Why social distancing won’t work for us

OluTimehin Adegbeye

De Correspondent | Keep a distance from each other. Work from home. Or rely on a social safety net. The measures against the coronavirus pandemic are made by and for those parts of the world that can afford to retreat in individualism. But for millions of people in cities like Lagos, Nigeria, there’s no such thing as socially distancing yourself.

I have been indoors for almost two weeks with my daughter, her nanny and her nanny’s sister. There are things in my pantry that I’ve never bought before, such as disinfectant wipes, refillable bottles of hand sanitiser and a small stash of masks.

Armed with short videos from news outlets, I have terrified my household into compliance with a social distancing regime that is only just now beginning to gain any kind of popularity in my city. But I’m slowly coming to the realisation that the fear I’ve been feeling in the past two weeks is not exactly my own.