It's exactly one week since the President lifted the partial lockdown on Greater Accra, Kasoa and the Greater Kumasi Areas and I dare say events so far seem to vindicate him. Many were those who criticized the President's decision to lift the lockdown, but I'm sure they've now seen the wisdom behind that decision.
Soon after the President's seventh broadcast, the phrase trending on social media was “you are now on your own”. They sought to portray the message that the President did not care about the populace. Some even argued that lifting the partial lockdown meant that the President was leaving his people at the mercy of the deadly virus.
As I read those comments, one thing that kept on ringing in my ears was the word 'responsibility'. I wondered why they could reason like that when common sense tells us we must first and foremost take personal responsibility for our health. Indeed, how could they have forgotten that we all have the responsibility to ensure the virus is controlled and eventually eradicated?
HIV/AIDS has been with us since 1984 or thereabout. It’s still here but I guess those criticizing the lifting of the lockdown do not go about lashing damsels indiscriminately with their marauding 'langa-langa' without protection. Or is it the President who compels them to use condom before going on 'dedrossing' spree?
So you see, it’s your responsibility to stay out of danger and it’s the government’s responsibility to put in measures to keep you safe, which it has. COVID-19 is not just going to disappear in a day; it will take a while. Social distancing remains important as well as practising good hygiene by washing hands regularly and using hand sanitizers. It is, therefore, a personal choice to adhere to the guidelines for safety or ignore them and fall prey as a result of foolhardiness.
Also, there were those who wondered why the lockdown was lifted when the confirmed COVID-19 cases were increasing. Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye's explanation makes perfect sense so I will like to use it here. He termed his concept 'the paradox of numbers'.
Listen to him, “I use the paradox of numbers, where a lower number says lockdown and a higher number rather says you can go; and the analogy is that of snakes in a school. For instance, you find snakes in a school compound and the management says we are closing down the school when it was three. They then go on a programme to identify and map the whole compound and get all snakes as much as possible. In two weeks they get 1,000 snakes alive and kill them; so the kids can now go back to school. If you are not careful you'll say how come you closed the school when you had three snakes in the school and let go when you had 1,000? You let go because you are convinced you have a bigger picture of the situation and you've taken risks significantly out of the population; so this is one classical example.”
Abusuapanin, the truth of the matter is that managers of the pandemic in Ghana have been very proactive. Some don't want to believe that Ghana is ahead of some of the powerful nations in terms of managing the spread and effect of the virus. Several weeks after Ghana had initiated aggressive contact tracing in the fight against COVID-19, it is now that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are hiring thousands of tracers to begin mass contact tracing, testing and isolation. Only a politically jaundiced person would deny this fact.
As for President Ogwanfunu and his ilk, we understand why they continue to criticize the government's effective handling of the pandemic so far. Their wish is to see an escalation of the numbers here to make a political case. It’s bad news to them that the pandemic is under control here because they know it will be a positive for President Dee and his government. No wonder they’re running down institutions like Nugochi to make the government look bad.
But they've failed because majority of the populace approves the government's handling of the situation so far. For a government that could not contain cholera, it is still shocking that they have the guts to claim to have superior ideas at containing the deadly COVID-19. They epitomize the saying, “It's always easy to question a decision from the comfort of an armchair.”
Hate or love him, you cannot deny the fact that President Nana Dee is bold, firm and principled. He is also wise enough to surround himself with health experts to help him fight the deadly virus. So just do your part by being responsible. Unlocking the lockdown does not mean you should be careless and irresponsible. Be responsible, follow safety protocols and keep safe!
See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!