Schools, Families and Politics of Covid-19 -By Michael West


Apparently caving under intense pressure, the federal government has agreed to partial reopening of academic activities in schools starting with students in terminal classes in secondary schools. Till now, government is yet to convince the public on its rationale to open economic and political activities while schools remain on lockdown. Nigeria is fond of doing the right thing at the wrong time.

Since schools have been shut in March, academic life, like other sectors, has been in limbo. The worst affected are the teachers in private schools whose salaries have since been stopped and several of them already laid off. For these category of Nigerians there’s no succour coming their way from any quarters. Largely, they didn’t benefiting from the sparsely distributed Covid palliatives. It has been hellish for many of them to survive and feed their families.


Parents appear to suffer double jeopardy from the lockdown. Their children are back home, feeding and living on them as always. Many parents are into education business either as teachers or investors. Education in Nigeria, especially in the south, is considered a family business. And since schools are on lockdown, there’s no income for such families. Consequently, the burden of survival becomes heavier and almost unbearable.

Keeping schools on lockdown for too long is unjustifiable. I appreciate the fact that Nigerian government acted promptly in shutting down schools and other public institutions as a feasible measure to contain the pandemic. In no small measure, this has greatly helped but sustaining the lockdown for too long and beyond its usefulness is where the problem lies. There’re no medical records to validate the notion that children of school age including those of tertiary institutions are under serious threats from Covid-19.

Statistics of coronavirus infections and the causality rate in the United States by age group (Feb.1 – June 17, 2020) shows that school age children between one and 34 years were less than 0.05 percent whereas more than 80 percent of deaths occur in people aged 65 and above. Analysis of the US CDC report states that “one thing that is often forgotten is that people of all ages are dying all the time. Each year, about 2.8 million Americans pass away.” According to the statistics, “deaths in young people (from babies to college students) are almost non-existent.” I used the US data to analyse the situation because it is the most affected with the highest death figures (about 150,000 casualties) among the Covid-ravaged nations.

For many infectious diseases young children are most at risk. For instance, in the case of malaria, the majority of deaths (57% globally) are in children under five. The same was true for the largest pandemic in recorded history; during the ‘Spanish flu’ in 1918, children and young adults were at the greatest risk from the pandemic but reverse is the case in Covid-19 pandemic. Children and youths are largely the least infected with almost nil percentage of deaths.

Of the roughly 1.2 million American deaths that occurred between February 1 and June 17, almost nine percent were due to coronavirus. Below that, the proportion of deaths due to coronavirus fell dramatically. Thirteen children of primary and middle school age (5-14 years) died from COVID-19, but this represented only 0.7% of all deaths in this age group; 1,742 kids died of other things during this same time period.

Checking through the available data on the percentage of Covid-induced deaths across the globe especially in the heavily affected countries, it is discovered that extremely low number of casualties have so far been recorded among children of school age. In Brazil, Britain, France, China and Iran for example, so far, records show almost nil casualty ratios of deaths involving school age children and youths. Back home in Nigeria, the situation is the same and even better.

In Nigeria, it is reported, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that more deaths were recorded among 61-70-year-old. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says people within the 31 to 40 years age bracket are more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus in the country. It, however, said more deaths have been recorded among older people of 60 years and above.

In a report made available to the NAN last week in Abuja, the NCDC said data also showed that “Age 31-40: Male – 797 infected with seven deaths; female – 324 with four deaths but lower mortality compared to older persons,” it said. According to the report, in spite of this, older people die more due to several factors from co-morbidity. The data showed more deaths among 61-70 years, though the lowest rate in confirmed cases. Meanwhile, 11-20 years were infected, with three deaths. Persons under the age of 10 were also infected at lower rates, with one death, which was also a male. In view of the NCDC data, children of school age and the youths are at almost a zero percent of the fatality index. We should not lose sight of the fact that people of different ages die daily but it is speculated that most deaths are now attributed to Covid especially in government hospitals.

The strength of the bubbling, healthy children and young adults lies in their immunity which is stronger than those of adults in their late 40s and above. About three weeks ago, Boss Mustapha, chairman of Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 had warned the youths to stop the spread of the infection saying that they were largely responsible for infecting their parents at home through disregard for safety rules against Covid-19. While the youths are enjoying their stable health condition despite carrying the virus in their body system, their ageing parents are the sufferers.

The youths daily engage in sporting and commercial activities in crowded environments with little or no regard for safety regulations. This is not limited to Nigeria alone. We watch on international television stations across the world where tourist and commercial centres are thickly populated by the youths. Despite the fearsome number of casualties in some the Covid-ravaged countries, they have opened their schools and businesses to restore life back to normal.

The bottom line of the contrived pandemic lies in the economic interests of the pharmaceutical giants, public health stakeholders, New World Order strategists and American politics. It will be naive to wave aside the intensity of politics entrenched in Covid-19 by the world super cabals. Wasting human lives was all they needed to justify the introduction and implementation of anti-humanity agenda to achieve global population reduction, mandatory vaccination and eventual introduction of digital currency which will usher in a New World Order. Caught in the web of the superpower politicking to change the world system is the hapless humanity.

It is sheer insensitivity on the part of government through the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, to contemplate collecting stamp duty on rents. From who? From jobless tenants that struggle to pay their rents? With thousands job losses in Nigeria and millions across the world, from where do FIRS expects pauperised Nigerians to get extra income to pay? Meanwhile, while other countries were doling out palliatives to their citizens in form of debt, rent and mortgage reliefs, months of free power and water supplies in addition to free medical services and stimulus packages for different levels of businesses to stream back to life, none was provided by our government. Rather, we are being treated to daily heart-breaking disclosures of humongous embezzlements of our commonwealth by people in authority. As shameless as the spectacle is, one does not expect the callous idea of stamp duty on rents as it amounts to adding additional burden on the masses of this country. Enough of this nonsense!


“The bottom line of the contrived pandemic lies in the economic interests of the pharmaceutical giants, public health stakeholders, New World Order strategists and American politics. It will be naive to wave aside the intensity of politics entrenched in Covid-19 by the world super cabals. Caught in the web of the superpower politicking to change the world system is the hapless humanity.”



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