A lecturer at the University of Cape Coast Department of Sociology and Anthropology Dr. Razak Jaha Imoro has said the youth of Ghana must lead the fight against Coronavirus. He said coronavirus has affected every aspect of our social lives and social structure. Covid-19 has come and has "affected every aspect of our lives including how we interact, social relationships and even how we pray to God. Our politics, economy, marriage, family and even how we burry the dead have all seen changes".
When asked how do we normalise our lives after Covid-19, he said society is dynamic and our lives can never be the same after codvid-19. "Coronavirus is reordering our lives and if one wants to live then s/he must comply with all accepted protocols" he said. He added that there are both positives and negatives as a results of coronavirus and obviously there are some positives which must be there going forward.
He further added that "no one should entertain the fears that the world is coming to an end because the human being is dynamic and we should be thinking about how we can adjust in order to survive".
Dr. Razak further said similar pandemics have happened including AIDS, Bird Flu, SARS etc have come and gone and as such all other protocols being prescribed now are part of measures to help us live and reorder our lives.
Dr. Larbi Simpong who is an Experimental Pathologist and Lecturer at the Department of Medical Laboratory Science of the same University also part of the panel, responding to how dangerous is Covid-19 said, the disease is real but no one can claim s/he understands everything about it and as such he cannot answer either yes or no. A disease like H1N1 came and had similar problems as coronavirus. He said as to who the Covid-19 would kill still remains debatable because the disease affects everyone and with the limited knowledge makes it a little complex but not dangerous as to let people flee just with the sight of a coronavirus victims.
When asked about how to deal with fear and panic amongst our midst because in just a spate of one month close to 900 persons have been infected, Dr. Larbi Simpong said road accidents killed over 200 persons in January 2020 alone but with Coronavirus only 9 persons have died so far. Even though Covid-19 spreads faster amongst people it is not too dangerous in terms of mortality to arouse fear and panic.
We cannot remain the same as we have been again otherwise then we are not being human Dr Razak said responding to whether our lives would change post Covid19. He continued that "some amount of changes are expected to occur to our family, religion, wife and husband and even between a father and his children".
Politically he doesn't expect that everything the government does in the time like these would be applauded by the opposition, he said. All decisions taken by our leadership in his view is reflected on what would be in the best interest of our nation state and how most of citizenry would benefit from such decisions.
When asked about whether the lifting of the Lockdown was right, he said sociologically Lockdown is partial imprisonment and it's lifting is too problematic for him but if it is said that, the data, then what data are they talking about in terms of how many people get infected and how they are being treated. He added "life is all about survival and he expects people to go about their normal activities but should be careful and take their lives into their own hands. For how many months can we Lockdown should coronavirus travel beyond the expected he quizzed"?
They were both speaking to Ben Nartey on GBC Radio Central's Central Morning Show today 21st April 2020.
Dr. Larbi Simpong said initial Lockdown was good because the disease was new and we didn't understand how the virus behaves, locking down was very paramount and now that we have some amount of knowledge on the behaviour of the virus it was necessary for the Lockdown to be lifted. He further added that when people are allowed to go out, that is when they can build some immunity to the disease but not those with underlying ill conditions and the aged individuals. Above all this, we should continue to adhere to government directives.
The Experimental pathologists said "stigmatisation became the major problem that I have identified, hence it important to embark on public education". We need to show love to Covid-19 victims because the recovered in advance countries are helping in research and treatment hence we should not stigmatise anyone because of coronavirus. On the other hand Dr. Razak said stigma has been with us and TB, AIDS, Bruluili Ulcer are all attached with stigma. "Stigma comes about because people fear about the disease" he said.
Dr. Razak added that "all of us are humans and there is no need to stigmatise anyone. What is necessary is to offer any assistance where necessary". Assuming the one who is stigmatising the other also gets infected, then what happens? Dr. Razak continued that stigma should be out of the equation, because all of us are humans whether sick or not.
In addressing the generational issues regarding coronavirus, Dr. Razak said "the older generation must be protected as much as possible and not stigmatise them and the youth must channel all their energies into how to combat Covid-19 and get it out of our system and not waste time stigmatising others".
Dr. Larbi Simpong said even those who have died from coronavirus, their bodies are treated differently from normal dead bodies and as such all should bear with authorities should the bodies of their departed loved ones be treated in similar fashion. He further quizzed that hospitals are the places where coronavirus patient are identified and should one fall sick, would that particular individual refuse that same hospital's assistance? If no, then there was no need to stigmatise anyone suffering from Covid-19.