NB: THIS IS A SEQUEL. To access the previous episode, click here.
MARCH 27 – LIME AND GINGER
Fear and panic began to spread, not only in Lagos, nationally. With each day, the number of confirmed cases of the virus rose and more states were added to the queue. Already, the first death had been recorded refuting claims circulating the country that Africans had a relatively strong biological immunity against the virus.
Residents in Lagos were the most frantic — they were in the epicentre of the whole horror show. You dare not cough in the streets of Lagos, unless you desire inquisitive looks from passersby.
On March 27, the market and local stores opened for sales between 10AM and 2PM. Ronke left the house an hour early, she got into the market with ease. She went with a list of items needed to feed the family for at least three days. She made haste in order to avoid the impending crowd. She also avoided anyone without a face mask — and anyone with an ugly face — it was as if she moved with microscopic eyes to detect potential virus carriers. Moving from stall to stall, she mentally crossed items that had been purchased, whilst mumbling, “Ẹ̀jẹ̀ Jésù gbà mí là!”
Ronke heard from a friend who heard from an unknown herb doctor that lime and ginger can boost the human immune system. She budgeted to buy a bucketful of these. In the fruit and vegetable stall, she selected the freshest lime and the most nauseating ginger. After all, she wasn’t just the wife and mother in the house; she was also the vigilante and doctor. “If she doesn’t care for the family, who will?”
Ronke had taken precautionary measures to enter the house stealthily. She left the back door open to prevent the kids from welcoming her with embraces, as was their habit. No one noticed when she entered the house; she went straight to the bathroom. She returned to the kitchen ten minutes later and instructed Vincent, her first child, to bring the blender from the store. An unknown herb doctor also told her friend about a particular juice recipe. All Ronke needed was a blender and a bucket of lime and ginger.
When the family gathered for dinner, Ronke served her “homemade lime-ginger juice.” They must drink to the last drop without questions.
©Jonathan Ukor 2020
- “Ẹ̀jẹ̀ Jésù gbà mí là!” (The blood of Jesus saves me!)