5 Nigerians Tell Us How The Covid-19 Pandemic Affected Their Relationships With Their Vices

May 27, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most defining events in recent times. It changed so much about our lives and how we navigate them. At the ‘peak’ of the pandemic, statewide lockdowns were common forcing many to stay at home and in the long run, forced people to fall back on their coping mechanisms which in many cases were things considered ‘vices’ – think eating a lot of food, drinking a lot of alcohol, having a lot of sex etc. Today, we asked five young Nigerians how the pandemic affected their relationships with their vices. 

Kayode, 26.

During the pandemic, I became an alcoholic. People kept sharing recipes for homemade cocktails, fun drinks and more and I just kept making them. It didn’t hit me till much later that I had been drunk almost every day for months. The path to recovery, to going back to the social drinker I was pre-pandemic, wasn’t nearly as easy as I hoped it would be. I found myself unable to function without being drunk.

Daniella, 24.

Okay so, you know how supermarkets started becoming empty during the pandemic? It was because of people like me. I bought everything I needed, four times over. Naturally, the way to go was to cook them. I gained like ten pounds because of that. Eating became my way to cope with how crazy the world was. And the worst part? Because there was a spirit of insecurity for a while, it didn’t stop after the lockdown was lifted. It carried on for most of last year, I had to make a whole lifestyle change this year.

Harry, 29.

My coping mechanism is smoking weed. Pre-COVID I would only smoke on Saturday nights when I’m with my friends or on public holidays, but because of COVID and working from home, I started doing it every other day. Smoking weed, eating a few weed brownies during virtual meetings and all of that. The day I realized that I needed to stop was when I felt I was high for almost a week. As in I smoked once, and for like a week, I was feeling the effects. I felt like it was a warning that if I continued, I would damage myself permanently. 

Stanley, 23.

I’d say the pandemic improved my relationship with my vices – weed and sex. I had previously dabbled with weed before but with the whole lockdown situation, I had nothing but time to explore. I couldn’t smoke since I was home with my family but, I would infuse weed in my food. So, I began making brownies. Then, I started to sell too. Legit spent the entire lockdown stoned.  I also discovered that sex while high is on a whole different level. The whole pandemic experience made me explore and discover a whole lot of sensual pleasures. I even discovered ways of altering the potency of weed to get the desired mood. It was wild

Pearl, 28.

The pandemic ruined my appetite and love for sleep. I started working remotely so I wanted to always be available. My brain interpreted it as ‘bye bye afternoon sleep’. I drank and smoked a lot more. Then my body started reacting to alcohol so I had to cut back on it. I masturbated way more and a lot of self-realization came with that. At some point, I stopped having orgasms during masturbation. I think my body became tolerant so it needed more to get to climax. And I’m not patient enough to give the prolonged vibrations she wanted.

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