How Coronavirus Consumes Historical Events in 2020
The year 2020 is on a very fast move. As it is said that time waits for no man, the experience of the year 2020 and its stretched lockdown occasioned by the global pandemic caused by coronavirus has become a reality to embrace, and an enigma to live it.
The year is moving, almost every one is either on total or partial lockdown, as businesses are also on stagnation. In the same way religious activities, both for Christian and Muslims have been on lockdown. Since April when the lockdown took its effect, a number of programmes have been virtually consumed by Covid-19.
Many prominent programmes have been suspended, cancelled or partially held, via online transmission, in what is now known and called Virtual Services. We have heard Webinars, we have heard Online Service, and we are now having Virtual Conventions.
Many programmes held in the first quarter of the year might have been very lucky to escape the paradox, but events coming since April have not been all that lucky. Among such historical landmark and programmes was the global celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ which is the hallmark of the Christian faith. In the year 2020 there were no Good Friday services, no Easter Sunday mass, and there was nothing like Easter Monday, the day of the Galilee to symbolise the historic meeting the disciples had with Jesus Christ after His triumphant resurrection. No thanks to coronavirus and its concomitant lockdown.
In the Nigerian context several other monumental events also suffered a deadly blow from the hands of Covid- 19 as there was no room, for massive gathering, and so there was nothing like Workers Day Celebration on May 1, it was celebrated in solitude. May 27, the Children’s Day could not even be mentioned as all schools from nursery to university were under lock and key. Those who might have loved to raise their heads to commemorate May 29, could not do so because of the same reason, and it equally had the same effect on June 12, the newly adopted Democracy Day by President Buhari’s led government.
The muslims also have their own share of the coronavirus denial as they could not gather to do heir congregational prayers, and the end of their fasting obligation. Same for Ileya Id-el-Fitri, and the list continues.
We know many prominent Church programmes that were held as the shadows of their originals. One of these was the annual Power Explosion retreat hosted by the General Evangelist of CAC Worldwide Prophet Hezekiah Olaboye Oladeji in Erio Ekiti. Against all odds the programme was held virtually but it was never like the original. Though it attracted many online participants it was not like how masses of the people used to congregate on the rocky Mountain of Mercy in Erio, Ekiti State. There is no doubt that the indigenes and all that trade by the event would never forget in a hurry.
We also reliably gather that another prayer festival tagged Power of Your Dream hosted by the renown singer and preacher, Evangelist Ojo Ade was equally outrightly cancelled, same for coro reason. We are already in July, heading towards August, the month of Church Conventions. It is not likely that many Churches would hold their convention this year. Many also may have to take the virtual option, just as The Redeemed authorities have told its members that nothing would stop their convention this year and they have adopted what they call the Virtual Convention.
Virtual convention may be an alternative adoption of the old congregational convocation. By this option participants may congregate online. Since the lockdown began in all parts of the world, mostly all Churches have taken to the alternative of the virtual services. By this, regular meetings, conferences and Church services have now been transferred to online, social media and cable broadcast devices. In the same way many conventions would be held virtually. But can all Churches and their members afford its costs and expertise? Until it is tested and tried.
Experience has shown that participants may not record maximum attention through virtual services, there will be domestic and local distractions, and some Churches too may not have the wherewithal to put up a virtual structure. As it has advantages, so it has its underlining disadvantages.
One fact that cannot be easily waved aside is that the Covid-19 conundrum has affected all and sundry, corporate and individuals and the way out is to design actions and plans to wriggle one out of it.
Other Church organisations that Covid-19 lockdown may affect are Gospel Faith Mission International, The Apostolic Church, Christ Gospel Mission and Gospel Pentecostal Mission among others.Even beyond the month of August, we still have September and the last quarter of 2020 to watch out for.
Except for the grace of God the lockdown may not be completely lifted until all the vestiges of Covid-19 are gone. It is our prayer that God in His mercies would clear the entire world of all the traces of coronavirus, and diseases cease from our land in Jesus name.
But be it as it may, it is desirable that as needs arise for the people and children of God to come together, as we engaged in fervent prayers, we must not fail to put every instrument that can keep our chain of communication flowing into use. New information, new devices, new education and new steps should be taken to face the new normal.
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