On Wednesday, the much-talked about Chinese doctors or medical team, finally arrived Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Fifteen in number, the medical personnel stepped down from the Air Peace commercial aircraft, which did over 15 hours non-stop flight from Beijing, China, to Nigeria, wearing face masks. The doctors came at the request of the Federal Government. They came with medical supplies for the fight against coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19.
As the Chinese medical team lined up at the tarmac of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as if they were waiting for a firing squad, one could not but remember the controversy that trailed their coming. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had pointedly described their invitation as embarrassing to Nigerian doctors, lamenting that the Federal Government did not consult it before taking the decision to invite the Chinese.
The NMA, in a statement by its president, Francis Faduyile, declared: “It is a thing of embarrassment to the membership of the association and other health workers who are giving their best in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic under deplorable working conditions, and a fragile health system to be subjected to the ignominy of not being carried along in arriving at such a decision.”
Saying, more or less, that experience had shown that Chinese doctors do not have the magic wand as “the spike in cases and the death toll from COVID-19 in Italy coincided with the arrival of the Chinese in the guise of offering assistance,” the NMA said the invitation to the doctors was “ill-timed and of no overbearing significance, considering that whatever experiences the Chinese have can be shared by digital technology through conferencing.” Other organisations equally condemned the coming of the Chinese doctors, as some Nigerians, individually, appear ill at ease that doctors from China were invited, in the midst of many conspiracy theories relating to coronavirus.
Opposition to the coming of Chinese doctors to Nigeria as the country fights coronavirus were expected. Since the coronavirus disease started in Wahun City, in China, and spread to many other countries, many things have been said about China, although without any tangible proof. The social media has been awash with essays accusing China of “manufacturing” coronavirus as a biological weapon against the rest of the world. There was also the social media allegation that China exported coronavirus-infected clothing and medical supplies to other nations to stimulate spread of the disease. As it is, China and its people are now being looked at by the world with suspicion. They are under the guillotine of the social media.
Incidentally, it is not only China that is in the eye of the storm as coronavirus wreaks havoc across the world. William Henry Gates III (Bill Gates), the United States business mogul, software developer and investor, has also been put on the cross over coronavirus. The 5G (fifth generation) wireless communication networking technology has also been crucified. Indeed, the 5G network and its advocates-cum-financiers have been ascribed to the end-times prophecy, wherein the “Mark of the Beast” would manifest. Social media information has it that coronavirus was caused by radiation from 5G, which would force people to accept a “rogue” vaccine through which a chip would be implanted in people, which would become the “Mark of the Beast.”
Indeed, so many funny things have been associated with coronavirus that there are fears and confusion all over. Proponents of the conspiracy theories are alleging that coronavirus signals the end times. In fact, many who have read stuff on social media have been mortally afraid, with some saying they would now put their lives in order, preparing for paradise, as the world would end soon. As we can see, a disease with no known cure has brought spiritualism into the fray.
Well, if there is any good thing coronavirus has brought to the fore, it is the consciousness that, one day, the world would come to an end, as the scriptures say and the fear of the end-times. Nigerians, who had been described as the most religious people on earth, are seriously thinking and talking about the end times, as if they know when it would actually come. However, from what is happening, it is obvious that people of all tribes, races and creeds are not ready for the end times. The way the conspiracy theories and end-time brouhaha have been dismissed has shown this. Many people who are angry with the association of 5G networking with coronavirus, end times and “Mark of the Beast” call it hogwash. Some others say those who see 5G as evil and enjoy the benefits of 3G and 4G are stupid. Yet others say the theory does not make sense. Whatever it may be, what is clear is that superstition has no place in science.
Well, what I have found amusing in the whole controversy is the way people who see the effort to link 5G networking and coronavirus are reacting. I read comments on social media, where people said nobody should send to them any WhatsApp message on 5G and coronavirus. Why not? It is part of the frenzy of social media. People talk and post nonsense on social media, as part of socialisation and information dissemination. They should enjoy the abuse. While I am not an advocate of the theories linking 5G networking, coronavirus and “Mark of the Beast,” I share the sentiment of Femi Fani-Kayode, who wrote in his “5G, God’s General and the Hordes of Mordor” thesis: “You may disagree with them but do not insult or condemn them because no one sees or knows it all. We only see in part.” No knowledge is useless. It may not make sense, but it may not be totally useless, even if it is for the nuisance value.
In the midst of the coronavirus controversy, as it may relate to the end times, what is clear is that, owing to man’s stiff-necked unbelief, as shown already in Nigeria and other countries over 5G networking versus coronavirus, whenever the end times eventually come, many would be caught napping. Just like people did not believe Noah, in the Bible, when he asked his family and kinsmen to enter the ark he built in dry season, so would people not believe whatever signs preceding the end times.
Having said that, I find it rather strange that those who love 5G, whose reason no logic can prick, are pretending to be averse to the negative effects of this technology, like other technologies associated with high frequency or electromagnetic fields (EMF). The 5G technology is the bomb in communication and connectivity. It involves “higher speeds, larger channels, and the ability to sync several devices from one location.” There is certainly a connection among radiation, communication frequencies and electromagnetic fields. While radiation is “the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles, which cause ionization,” an “electromagnetic field is a field of force that’s generated when charged particles, equivalent to an electric field, such as electrons, are accelerated.” Radiation is for good and bad effects. As a long essay on medicalnewstoday.com says, “radiation is used in medicine, to generate electricity, to make food last longer, to sterilise equipment, for carbon dating of archeological finds, and many other reasons,” it warned: “When these particles come into contact with organic material, such as human tissue, they will damage them if levels are high enough, in a short period of time. This can lead to burns, problems with the blood, gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular and central nervous system, cancer, and sometimes death.” Simply put, the higher the radiation spectrum and the longer exposure to it, the higher the risk. The question is: Does 5G technology have any link with radiation?
If radiation and EMF were not harmful, why are people advised to stop using cell phone for long periods of time, and to keep smartphones and tablets at least five to 10 feet away from them, for instance? Why then is personal protection equipment (PPE) necessary, if radiation were not harmful? There may not be a proven case that 5G technology has something to do with coronavirus or end-times prophecy, but whatever hazard it comes with cannot be wished away.
For Nigerians and coronavirus, effort should dwell on personal and respiratory hygiene and social distancing. Wash your hands with soap and running water regularly. Stand aside from people at least six feet away. Stop handshakes. Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. They are simple rules. Just keep them!