Project Safe Up: Here’s Why You Still Need To Be Truly ‘Anti-COVID’

Some students of Orisunbare, Lagos, wearing the Project SafeUp masks

The end of this long year is approaching, and COVID-19 is still very much present; the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide is well over 72 million — and counting! Over 73,100 of those cases have been diagnosed in Nigeria, with over 24,000 in Lagos alone! On Thursday, December 11, 2020, Nigeria recorded its highest number of confirmed cases in a single day — 796!

But, if you walk through the streets of Lagos, or any state in Nigeria, you may wonder if this is the same state place with all those high figures. Parties are waxing stronger, hugging has resumed with full gusto, and people seem to have forgotten what a mask is. Wow!

So, just in case you forgot, here are five reasons why we must remember that we are in the middle of a pandemic and we STILL need to be vigilant and remain protected against COVID-19:

  1. COVID-19 Can Kill:

Just in case the numbers have evaded you, over 1,000 people in Nigeria have died due to complications from the COVID-19 virus since March. Yes, it may seem small in comparison to other countries with higher case figures, but one death is one too many. These were people’s loved ones — mothers, fathers, aunts, children, grandparents. So, we need to be smart and remember that the virus can and does kill. The best way to prevent this is to not to contract it in the first place.

Side-profile of the Project SafeUp mask on a student of HLA, Oyo State

2. Ignoring Will Not Help:

Simply ignoring a problem will not make the problem go away. We need to gear up, literally, to fight against this virus that threatens our lives and those we love. Coronavirus is extremely real and poses a great risk, you can only protect yourselves by making sure you wear masks and face shields constantly; maintaining social distancing at all times; avoiding large crowds and gatherings; and washing your hands as often as possible.

3. E No Dey Show For Face:

If we must break it down to pidgin, then we shall.

Not everyone who contracts the virus is symptomatic — which means that some people may contract the virus and not exhibit the telltale signs of cough, fever, fatigue, etc. So, between contracting the virus and falling ill, these people can potentially infect multitudes!

Research Lead Project SafeUp , Mr. Mayowa Odeyemi, distributing the face masks to the students on the assembly ground of Saint David, Osun State

4. Post-COVID Survival Is A Struggle:

Yes, some COVID-19 survivors return to ‘normal life’. Yet, many are left with long-lasting symptoms and health problems. There have been studies that show that some COVID-19 survivors have abnormal lung functions up to three months after discharge. Do you really want to gamble with your life?

5. There Is Free PPE Available:

Taiwan has connected one of the reasons behind its relatively low COVID spread to the use of PPE materials.

In January, after Taiwan contacted the World Health Organization (WHO) and received no guidance, the country began acting with speed. It banned travellers from infected areas, began mass-manufacturing PPE, and created a highly accurate diagnostic test.

Here in Nigeria, My World of Bags — in partnership with Mastercard Foundation — has launched Project SafeUp, an initiative that plans to provide 2.5 million PPE items, including reusable masks, face shields, gowns, shoe covers and head covers, to medical professionals and the general public. They will distribute all produced PPE free-of-charge in Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti, Lagos and Osun states until March 2021.

So, you need to do all you can to stay safe, so that next year, when we are popping champagne because global COVID cases have stayed at zero for a whole month, you will be joining in on the celebration, and not receiving a candlelight tribute.

Be safe!

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