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To love and virus. #Stories4Health

To love and virus

        Written by Jehosheba Abahi

Terry’s lips married mine and formed a coalition, the type that our bodies got so high in pleasure and set in adventure for more. 

The TV was on and the news was huge on the death toll in China as a result of the pandemic, a pandemic called Coronavirus. Well, it all sounded like a script, one too bad to be true and real in a country such as China, where everything is done with due diligence. My attention was partially on the news, while my head was buried in the arms of the man I loved, the man I could never go a day without. Despite a  few times of abuse, I still loved him. All I wanted right now was him, he in me and I in him, exercising the depth and height of our love. Not worrying or panicking about a so-called virus. “I don’t think there is a virus and if there is, China will take care of it and do what it has to do, as it has always done right from historic times,” I said to myself. But the news flipped as Italy’s toll on the virus was skyrocketing so fast. The United Kingdom and the United States were not left out, as they were having a taste of it. Africa also was at the apex of everything, (with conspiracy theories and  anticipated death.)

The kissing between  Terry and I was stopped as a result of the constant buzzing of his phone. 

I focused fully on the news and was perplexed at the way things were now going in Italy and China. However,  my attention shifted when Terry went out to take the call. Terry only takes calls out when he intends to keep something from me. Could it be her, the other woman?. At the thought of that, my phone rang, displaying the caller as uncle Fred. After a long exchange of pleasantries, he asked to see me before the week ran out.

Terry was already back from the call, and just when I was about to start a conversation, the News caught our attention. It announced that the federal government had declared that all public schools and public gatherings will be closed soon, as a case has been confirmed in the nation. Also,  there could be a partial lockdown and a ban on inter-state movement within the nation soonest. It sounded like a joke, like the situation of Nigeria just being Nigeria, trying to play a superhero in another man’s story.

Terry and I didn’t believe the news, we just headed for work, in our usual manner. He didn’t talk about the call; well, I didn’t bring it up. 

At work, a hand sanitizer was made compulsory for everyone to use before entering the building and face masks were shared for everyone. I didn’t know the pandemic was actually this serious, and even though I really didn’t get the reason for using a hand sanitizer and face mask, I just tagged along. A general meeting was held, and we were told that since the organization was not an essential company, we would be closing down temporarily in line with the order from the federal government. 

Okay, that’s reality staring right in front of me. I was happy though, that I would get to rest and spend more time with myself and my relationship.  Perhaps, if I spend more time with Terry, he would stop being abusive. Well, I was happy with him. Heading back home from work, I saw the rush in everyone trying to re-stock just before the market gets closed.

Some businesses were already closing and everything seems to be happening so fast. I couldn’t meet Terry that day, and the day after. He was very busy at work trying to round up everything and structuring things for a smooth work-from-home period.

Hand sanitizer: They are gels that contain alcohol in order to kill the germs present on the skin. The alcohol works immediately and effectively in order to kill bacteria and most viruses. However, face masks help those already carrying the virus from passing it on to others. It could also protect the uninfected from breathing in viruses from a contaminated atmosphere. 

I finally did some online study and wrote those stuff down before I went out to get my own Sanitizer and Face mask. I am just one of those persons that like knowing the reason before doing things, even though I don’t know the reason why I am still dating Terry even after his signs of being really abusive in the future.

The virus was spreading fastly in China, UK, Italy, the US, and almost all the countries of the world were in total lockdown. We already had 89 confirmed cases in my country and a large percentage of them were the big guys who had travelled out. The first case in Nigeria was an Italian man who flew in but was said to be quarantined. The cab driver that drove him from the airport was said to be in hiding and had refused to come out, insisting that unless he was paid a certain amount of money, he was going to spread the virus. Lagos, one of Nigeria’s biggest commercial cities, was already in total lockdown. The capital city would join next and an order was given for a ban on inter-state movement. 

“Hey Tricia, how are you doing?” 

Uncle Fred asked me. I was surprised that despite all that was going on in the country, this side of the capital city where uncle Fred lives, was still  normal. no one was wearing a face mask and life was completely normal.  We exchanged pleasantries and he told me how my parents wanted me home. They had tried talking to me about it, but I refused. He insisted that since work was closed, I should go stay in the family house as my parents had suggested.

