Two weekends ago at work seemed a beautiful day with all the characteristics of a weekend, holding Covid-19 constant. We were all in high spirits going about our business until someone expressed concern that a colleague who went to use the restroom had not returned when she should.
She was found on the floor wreathing in pain and vomiting. We carried her to a well-ventilated area and started administering first aid. “’My head is hot.’ ‘I am cold.’ ‘I can’t feel my hands’” were some of the words she mustard strength to utter as she got more and more unconscious. We were restless not knowing what was wrong.
Our boss had to order the driver to abandon the assignment uptown and return with the vehicle that there was an emergency. As the bus drove into the compound, I had already lifted her from the floor running to its direction. I was expecting to be helped by my colleagues who were in the bus but they all dashed away immediately their feet touched the ground. “Mark (all names in this article are not real names), get in from the other side and help me,” I beckoned to a colleague that had been on the ground. Our boss had a gallon of water put inside the vehicle for us to stabilize her temperature on our way to the hospital.
Michael drove like he had never driven before. Thank goodness the road was relatively free but the ditches were many. Stretched out with her head on Noah’s thighs and her legs over mine, there were moments of tranquility and spasm. With my right hand holding her legs in place my left hand holding her hands giving the necessary warmth she needed. Stop saying what you feel, just call on the name of Jesus only. You will be fine. Nothing will happen to you. Hold on, we are almost there, I encouraged her. I could hear Shade, her buddy sitting beside the driver chanting the name of Jesus.
As we got to the hospital we were quickly ushered into the emergency room with the doctor and his nurses taking charge. The doctor asked what was wrong and Shade told him how she frequented the restroom after having a breakfast of Milo and bread. Her blood sample was taken and she was treated after sedation.
About two hours later she woke up and the doctor came and checked on her saying she had taken poison. “But I warned you guys sometime ago that the N50 Sachet Milo is poisoned,” Michael exclaimed. He then showed us a video on YouTube where a Fulani man, apprehended though, demonstrated how he had been poisoning the beverage and sending it to the East. Despite this revelation, we cannot establish without a proper investigation the source of the poison due to the fact that this environment is rife with food poisoning as a result of the poor sanitary conditions. I have suffered mild food poisoning eating out on three occasions.
As I returned to the office, it was one commendation after another: You are a hero. You should be awarded the employee of the year. God bless you. You surprised me, you wife will enjoy you (funny one). Our boss also expressed his appreciation. I did not see the reason for all these praises until when someone called me and asked, “Are you not afraid for your life; don’t you know there is Corona?”I replied to him immediately, “I can’t stand aside and watch someone die because I want to save my life.”
It now dawned on me the motivation for their behavior from the onset. It’s Corona-phobia! They believed she was infected with Covid-19. This explains why they all ran for cover as I approached the vehicle. Even one of them that knew how to get to the hospital refused to come along, he stood afar to give us the direction. More shocking, on our way home we pulled into the hospital to check on her and only a few of us including our boss went in, the rest stayed put. Throughout the journey home, I marveled at their behavior.
Finally, my purpose for sharing my experience is not to name and shame anyone or to single myself out for glory. I was only one of the actors. Everyone that acted deserves commendation. I just want to let my readers know that true love is giving even our lives for others to live. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan. No doubt Covid-19 is a devastating pandemic but I fear the widespread hysteria will make many victims through loss of love. It was Martin Luther King Jr. that said no one deserves to live if he can’t die for something. We are humans and our survival is tied to our humanity.
Together we shall overcome through love!