The Corona virus has become an unprecedented attack on the totality of the health of human which includes spirit, soul and body. The disease, COVID-19 has continued to spread across people, communities, and nations. According to the World Health organization, the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the fastest spreading outbreaks in the history of mankind which originated in Wuhan China and has spread across the globe within some few months through human to human interaction. This has led to many recommendations such as hand washing, social distancing and use of personal protective equipment especially for health risk workers across the globe.
In Nigeria the situation is no different. So far, some states in Nigeria have reported confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus. The spread of COVID-19 in South-east Nigeria, has brought about various behavioral changes and introduction of new life patterns. The affected communities have experienced panic and high anxiety levels with associated health risks fuelled mostly by inaccurate information in the news and social media. In addition, majority of the Anambra State indigenes are involved in economic activities that require daily revenue from transactions of buying and selling of goods, the ‘’stay at home order’’ issued by the Anambra state government similar to actions taken by other states in Nigeria as well as international governments, will without doubts impact of the daily income and source of livelihood of state residents further promoting fear of economic breakdown, and food insecurity due to the sudden surge of food prices resulting from panic buying and over-stocking. Consequently, the mandatory self isolation and lockdown of commercial activities imposed by government may not be effectively observed in many parts of the state. Additionally, due to the faith and spiritual-based approach to many life’s issues, most indigenes of the state may also ignore the stay at home order to attend churches and other faith-based gatherings.
These lack of social distancing, misguided ways of the disease spread, the new demands of constant washing of hands, wearing of face masks and hand gloves, and the use of sanitizers which has become unaffordable based on escalating prices has added to the increasing misinformation on identified cases and deaths from COVID-19. All these combined factors have placed majority of the population into a high level of frenzy that can trigger further mental and physical health risks. However, there has been little or no reported activities from insurgencies, security conflicts in the state and the nation; we are yet to learn of any positive environmental effects, because the stay at home order are yet to start as of the time this article was sent. And, we shall observe whether the lockdown will be done within the fundamental human rights.
The NCEHR researchers, within an ecosocial and equity lens, will look at the “behavioral changes following the COVID-19 in Anambra State, South East Nigeria” using a convergent mixed methods research design. The study will incorporate the knowledge of the COVID-19, risks perception and their impacts on attitude and practices towards the disease. This will be part of our ongoing research activities.
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