I have been refusing the offer because Terry won’t allow me to be in another state different from his, he won’t like it and would never agree for me to go.  I had gotten so used to having Terry around that I don’t think I can stay far away from him.  Fifteen cases of death as a result of the virus have been confirmed already. Hence, I decided to go spend time with family just in case everything finally ends here.  I also miss them so much.  We were still talking when Uncle Amadi came out of the room, I never knew he was in, all along, I was told he was sick and had come to uncle Fred for treatment. Uncle Fred was a law enforcement officer, he only took a few courses on health and spent two years in health school while he was on a leave from work. He wasn’t  qualified to treat people, yet he has been treating people and taking care of sick people ever since he came back from health school, we all knew he wasn’t a qualified health personnel but he could prescribe drugs and give injection and his services were cheaper than going to a clinic or a hospital. I was sure that’s why uncle Amadi was here. Uncle Fred’s wife had gone to the village for burial and their twin children were sent to their uncle’s place for vacation since uncle Fred won’t be able to take care of them coupled with work. I had to travel to my parents house the next day so the interstate ban on movement won’t affect me. I tried reaching Terry several times to no avail. My parents were already calling and a case had been confirmed in my state. I just had to leave the Capital city immediately. 

“Hello, Tricia my Love.” 

Terry’s baritone voice sounded from the other end of the phone. It was exactly 6:00 am in the morning. 


 I responded like someone still dazzling in sleep.

 “I am at the front of your house, come and open the gate for me.” 

At the sound of that, sleep leapt from my eyes.

“Which house? I asked, confused. I am with my Parents.”

“Oh! Let me get this  straight, my girlfriend abi fiancee travelled to another city to stay for an uncertain period of time without telling me.”

He responded in his usual controlling tone.

“Babe, I tried reaching you several times but…”

“But what?” He added quickly, not waiting for me to finish.

“You decided to travel without my consent?” He asked and hung up on me. I called several times, but he wouldn’t take my calls. It seemed like the whole world was coming against me. Terry being angry at me is a state I don’t wish to be in. I had missed him so much. The last thing I wanted right now was  having to deal with him in his angry mood. The electricity supply here was messed up, my battery percent is just 10. If I didn’t get to talk to Terry now, I might not talk to him until the next day. I was still thinking about everything when Uncle Fred’s call came in.

“Hello Tricia, how are you doing?” He asked.

“I am fine.” I replied melancholically.

We spoke for a while, and then I asked, 

“How is uncle Amadi’s fever now?”

“He is not so fine still, the fever has refused to go and he’s been coughing blood with Serious chest pains throughout the night. I will check him when I’m back from work.”

“Wow uncle, that’s serious, I think he needs to go to a hospital.” I suggested.

“Yes, I will be busy at work so I spoke with Joshua, your uncle, to come check on him before I retired from work.”

 Uncle Fred was still at work when he got a call that the hospital would like to see him, he went with all willingness and  was told Uncle Amadi had been quarantined, that his symptoms were that of Coronavirus and that they would examine him too.

Fear, despair and anxiety got hold of Uncle Fred and consumed his being. At first, he never believed the virus was real.

 When Uncle Joshua received a call from uncle Fred, he examined the symptoms and it looked like that of Coronavirus, he called Uncle Amadi.

 He, first of all, denied being sick, as he wasn’t in good terms with Uncle Joshua and didn’t want him to see his vulnerability, but Uncle Joshua called the  Nigeria Center for Disease Control agent. 

He was given an audience  immediately because he was influential. He went with them to Uncle Amadi’s house, who  was then taken to the hospital.

After three days Uncle Amadi’s result was out and he was positive. The news got to the entire family like a wave. The shame, yes, the shame, because the virus was seen as a deadly disease just like, having a family member with HIV AIDS was a big deal in Africa. Uncle Amadi had five children and a vulnerable wife with no job. I think his family’s state without a father will be more pathetic than the state of the virus. It was the weekend and Uncle Fred was quarantined too. His wife refused to go for any examination, insisting that if his (uncle Fred’s) result comes out and he is positive, the virus should have it’s way. 

Fear gripped everyone in the family as Uncle Amadi battled with his life. The doctors found out he was diebetic and also had High blood pressure. His chance of survival was so slim, but everyone was in constant prayer. 

