Who would have believed that a virus could shut the whole world down for months?
Believe it or not, Coronavirus is here and we must learn to accommodate it!

The news of the spread of the Coronavirus seemed an irrelevance to many Nigerians in November 2019. Then, it was a white man’s virus to an average Nigerian. Even when the news came that there were few cases in Nigeria, many of did not believe it. How could a white man’s disease affect a black man? However, when it was declared a pandemic in March, it became a fact. The majority of Nigerians did not still believe it until the news of its carnage spread like wildfire. Then reality dawned on us.
The world has been far from normal since the outbreak of the virus- worst that has struck humanity this century. The number of cases, which keeps rising daily, corroborates this. As at 27th February, 2021, the number of cases worldwide has risen to 114 million of which 64.3 million have recovered and the number of deaths have risen to 2.53 million. In Nigeria, the total number of cases, according to NCDC, is 155,417 of which 133,329 have been discharged and 1,905 recorded dead, sadly.
The first case of the virus in Nigeria was discovered in late February, 2020 and a nationwide lockdown was declared the following month. Schools, markets, religious centers were closed. All forms of social gatherings were banned by the government. All in a bid to contain the virus.
The virus has caused students to be forced out of the school hostels. Those who should go for IT and teaching practice could not go, while some departments could not finish their examinations. The whole country was brought to a standstill for many months.
Indeed, the virus has caused a lot of setbacks and is still posing as a threat. However we must not allow the setbacks to set us back as a nation and as students. We must continue to weather the storm just as we have done after so many months. Although the lockdown has been lifted, there is a need to be very careful as the number of positive cases keeps rising. While going about our daily activities, we must bear in mind that this is the new normal and we must embrace and settle in this new normal.
The university has devised a new system of learning–the Virtual learning system- where students receive lectures via the internet. The university had to devise this mode of learning as a means of surviving and thriving in this new normal. The virtual learning mode is going to come with some challenges. However we must not allow these challenges to limit us. We must pull through! Some of the challenges we are likely to face are:
Electricity Supply: Power supply in Nigeria is not what it should be as the PHCN is not reliable.
Data: Some students may have issues at one time or the other with acquiring data to access the online classes.
Social Media Addiction: During the period of the pandemic, many students got addicted to social media as it became their major company.
Network: In Nigeria, network can sometimes be frustrating. Even the so called 4G sometimes disappoints. Maybe now is the time we need the 5G network.
Procrastination: “I will do it later…” But later never seems to arrive.
Lack of Motivation: When we were in the school hostels, we were sometimes challenged by our friends and as a result, we sometimes stretch above our limits. We may not have this type of motivation at home.
We may not be able to avoid all these things mentioned above. It is part of the new normal. But we should always remember that the semester is also part of an academic year we will spend in the university. And as a result, how we utilize our time is very important.
As a way of surviving during this period, below are a few steps we can take to mitigate some of these challenges:
First, utilize every opportunity to charge our devices knowing full well that one cannot rely on Nigeria’s epileptic power supply. And if you can afford a power bank, you should get one.
Second, this is also the time to learn some discipline. Set a goal for the semester and stick to it. A good timetable will work well this time. Get your priorities straight! There will be a lot of distractions but you have to discipline yourself to manage them effectively because discipline is the key!
Third, reduce our attachment to social media as well as avoid procrastination. Do not allow your course materials to pile up because before you can say Jack Robinson, the semester is over.
Fourth, be prudent with your data and avoid unnecessary videos and other things that consume data.
Last, create a learning space. It could be a small corner in your room where you have all your materials and you can listen to your lectures and form your notes without distractions.
Now is the time to take our future in our hands. This is a time to be more deliberate and more thoughtful. This is the time to make some very important decisions. This is the time to form good relationships and learn to live a healthier life. This is the time to be our brother’s keepers. This is also the time we have to support one another emotionally, financially, spiritually and even in our studies. I believe we must be prepared to survive this virus that has humbled humanity. And just as we have survived the many others that came before it, we shall pull through this together!
Happy resumption and have a beautiful semester!

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