By Rosemond Obeng (Peoples Mother)
I remember during the eve of the 31st watch night, in the dying embers of the year 2019, various prophecies and good wishes had it within their pronouncements that 2020 will most certainly be a year of bountiful harvests and prosperity. With our country, filled with lot of religious theatrics and with many of us feeding our hopes from the ‘manna that came down from heaven’, we certainly did have high hopes that the year will begin and end well; the beginning of a new decade.
Road accidents and Covid-19
What we were not told was that, just at the beginning of the year and bending to its third months, our country will record over 400 cases of road accidents and we will be at the mercy of a virus that we earlier had thought had nothing to do with us-those of us living at these part of the world Africa.
We would receive the shock of our lives. Covid-19, as it came to be called got us kneeling and begging for mercies and varying degrees of solutions.
Not only us, countries that are labelled ‘developed’ were even the hardest hits and became the epicenter of the novel covid-19.
Epidemic to pandemic
It was an epidemic in a little corner of the world, then it became a pandemic that will shake every part of the world and force them to do what they had not prepared themselves to do. That was the reality (then and now), and as it is with reality, we must deal with it.
The reality we find ourselves in is helping shape the Ghanaian life is so many ways, mostly positive.
And so, our country dealt with its reality. There are several intervention instruments that have been put in place by our leadership in addition to the efforts of the many thoughtful health officers and researchers who are on the frontline fighting for us to keep us safe and help return the country back to its normalcy.
Trying as they are, these are not normal times, suffice to say. These are times that require desperate measures and drastic solutions. By these measures, Greater Accra and Greater Kumasi were declared partial lockdown zones amidst several debates and conversations that circled around the pros and cons of a lockdown given our weak social systems and appalling standards of living as a country. Yet, what must be done must be done, so the lockdown happened.
It took my mind back to the disinfections exercise that was done by AMA at the various market centers in the Greater Accra. The numbers that came out for rodents that were killed from the exercise were revealing, not to talk about the quantum of dirt that were dealt with and the quantum of microbes that would be killed in the process. Doesn’t this push me to reason that prior to this exercise, we were buying from markets that were full of all kinds of things that threatened the health of our people?
Advantage in misfortune
This covid-19 situation had helped us acquire some basic personal hygiene techniques that we would previously not had done as a country nor as citizens. It’s good for us. This new culture should continue even after the crisis wanes.
We must endeavor to keep our homes, our neighborhoods, our communities and our country clean. A healthy country means healthy Ghanaians which would mean an economy that is beamed with healthy people.
I reason that we should take advantage of the lockdowns and people staying mostly in the homes to, first, clean our cities and markets, and next, formulate and plan creative strategies that will be rolled out even after the crisis period to keep our markets and communities clean and neat.
I am by this calling on the ministry of sanitation and the departments that are in charge of the cleaning of our cities, governments and non-governmental agencies, district and metropolitan assemblies to take advantage of the lockdown to clean up our communities and carve a solid plan by which to ensure our communities are neat and clean from now henceforth.
Covid-19 will pass, but our health matters now and the future as well. In every cloud, there is a silver linen, and taking advantage of the empty streets to clean our markets, cities and communities will certainly be one of the linens painted in silver in this period. Ghana must be clean and safe. If Godliness sits at one seat, the next seat is occupied by cleanliness. One is next to the other. Let’s take advantage of this period and do the needed. God bless our homeland Ghana.