to send for more. So right now, we just sleep, wake, eat, sleep again.
“But thank God, my daughter has a shop right in front of our compound, but sales have been poor on the few days it’s opened. Imagine, no wine sales for many weeks now! Only a few people buy juice.
“I miss my friend, the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, and all my friends in Ede. If the senator is alive now, he would have loaded my house with foodstuffs at this time.
“Even after the lockdown, my lifestyle cannot be the same immediately because socials will take some time before they pick up”.
Gloria Doyle: Musician.“The relaxation of the lockdown, to me, is just a test run to see how we get back our lives together after staying at home for weeks. So, it means in going out, we have to be cautious and apply all the protocols. Like they say, it is not over until it is over.”
“I was out on Monday, but I must advise that people should please keep the social distancing rule going on. Then everyone has to stick to the use of face masks. It’s not easy to wear face masks though. We are not used to it.
“Now, we know that we don’t have to stay at work all day; get your assignments and work from home. For once, we have all realised that life is the most important thing”.
Dupe Jemibewon: Socialite, businesswoman.“We are coping well; it’s like a prolonged holiday.”
No, I didn’t resume on Monday; that’s because we are being slightly cautious, and indeed, there’s need to be as this has become the new normal.
“My new lifestyle after this lockdown will involve enjoying the company of close family, sustaining friendship by phone contacts, reducing party attendance and helping the vulnerable in our country, especially in areas of inequality.”