‘Who say coro no dey’
In Ghana one of the popular phrases is “who say man no dey”. It is something that people often use to describe the fact that if you do not have what it takes or have not experienced something, do not insist that such a thing does not exist.
Corona virus or COVID-19, has brought this home to some people who thought it was a hoax and an agenda by people who were pushing for 5G adoption throughout the world.
Going through the headlines of news items on Cable News Network (CNN) the other day, I came across a headline that caught my attention. It was about a Pastor who did not believe that COVID-19 was real and has lost the wife through the disease.
In the interview with the reporter, the man said that he wished they had taken the COVID-19 threat seriously and that he would not have lost his wife.
The picture of Donald Trump, President of the United States wearing a nose mask is undoubtedly my picture of the year. This is a man who had said that the COVID-19 was not as dangerous as people were claiming it was and that he would never wear a nose mask and had been encouraging his supporters to ignore the call by health experts to wear face masks.
At a point it must have dawned on him that it would be foolish on his part to deny the obvious after Prince Charles and Boris Johnson had contracted the disease. Again the death that swept across America due to the virus must have convinced him that his own life was under threat.
A man called Bolsonaro associated with climate change skepticism has until recently, known to have been a COVID-19 skeptic. He is not just an ordinary man but a President of an important nation, Brazil.
He had on many occasions displayed complete disregard for it in public appearances. It appeared as if he was taking lessons from his friend, Donald Trump, President of the United States. He interacted with people in large gatherings, shaking hands and hugging children, all without face masks.
Just like his denial of the existence of climate change, he demonstrated same non-chalance towards COVID-19, until he fell sick. The diagnosis revealed that he had contracted the diseaase. ‘Who say Coro no dey’. Once again COVID-19 showed that you disregard it at your own peril.
The problem is that because the likes of Bolsonaro and Trump are leaders, some people believe in what they say and so accept their utterances without question. The sad thing, though, is that such people do not have access to the same level of healthcare as these leaders, thereby creating problems for themselves.
Just like Trump, after getting a rude awakening, Bolsonaroo needed no prompting to put on a face mask in his public engagements from then on. His statements that sought to ridicule the potency and even existence of COVID-19, gave way to a behavioural change towards the observation of the COVID-19 safety protocols.
His public appearances now show him together with his body guards wearing face masks. ‘Who say Coro no dey’.
Some countries were used as examples of good management in the fight against the disease. Countries which were overwhelmed by the COVID-19 were supposed to learn from those countries how to effectively manage the fight against it.
Countries like South Korea, Germany etc. were considered to be pacesetters in the fight against the pandemic. When their numbers in terms of daily infections decreased and clearly showed a downward trend, they became complacent.
Soon after, the rate of infection started rising and has now reached worrying levels. If you show disrespect to COVID-19, it would show you that it is a formidable force to reckon with. Recent World Health Organisation (WHO) reports indicate a decline in the COVID-19 cases in Africa and the reason is very simple; people are widely respecting the health protocols in place in many African countries.
Personal immunity is something that African countries are taking seriously. Natural immune boosting foods like oranges, rich in vitamin and others are being patronised by a lot of people hence contributing to the decline in the number of new cases and an increase in the number of recoveries.
COVID-19 has brought home a lot of prominent men in society, the effectiveness and usefulness of herbal concoctions and the need to focus on healthy diet instead of junk food. One politician who was sharing his experience on radio about how some herbal preparation helped him, advocated the paying of serious attention to herbal medicine.
Africa has a lot of herbs that have medicinal properties and it is high time health practitioners especially pharmacist, paid attention to them and utilise them for healing diseases.
COVID-19 has compelled leaders across the world especially those in Africa to look at innovative ways of doing things. African leaders have been faced with the reality and have realised that they cannot perpetually depend on foreign aid to resolve their domestic challenges and must, therefore, do something different.
Young people are now bringing up innovative products which are really contributing to the fight against the pandemic. It has galvanised the youth into putting on their thinking caps, resulting in the unleashing of their creative talents, which have started impacting on the economic fortunes of many countries.
Governments have started providing support for companies to diversify and for a country like Ghana; the “Ghana Beyond Aid” is gradually becoming a reality.Almost on a weekly basis something new is being developed and ‘who say Coro no dey’.
Countries that usually would not have cooperated, are now in various cooperation moves to address one challenge or another, all in the fight against COVID-19.
One video clip that has stuck in my mind is the Cuban Doctors, and black doctors at that, who were disembarking from an aeroplane in Italy to provide medical services to help in the fight against the pandemic in Italy, a country where racism is high. An unthinkable spectacle, a few weeks before, if not for COVID-19. ‘Who say Coro no dey’
My prayer is that we would maintain the positive things that this deadly disease has brought in its wake like the zeal to bring innovative products, the desire for herbal medicine and a new desire to be disciplined as far as rules and regulations are concerned.