Seriously speaking, ”Spread Calm Not Fear” is like saying ’let's pretend everything will be alright”. Those of us who say otherwise are alarmists. Can these rising numbers of cases in Ghana spread calm among the population?
How is it possible to spread calm among the population by throwing food at the mob and creating potential stampede while calling for social distancing?
Those of you who are masters in applauding mediocrity, keep applauding! Free water and free electricity may make for good soundbites but those are not measures to stop the spread of the virus.
Those are mitigating measures that should come after an effective lockdown and an economic meltdown.
If we cannot even enforce a lockdown effectively, what is the point in going ahead to give free utilities? Is it about fighting the spread of the virus or it is about scoring short term political points? Will the population appreciate the free goodies if it gets overrun by the virus?
I double doubt it.
Mr. President these so-called economic mitigation measures you are implementing now is just simply putting the cart before the horse. These measures are not contributing in any way to stop or even reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Please focus on the virus. Implement an effective nationwide lockdown. Spread the testing facilities. Where are the quarantine facilities? Let's double down on the contact tracing. Are the hospitals prepared for an upsurge in numbers of cases? Where are the PPEs?
The gimmicks can come later!
The people who are petrified of soldiers on the streets to enforce an effective lockdown and who demonized the soldiers into submission are the ones praising the government for free utilities as if free utilities can stop the virus. No, it cannot. And if you think this will win votes, you will think again when the people are overrun by the pandemic.
Today, those same people who opposed the use of the conceive powers of the state to make people stay at home are shouting for public education to make people stay home - as if the virus is waiting for us.
Should we not have begun with effective public education even before a lockdown?
People will never voluntarily stay at home unless they see a lot of people dying by which time it’ll be too late. It hasn't happened anywhere. It won't happen in Ghana. Force is the only language under these circumstances everywhere.
We cannot avoid the apocalypse if the government is going to fight this virus based on the sentiment of its supporters, the political opposition or even the general population.
This is not a sentimental war. And it is not a political battle. It is a matter of life and death for the majority of our population. It is a crisis. And populism cannot solve a crisis - only clear thinking and action can. The experts have been warning for far too long! Ghana must step up its bio-defense against the coronavirus with urgency to avoid an apocalyptic scenario!
(The Writer Is A Ghanaian Journalist & Ghost Writer)