The spread of the novel coronavirus has not stopped as we evidently see in daily reports issued by the The Ministry of Health and The Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC). However, we also know that the spread and infection rate would have been much more catastrophic, if not for the compulsory 1-month lockdown directive of the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states respectively, given by the presidency. Also, recent updates have the governors of all remaining 33 states join the mandatory lockdown.

Nigeria, with well over 200 million people, is Africa’s most populous nation, with about 20 million or more people residing in the megacity of Lagos.
Streets of Lagos

Lagos being the commercial hub of the nation has been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 ravaging the world, much largely due to its population density. As a nation’s commercial hub, Lagos boasts of hundreds or thousands of business, ranging from small scale businesses to multi-bational conglomerates, whom have all been hit by the effects of the pandemic and the consequent lockdown.

A vast majority of the business in Lagos consists of Micro, Macro and Small businesses, which are owned and run by the lowest or lower earning classes of Nigerians, and whose income is solely based on daily earnings. These earnings come from hawking home essentials, food, other consumables, clothing items such as shoes, bags, belts, floor mats, hats, wristwatches etc,

Hawkers in Lagos traffic
Besides hawking, other forms of daily income earning involved menial jobs like vulcanizing, car wash services, barbing / hairdressing salons, restaurants (mama-put), petty trade, public transport services etc.

The unfortunate thing now is this; with the lockdown in Lagos State, all major streets across the entire state are deserted, which has resulted in most or all of these people being out of jobs, and their source of income obliterated. This begs the question, how are these Lagosians surviving? This is a question we do not have an answer to, but your guess is as good as ours.

Apart from the low earning Lagosians, the middle class and higher class Lagosians are also feeling the brunt of this lockdown, one way or another. the streets being empty, and people are stuck in their homes, which is another form of psychological and mental turmoil. Humans generally were not originally designed to be sedentary, and the inhabitants of Lagos were a particularly busy and active bunch. Now, that is gone and it is not funny.

When the lockdown was initially announced, another way Lagos people reacted was; Panic Buying.

For those who could afford to, panic buying was a major response to the lockdown announcement. Shopping malls, marts, supermarket, stores and shops were descended upon by Lagosians who needed to stock up for the “apocalypse”, and in a matter of days, many shops were completely laid bare, and some malls were left with aisles and aisles of empty shelves.

As the lockdown continues, it is difficult to tell what will become of all Lagosians (The poor majority and the 1% of the 1% Bling Lagosians)

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