COVID-19: a wake up call

BY: Kobby Asmah

The emergence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has sent shock waves across the globe. The confirmation of cases in Ghana has also put many people on the edge. There is the fear of the unknown. There seems to be panic-buying, as many shops, malls and even marketplaces are experiencing massive sales.

With COVID-19 around, what is going to really happen? What does this mean for our future? When will it be over? All these are begging for answers.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), deaths associated with COVID-19 worldwide had hit the 7,067 mark and 179,223 people had been confirmed to be infected.

In Africa, 350 people have so far been diagnosed with the virus, while there are seven recorded deaths. Ghana has recorded six cases so far.

In all the instances in Africa, the people infected are those returning to their countries from other countries, mainly the West.

The Department of Health of the United Kingdom has also reported that 1,543 people in that country have tested positive, while the Johns Hopkins University reports that there are 80,000 positive cases in China, 3213 deaths and 67,819 recovered cases.
France has also recorded 5,423 cases and 127 deaths, while Germany has recorded 6,672 cases and 14 deaths.

Social distancing

Clearly, we are not in good times and we need to find the strength to overcome the scare and chaos surrounding the global crisis.

But one thing that is refreshing is the stringent national measures currently in place, including social distancing (SD), to secure Ghana against the spread of COVID-19 and make it safe for all its citizens.

Science supports SD as a critical measure to slow down the spread of the virus. Indeed, SD is the practice of reducing close contact between people to slow the spread of infections or diseases. The measures include limiting large groups of people coming together, closing buildings and cancelling events that will attract large gatherings.
It will be in our own interest to avoid group gatherings, concerts and theatre outings, athletic events, crowded retail stores and malls, mass transit systems, among other measures.

Wake-up call

The global outbreak of this dreaded disease must be a wake-up call for all of us, despite the threat. Everything happens for a reason; nothing happens in a vacuum.

Many years ago, the outbreak of the viral disease was predicted by a New York Times best selling author, Sylvia Browne, with Lindsay Harrison in her book titled “End of Days. Predictions and Prophecies about the End of the World”.

And, truly, the prediction has become a reality. If God inspired the writer to write the book about this disease, then I can equally state that the Supreme Being is inspiring Ghanaians to wake up from our slumber and act now.

Import dependence

Ghana largely imports everything into the country, and COVID-19 was equally imported. Can we say that the Supreme Being is directing us to cut down drastically on our imports, which obviously are not helping the nation in terms of growth and development? Our trade balance is always in the deficit.

Ghana has everything we need to survive as a people, and for that matter become independent and develop to a “country beyond aid”.

Talk of the abundant human and natural resources, yet in the midst of abundance the people are hungry.

Ghanaians need to think outside the box. We need to think and put to use our natural resources to benefit the citizenry.

No need to import unnecessary things that we are capable of producing locally.

Work attitude

The economies of China, Malaysia, Singapore, among other countries, are booming, not necessarily because they are special. Their attitude towards work is simply what makes the difference.

Those countries have soared in terms of development because of thier positive attitude towards nation building. Do we, as Ghanaians, have that positive attitude?