He inserted himself in too deep in the whole issue. Granted he has given much charity for Africa but as I heard him talk, I could see someone with a few hinges missing. You will never know because he is rich. That someone has done well to Africa in the past doesn’t mean their intentions cannot be mad then next time, or perhaps that they can make grave mistakes. I don’t look for conspiracy theories on Gates, but I just listen to what he has to say and watch his body language. The first time I heard him speak when this Covid broke out, I concluded he was angry with Africa, Nigeria in particular. It could be that he is frustrated that he had spent much here with little results. Some of his funds were also serially embezzled especially in Nigeria. But the more I listened to his subsequent interviews the more alarmed I became. He is not just angry with the Nigerian government but all of us. He can no longer stomach our tardiness. He is also angry with the way the world has turned out and will want to make some immediate changes. Nobody should underestimate the influence of a single man who in some quarters is known as the world’s most important doctor, even though he is not a medical doctor. His investments in health alone, grants him the respect of global leaders. But also, everybody needs checks and balanced at the end of the day. And it seems, that with all the sponsored simulations and investments in vaccine companies, we are dealing with someone with insider information or a dangerous monopoly. His prognosis on Africa – delivered in between chuckles, smirks and smugness, is dire. At best he believes millions will die while we wait for 18 months for vaccines to be ready. And when ready, we have to get rich nations to sponsor the vaccines for us. In the interregnum between when the vaccines are ready (and he has invested in all the companies that could produce them), he believes countries like the USA should not allow people from Africa in, except if we can show a certificate (of vaccination), which will be introduced. I don’t know by whom.
THE VALUE OF CULTURE
You don’t have to agree with me on Gates’ power. However, he is being sought for his opinions on this more than anyone else on earth today – certainly more than any president. Billions tune in to hear what he has to say, and billions revere his every word. I used to, until this incidence. Now, I think something is off. In spite of his visits to Africa, is there any possibility he suffers from something we don’t know? What if? A mere OCD will do – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Those guys love their things to be in a certain way. They hate filth. They hate disorder. Gates is almost certainly borderline genius and most geniuses are a bit autistic, which also ties with OCD in a way. Anyhow, anyone can check the threads that run through his interviews. Just two days ago, it was an interview titled ‘The World Will Change Forever After Covid’, granted to the Editor-in-Chief of LinkedIn. Now, forever is a long time and I believe forever is too large to give away without negotiation, even in the face of a pandemic. What more? Gates says schools and factories may resume after a stretch of time, but he doesn’t see why restaurants should ever be full again. He sees no reason behind stadiums, and all those contact sports. Thousands of careers could be over in that realm. Forget about bars and nightclubs. Given his oversized influence on WHO and CDC, and of course every government in the world – especially in Africa – is Gates imposing his opinion on humanity? As I visited the local market here yesterday and suddenly I began to realize the importance of our culture, warts and all. I have proposed, that we try and seize the moment to achieve broad reforms, but we have to be wary of altogether dumping our cultures for what a single billionaire thinks is the only ideal way of living. In sociology there are no perfect cultures. For example, the US Democrats are supporting Gates and the WHO push, in a bid to rid of Trump. But the last time they were there, they were pushing a global same-sex culture. Are we walking into a trap with this singularity of culture business? I see this as a chess game. We have to see the end from the beginning – or at least the middle. And we have to consider all sides of the arguments and all possibilities. Gates has softened his rhetoric a little in the past week, due to criticisms, but intelligent people will see what he has achieved already.
DEAD AFRICANS ON THE STREET
Anyone can proffer anything they want actually, but when people make statement like there will be dead bodies on the streets of Africa, it is time for Africans themselves to band together and do something. First it is important to push that rhetoric away else someone uses that as opportunity to do something crazy. But it is also important to organize ourselves around the things that matter, and use our own intelligence to try and solve our problems. As I have stated earlier, our solution here may not lie in ventilators and hospital beds and test kits. We could as well treat every case of bad flu as COVID19 in Africa, but lean more on the therapeutic drugs (Chloroquine/Azithromycin etc). We have no time here to slice and dice like the Americans are doing, resisting drugs that many tests around the world have shown to be marginally effective. We must position ourselves, to tackle this disease first from our homes, to the primary health care centres to the general hospitals and onwards. Every medical doctor in Nigeria must know what to do, and as much as possible, get the right Personal Protective Equipment for their work immediately – or improvise. This is not the time to rue our fate and complain about what we have not achieved in the past. This is not the time to abuse and curse government. It is not the time for politics. It is not the time to remember how useless the Nigerian Medical Association is, as some are doing. We have none other but our medical doctors, and our sitting government, at this time. We must make the most of them, and assist them where we can. I have placed bets that our people will not die by the millions, and well, for now, I am winning – even though regrettably there is no monetary value attached to those bets. My theory is that something inhibits the spread of Covid in Nigeria, or more accurately, the morbidity attached to it here. It may be our conditioning over decades, or that the way we treat flu is more proactive, or that we self-medicate, or that we have local remedies that work. For sure, every Nigerian knows that we are likely to have thousands of COVID 19 patients in Nigeria by now, many of whom escaped through the cracks in a society where body contact is rife. But we are not seeing unusual deaths in our communities arising from respiratory issues, at least not yet. In all these, millions of our people live in conditions that will shame Covid 19! How can we help those environments without necessarily oppressing those hapless people? Where is our policy on housing, environment, education, water, health and the things that really matter towards humanizing our people? We must never let a disaster go to waste. Milton Friedman, a proponent of Disaster Capitalism, made it clear what nations can achieve in a time like this. I may not agree with all his postulations though.