Olatunbosun Taofeek, Grecian Ltd, Lagos, pg. 131
By Opeoluwa Abiola
The book, “Where is Patient Zero?” is a captivating and thought-provoking paradox that delves into the COVID-19 pandemic, where a twist of the plot explores the rot in the system and structures that exist politically, and in the world of science in the face of a life-snuffing pandemic that threatened the entire human race.
It appears as depicted in the narrative that both systems connive to control the world’s population through a devious catastrophic means for personal gains.
With this plot, the author digs into the Pandemic Paradox. From a satirical and humourist view, Taofeek Olatunbosun rationalized the disquieting phases of the virus that threatened human existence.
As opposed to a pandemic, readers are drawn into a ‘pandemic’ situation insinuated by the author. The revelations in this 131-page play are hinged on one question: Where is the index case? How is it that it remains untraceable just like in the cases of Ebola and HIV/AIDS?
The writer highlights how the public is usually at the mercy of the few mighty, as the story draws us to ‘Mr. Machine’ whose self-centered scheme is aimed at personal gains at the expense of the populace.
We also learn that the force of nature presented as Thanos and Hypnos in the play have their ways with the human world. While the rest of the world agonised over the spread of the virus and the death of loved ones, a few like ‘Mr Machine’ made a business out of the situation.
We see how science and politics influenced the algorithm of the ravaging pandemic. The relief materials meant for the masses were stashed away and this led to a protest that resulted in the looting of warehouses.
While the dire situation is very well portrayed in this drama, the elements of humour help readers to soak in the essence of the author’s duty.
The play is written in a fast-paced chronological sequence. The use of pidgin and English languages adds a unique and engaging twist to the narrative, making it a fun and enjoyable read.
Despite the humour-filled approach, the book manages to tackle serious global issues such as population control, world health, poverty and enlightenment, offering readers a deeper understanding of these complex subjects.
The author skillfully weaves together humour and insightful commentary, creating a memorable and eye-opening experience. In Act 7, the President’s Spiritualist is brought in handcuffs and shamed for being a fake. He is sent to prison where he ends up dead from the Coronavirus infection he had earlier ‘fortified’ the president against.
Throughout the book, the intriguing storyline keeps readers hooked, while the blend of humour and serious themes provides a balanced perspective.
Where is Patient Zero? stands out as a thought provoking and entertaining literary work, urging readers to reflect on the challenges and roles of medical research, religion and politicking in our present world.
Through this stimulating piece, readers are taken on a journey that challenges their perceptions and the impact of a pandemic on society. Going forward, the work leaves the floor open to future discussions about the throes of a pandemic, and the interventions available in quelling or aggravating the situation.