The Lockdown Effect

Hafsat Saliu Written by Hafsat Saliu · 1 min read >

The good thing about experience is that it puts you in an educated position of your thoughts. During the covid 19 lockdown, I had imagined how life must have been difficult for the low incomers, I didn’t think much of the effect it may have on the middle or upper class except that inflows must have reduced but I assumed that it couldn’t have been as bad as it must have been for the lower class. 

Now in the Lagos business school, I was given an assignment that required me to interview two contrasting pairs on their Covid 19 experience. I decided to interview a business owner and one of his staff because this contrast will give better insight to my unfounded conclusions on the covid19 lockdown experience. The business is a medium scale enterprise that buys and sells fast-moving consumer goods wholesale. This kind of business comes with daily income/profit (majorly cash). They both didn’t contract the disease but were majorly affected by the lockdown as the business had to be on hold.

In the business owner’s case, he had some cash with him from the revenue earned on the day before the lockdown. This cash included  profit and cost of goods sold and amount payable to creditors. Some of the goods he had in his store were short lifespan goods like beef sausages and biscuits.

He mentioned that he gave his workers 20,000 naira each on the day before the lockdown so that they could also buy food items and some necessary things they may need to survive during the lockdown.

So in his house, he didn’t lack food or any necessity but he was frustrated and helpless as he was paying bills and spending money while his income had halted. Another cause of his frustration was that of the perishable goods he had in his warehouse and couldn’t sell due to the lockdown. The goods eventually expired and ran him losses in millions. He said he cried after the lockdown when he opened his warehouse and was faced with tall stacks of expired beef sausages and biscuits.

As for the staff I interviewed, he was squatting with his friends in a house where rent is paid per month, his monthly attributed share is 3,000 naira and he sends 10,000 naira monthly to his family who didn’t live in Lagos. He mentioned that he sent 15,000 naira to his parents on the day before the lockdown and was left with about 12,000 naira. Feeding and paying rent was a struggle for him and he also couldn’t send the monthly allowance to his family, he wished he could go live with his family, but he couldn’t as movement was restricted. He mentioned that he was frustrated and depressed as he felt like he was locked up in a cage. He dreaded waking up every day to do nothing that could have helped his situation. 

This interview made me realize that these two parties both had an equally sad experience. I could see sadness, helplessness and gloom on their faces as they shared their experiences. They both had different scenarios but were both frustrated, depressed and helpless and it seems they both haven’t fully recovered from their experiences.


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