Covid-19 is a universal crisis, the outbreak of the virus means different things to different people. While technological industries and pharmaceutical companies see the pandemic as an opportunity to make a profit, others consider the virus to be a bane to their socio-economic activities, the impact of this virus will be lifelong for some people, most especially the poor, orphans, and widows. Despite the fact that covid-19 poses a great threat to the entire world, the virus will surely take a larger turn in the world’s poorest countries like Nigeria. Nigeria is the richest country in Africa is considered one of the top 5 poorest countries in the world.
The pandemic hit the country unannounced, exposing its citizens to life-threatening situations. While the Covid-19 pandemic swept through parts of the United States and China rather quickly, that wasn’t the case for most of Africa, India and the rest of the world. In particular, Nigeria’s poor, orphans, and widows felt the brunt of the pandemic when it invaded the country. Widows who have to bear the emotional brunt of losing the breadwinner of the house to death, unfortunately, had to deal with the psycho-social and economic challenges that the pandemic posed to them. In Nigeria, Covid-19 placed widows in the dilemma of shouldering their personal and the children’s economical needs, without the government coming to their aid. In the case of the poor, Covid-19 stretched far beyond the spread of the disease. It triggered an economic crisis in Nigeria where the livelihood of millions was devastated. Food insecurity emerged, incomes stopped, and the unfortunate consequence of increased domestic violence.
Nigeria, being a fragile state, thus dived into recession just few months after the commencement of lockdown. To talk of the orphans, these are children that are already afflicted, especially those that don’t have the opportunity to get into orphanage homes. Nigeria as a country is full of these children roaming about the streets, most of them are homeless. Covid-19 of course did not come with goodies, most of the children in orphanage homes solely depend on donations.
At the event of this virus, when impediment toward the economy slides in, most people as mentioned earlier had no other source of income and the level of poverty in the country escalated. No one could give, because they didn’t have anything to spare. Some Nigerian citizens feel the challenges faced by these vulnerable set of people (the poor, orphans, and widows) has gone beyond staying safe, they now have to fight other battles like food insecurity, domestic violence, and extreme poverty which tends to be the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several Christian organizations stood up to be of help, restoring hope to the poor, orphans, and widows. For example, one native of a town in Oyo State, Nigeria recounts how his church gave two bags of rice to the widows in the community, while other non-profit organizations came out to supply food to the poor. There are no criteria set for being helped in Nigeria, those who get helped are just fortunate. But almost is never enough. The federal government on the other hand is restricted on its own, running a country in recession and debt is a lot to handle. To set up a welfare system for the poor, orphans and widows will somehow be a miracle. When residents walk the streets every day, seeing the effect of covid-19 on the poor, orphans, and widows is of course disturbing. But the belief of those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ is this – as long as there’s life, there’s still hope and with God all things are possible.