Interestingly, the coronavirus pandemic is full of irony. On the one hand, the easiest way to be infected with the virus is through closeness with an infected person; that includes physical contact with the infected persons and surfaces. Yet the lockdown which forces one to stay home – and to be close to the family members – helps to curtail the spread of the infectious virus. If there is something positive about the coronavirus lockdown, it is the fact that it brings families closer than before. Of course, it all depends on one’s definition of “closer.” Physical or emotional closeness? For sure, physical closeness does not always transcend to romantic closeness. For the latter to take place, often, the right mental state must be activated. The coronavirus blues for you.
With the lockdown in place, Family members have never been brought nearer to each other than now. The era of men getting married to the bottle of beer in the bar instead of spending quality time with their wives, children or family member is gone. Not even the beer and bar are happy with the coronavirus, whose fear has necessitated the lockdown, quarantine and lock-up of the once-loyal friends of the beer and bar. Perhaps, the self-quarantine would restore or create at home those lost romantic feelings amongst couples. But more often than not, the mental state must be right before the romantic closeness takes place.
Historically, Africans have lost faith in their leaders, who have failed to lead them to the promised land. That failure has given religious charlatans the golden opportunity to step into the leadership vacuum created by the political leaders. As expected – though unacceptable, it is – most African political leaders have left their citizens stranded during this coronavirus lockdown. The failure has forced the citizens to place their hopes for the economic salvation, on their religious leaders. But it is when the wind blows that you will see the ass of the chicken. Even religious leaders have equally shown their real identity. Now that the so-called men and women of God have failed to “cast out” the coronavirus demon, talk less to cleanse the problems of the loyal and lucrative followers and bring them success, prosperity or good health, which these religious leaders have always promised their followers, many Africans have come to realise that they are simply on their own as they try to survive during the coronavirus crisis.
The reality on the ground shows that the present lockdown will not come with more pregnancies and births as some have predicted. Definitely, not when the biting lockdown has locked up the romantic feelings. Lack of food, money, job and foggy future, all paint an unpleasant picture and create an uncomfortable condition for romantic closeness. No sane person would rather spend their hard-earned money on contraceptives like a condom. Nor would any reasonable person rather take a risk of having more children they hardly can take care of during the lockdown, while every family is struggling to have a loaf of bread on the table for the day.
It is when one is mentally relaxed, that those romantic feelings start flowing. One needs the daily bread to bring back the quarantined romance. A story had it that one day, a man saw a prostitute standing on the street and became immediately attracted to her romantically. He started showering her with “I love you” romantic expressions. The poor realistic prostitute turned to him and murmured “Will I eat love?”
With the lockdown in place, coupled with little or no help from African governments to support many desperate families who are struggling to survive the crushing reality of the lockdown, many Africans have soon realised that romanticism and rationality sometimes go hand in hand. Call it the Coronavirus blues, if you like.