Surviving Covid-19, living with its stigma

March 26, 2021

Adam Alkali

Misinformation continues to intensify prejudice against survivors of the coronavirus in Nigeria; they continue to suffer from a wide-range of discriminations – being ostracized by their families, profiled in their communities as well as facing cyberbullying

A security guard administers hand sanitiser to a visitor to a state hospital in Lagos, on February 28, 2020. Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images

Under the cover of the enveloping darkness over Lagos, the slim, tall and brown-skinned lady in her mid-30s wandered along the iconic 12km-long Third Mainland Bridge, apparently looking for the best spot to carry out a mission she had contended with for many days now: jump into the lagoon and end her life for good. Suddenly, out of nowhere in the eerily calm night, a mysterious male voice screamed in Yoruba language: “What are you doing here? No nah. Leave!”

She temporarily halted her mission, expecting the man, whose appearance was typical of someone insane, to walk away so she would go ahead but the man stayed put! The deadlock will last over one-and-a-half hours during which the weird man even tried to offer her a sachet of ‘pure’ water, in his persistent bid to dissuade her from carrying out her ill-fated mission. “I was there for over an hour waiting for him to leave me and when he didn’t, I decided to leave for home and come back later,” she recalls many months after the unfortunate incident.

Motosinoluwa ‘Tosin’ Afolaranmi, an entrepreneur and creative designer, had been through a lot in the past one year: she lost her job at an event management company in April 2020, contracted Covid-19 same month and got cured of the virus in May but has continued to grapple with its traumatizing consequences including nearly losing her life to suicide.

Read more, MOC

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