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Opinions of Monday, 23 March 2020

Columnist: Abdul Hayi Moomen

The people don't seem to care a hoot

Boys Boys are currently playing cards in my hood, screaming out loud when there's a disagreement. They are sitting closely, very close to each other. I can bet my last coin on the fact that their screaming is accompanied by droplets of saliva.

There's a mini pub around the corner. There too, before my very eyes, two excited and drunk guys give each other a "high five". One snatches a half-filled glass of beer from the other and throws it down his throat. He belches and slaps his chest.

Not too far away, is a park. They call it the love arena. Young boys and girls who do not have their own rooms and cannot afford hotel bills, find solace in this park. A boy and girl are standing somewhere in the park, in the dark. They will soon exchange saliva.

I hear the honking of a car horn. It is a trotro "sek, sek, sek" shouts the mate. 12 passengers are crammed into a mini van. They are sweating, some might sneeze. Life goes on, abi?

Ah! There goes a lady. She just washed her hands, thanks to a Veronica bucket. But oh! She just turned off the the tap with her bare hands. Zilch!

At the market, money changes hands like nobody's business. The customer is standing in the alleyway, another shopper, obviously in a hurry, pushes him aside and tries to squeeze his way through. "can't you see" the angry man shouts into his face. "is this your house" the man in a hurry shouts back.

Shouting comes with saliva. Saliva to the face can be dangerous - is dangerous - especially now.

Elsewhere, there's a debate. "The new sickness is only for rich people, those who travel abroad," says a quarter literate man to another. "Oh yes, if you drink a lot of hot water, that disease cannot attack you" the other adds. I weep within at their ignorance.

Meanwhile, a prostitute goes out to "work". She wears a nose mask and believes she is safe. My gossip instincts lead me to her and I feign interest. Standing at a safe distance, I ask "how much"? She answers with a question "short time or all night?". "short time" I answer.

"That will be 200 Ghana," she said. "But how will you protect me in case you have the new virus"? "You will wear a nose mask that's all". "Please take this and go home" I plead with her.

"Don't kill yourself and others". She says "thank you". I am not convinced that she will go home. But I did what I thought was right.

I sit back in my car and take a bath in sanitizers. And then I drive back home, convinced that we are not prepared for anything.

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