It was a Thursday morning with the sun rising in its peak. The sky was full of its activities like it was not aware of the virus, for nature, everything  just seemed to be okay. The call came just like every other call that comes in, that  Uncle Amadi was dead. His low immune system could not survive the virus. It was a pathetic call from a pathetic voice to a pathetic receiver. I didn’t know so much of Uncle Amadi,  he was one of those uncles that are closely related but relationally far from you. His death  made me cry, I wasn’t sure if my crying was 100% of his death or because it’s been exactly two weeks that I haven’t heard from Terry.

During the  course of four years of our relationship, this was the first time I’ll be staying this long without seeing him nor talking to him. I missed him, oh, how I missed him!. His voice had answers to all my emotional needs. I love him so much and not hearing from him was tearing me apart gradually. But again, it was drawing me close to reality. Terry has hit me twelve times all through the  relationship, even though he always had a good reason. But, is there any reason so good enough to hit a woman? The distance and situation were making me analyze what I called love with Terry. The receiver of the pathetic call was too emotional to ask if uncle Fred’s result was out…

 “Hey mama, how about Uncle Fred?  is his result out?”

 I asked in the midst of tears trying to get a good reason not to be too sorrowful. 

I decided to call Uncle Fred myself. He informed me that he was still in quarantine and he was told his test samples were missing and he would have to be examined again. 

Well, this is Nigeria, a place where everything looks like a joke. The news was spreading that the donation from WHO to Nigeria to curb the spread of the virus was embezzled and that the Minister of Health studied accounting in the University. It was a joke that was everywhere. The chief of staff to the President was already dead as a result of the virus and the President hasn’t addressed the nation yet. Rumours were spreading that he had been infected with the virus as well. The entire nation was in total lockdown: marriage ceremonies shifted, appointment and fellowships postponed.  Everything seems to be on a standstill, not going forward not going backwards. Soldiers were beating people who were disobeying the lockdown orders. it seemed like a treatment in violation of human rights but no one could say anything as we weren’t so sure of what works anymore. Nations were crumbling, the stock market was begging for survival, celebrities were doing donations and giveaways. I think pandemic is a revolutionary season, a revolution period not created by men but created by a kind of force that governs the earth, a season when the system created by Men was being questioned, reinforced and disannulled.

Some companies were taking advantage of it, with their networth increasing, while others were losing everything, it is indeed a period.

I cried myself to sleep that day, I thought about everything from the air around me which I am told now has a virus, to my questionable love life. Was I acting low in life? I questioned my entire being and I started to make decisions. I was going to go for my masters immediately after the lock down, I will change my job location, apply for a transfer and yes my love life, I need to leave Terry, but how was I going to do that?  A question I haven’t seemed to answer. Who can understand me and pamper me as he does? He has been my only relationship. What if I leave him and never get to find another man?

The federal government called for uncle Amadi’s burial that he can’t be transported to the village and only two family members are allowed to come to witness the burial, and they would be dressed in full protective clothing.

We all awaited Uncle Fred’s result. Uncle fred was deeply emotional, he couldn’t see his children, neither his wife, the children were calling and asking when he’d  come. However, he had no answer to it.  He regretted the day he started practicing health science because that was the only reason he was in this mess.  Everyone blamed him for not getting a full detail of coronavirus. His entire household and neighborhood was fumigated by the federal government’s Disease control agents.


my mum answered from the other end of the call.

The caller burst into tears and we were wondering what was going on.

“It’s me, Fred, the result is out and I am negative.”

How? Our Joy knew no bounds as the news spread into the family like a wildfire. Uncle Fred called everyone apologising  for every wrong that he had ever done, claiming that  he had never been this close to death and the fear of it in his entire life. He finally reunited with his children and his wife. 

It was a happy day for everyone and uncle Fred represented the family at Uncle Amadi burial.

I also finally made my decision. I left Terry. He gave me eleven missed calls when he saw the break-up message I sent him. I think love is a virus, a virus that can blind  you from seeing the wrong in the person you love. A virus that can affect your decision. Sometimes we need a virus like this pandemic to understand what love truly is and to understand what really works for humanities.

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Written by Jehosheba Abahigocho Abu (0)

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