In December 2019, the first wave of COVID-19 started in the Chinese town of Wuhan. Nineteen months later, the virus has spread to over 220 countries and territories all over the world. By July 28, 2021, over 4 million people have died globally, and about 195 million people infected.
Nigeria has over 171,000 cases and lost more than 2,000 people to the virus during this period. Also, during the COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians suffered both socioeconomically and healthwise. No one wants to return to that period.
The pandemic has been a difficult period for everyone. But the COVID-19 vaccines have been a bright light in an otherwise dark tunnel.
However, if we are not careful, the COVID-19 third wave can overturn all the progress we have made. Already, within the last month, there has been a spike in the number of daily cases. From 35 infections (June 26, 2021) to 404 (July 27, 2021).
Why Is The Third Wave Happening?
This spike in the number of cases is fueled by the Delta Variant of COVID-19 -a mutant version 4 times more contagious than the initial coronavirus that started the pandemic.
So, without a doubt, the third wave has the power to roll back the progress we have made and take us back to life in lockdown.
Luckily, there is a lot that you can do to help prevent that.
What You Can Do To Stay Safe From The Third Wave of COVID-19
To stay safe from the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, you need to get vaccinated. Getting the vaccine is the most powerful action you can take now to ensure your safety. The AstraZeneca vaccine currently available in Nigeria will protect those who receive it from having severe forms of COVID-19. It will also offer them some level of protection against the virus, making it harder for the vaccinated people to contract COVID-19 when compared to the unvaccinated.
About 3.4 million Nigerians have received the vaccine so far, and this number represents only 1.7% of our total population. If you have not received it, you should do so as soon as possible.
Wear Your Facemask
Vaccinated or not, you still need to wear your facemask when you are in public, using the bus or attending an event. Facemasks remain crucial to help reduce the spread of the virus from infected people to the uninfected. The vaccinated are protected against life-threatening COVID-19, but they can still spread the virus if they contact it. Also, the unvaccinated must wear their face masks to stay safe, seeing as they do not have the protection conferred by the vaccine.
Maintain Social Distancing & Avoid Large Gatherings
It is just as vital to keep a physical distance of 2 meters from the next person as it was at the start of the pandemic.
Avoid large, crowded gatherings to avoid increasing your risk of contracting the virus. Because you may find it hard to practice social distancing in such places.
Wash Your Hands
You’ve probably grown tired of being told to wash your hands. But research has shown that just by practising handwashing well, you can reduce the rate of infections by up to 50%. Soap, running water, willing palms, and a song (you can hum the ‘Happy Birthday song twice) to ensure you’ve spent at least 20 seconds washing your hands, are all you need.
The journey might seem slow, but we have made more progress and are more prepared than when COVID-19 first hit.
As the government makes efforts to ensure that all Nigerians get vaccinated, you can play your part in keeping those around you safe.
Also, if you have any flu-like symptoms, you can speak to a doctor here to evaluate your symptoms.
There is a lot you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the virus. Don’t hesitate. Start acting now.