Our beautiful world so full of life but . . .

BY: Kobby Asmah

COVID-19 is spreading relentlessly. Not even Easter, a significant Christian activity, could halt its railroading nature. We just marked Easter with empty churches and many social interactions are virtually absent.

COVID-19 is affecting everything that walks on its path, from businesses to social life. Even the global economy is facing an existential crisis, and we are all wishing for an early end to this public health crisis so that we can return to normalcy.

Today, the whole nation is in a state of disbelief as the confirmed cases of infections in the country hit the 566 mark. At the moment 10 out of our 16 regions in the country have also recorded cases of infections and we are still counting.

Power, money, beauty

As the virus is proving to the living that power, money, beauty and all that which supposedly make life fulfilling have become worthless, hugging and handshakes are now becoming a cultural taboo.

Humanity can attest to the fact that in this state of global pandemic ”nobody is nobody.” COVID-19 is no respector of persons, the high, low or mighty (the creame-de-la-creame). Its victims include Princesses, Prime Ministers, High Commissioners, professionals, and the list goes on and on.

Humanity on its knees

Humanity has been imprisoned and on its knees yet nature is intact. The trees are blossoming, animals are moving about freely as if nothing has happened, the air we breath is still intact, the sun keeps shining to satisfaction, it rains when it should, and the sea and rivers are all in their pristine state.

Once infected, the bond that a family shared becomes a nightmare. The moment a family member gets infected and is isolated, then the bond starts to fade as the probability of seeing each other again becomes slim.

There is movement restrictions all over the world, and social distancing is in force while businesses and the aviation industry are struggling for survival.  Our streets are full of law enforcers trying to enforce enhanced social policy directives.

The hospitality industry is crumbling and has seen worst moments as owners of big hotels lament. Even if the hotels were opened for free, who is patronising? Pictures are circulating on  social media with  residents of some countries allegedly throwing monies on the street and no one seems to be bothered. They simply have no use for it and when death stares at you what is the use of money!

Cultural rediscovery

What is really happening to our beautiful world which was so  full of life? Quarantine and social distancing are the order of the day. Today is the 16th day of lockdown in our country, and there is very little to do.

Nonetheless, the past few days have been moments of quietude and reflection. Though great to be at home and an opportunity for cultural rediscovery and immediate family bonding, with enhanced locked down directives, it is reinforcing the widely held view that we are just not in normal times.

Most people are adhering to the stay at home directives, yet more worrying is also the fact that a section of the populace are misbehaving and flouting the directives. On Easter Sunday, for instance, there were images on the social media depicting irresponsible behaviour at the Chorkor Beach in Accra where a large group of revellers had thronged the beach against safety protocols.

Food sharing

One thing that is also going amiss is the manner in which packed or cooked meals are being shared to the vulnerable communities. Regrettably, the most vulnerable who are the weak and the aged, children, women as well as the physically challenged are unable to get some of the items.

From all indications, the mode of sharing is chaotic, disorderly and no social distancing protocols are being adhered to. Given the huge numbers that troop to the sharing centres for the bailouts, there is no denying the fact that it constitutes a big-time health risk to all present, including the distributors of the food.

Extraordinary measures

This is worrying and it calls for extraordinary measures to reverse this scary trend.

We cannot look on while the Coronavirus infection figures continue to go up in the country. This will bring strain on our hardworking front-line health workers and ultimately hinder their ability to manage the crisis.

The growing numbers of COVID-19 cases must make us revise our notes to not only stop the spread but eradicate the global pandemic.

Enhanced education

It is critical to step up mass public education and sensitisation. The National Commission for Civic Education and the Information Services Department of the Ministry of Information must lead in this national exercise to get vital information, including the need to respect the President’s lockdown directive across, to the people.

All said and done, after COVID-19 we must learn some new lessons. How do we build after COVID-19? What will be our individual solution towards meeting the needs of thousands of homeless people?

While staying at home and adhering to the laid-down directives and protocols to overcome this public health crisis, we cannot fail to reflect on the above concerns in the national interest.

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