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Opinions of Monday, 29 June 2020

Columnist: Sampson Boamah

Young positivist writes: Paying tribute to all frontline health workers

The impact of the novel Coronavirus known as COVID-19 particularly the devastating effect it has had on mankind globally cannot be underestimated. Despite all these burdens and difficulties, frontline health workers have been magnanimous, resilient, and resolute in their services all over the world. Given this, I deem it right to pay tribute and homage to these gallant men and women of our time who have stood audaciously to battle with the virus now a pandemic.

On 17th November 2019, the first confirmed COVID-19 case was recorded in Wuhan, a province in China that happened to be contagious and later to other provinces. From the onset, many referred to the virus as ‘Wuhan virus or Chinese virus’ including the leader of a country considered to be a superpower but it eventually spread to other parts of the world. Currently, over two hundred countries all over the world have recorded some cases.

On 31st December 2019, the first Coronavirus death case was recorded. It later came to be known as COVID-19 and it has since been used all over the world. What intrigues me is why people decided to restrict this disease to Wuhan and China knowing very well the mode by which the virus can be contracted.

Many have blamed China for not taking the disease seriously leaving it to spread to other territories. Others have also blamed the World Health Organization (WHO) about its negligence and sluggish ways of responding to the issue. Donald Trump, the US president is on record to have said that the organization has allowed itself to be used as a puppet by China. This has also led the US government to withdraw its financial support to the organization.

The World Health Organization led by its Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on March 11, 2020, declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. At the time of this declaration, there were less than a million cases confirmed all over the world and less than 100 thousand deaths of the disease. However, after 3 months of this declaration, the world has recorded over 10 million cases with over 500,000 deaths.

The WHO has made known that the mode of transmission of the virus is through human contact. In short, if you want to avoid this virus you need to stay away from people and avoid large gatherings. This indeed is good advice by the WHO and other health experts but how can medical doctors and nurses stay away from their patients especially those who may have contracted this virus? This is indeed a big issue that will be tough to address.

In war, combatants who are brave and courageous are needed if an enemy is to be defeated. Not only brave warlords are needed, but one also needs sophisticated weapons to assist in defeating the foe. In the history of the World Wars, (World War 1 and World War 2) victors did not find it easy in vanquishing their antagonists. The Soviet Union, Britain, and France did not find it easy in dealing and defeating the German armies in World War 1 and also World War 2. These gallant and fearless armies fought tirelessly in making sure the foes were conquered and such was the valor of these combatants.

Today, we're likewise in a war and a great war indeed. As such, we need to assemble all our arsenals in making sure the enemy is conquered. What makes this war a peculiar one is that we are not dealing with a visible force to point guns and war weapons at, but we are dealing with an invisible force. An opponent we cannot see and shoot.

I believe that if this enemy could be seen, the world would have rallied to unanimously defeat it. As we had these courageous combatants in defeating the enemies in the World Wars, we also have gallant men and women who have put their lives at risk to save the world from this pandemic.

If this is a war, of which I am convinced that it is, then these frontline health workers are the bravest and most courageous warriors that the world has ever seen. How can someone fight an enemy he or she cannot see? Yet, our gallant frontline health workers are doing this. These frontline health workers have families they return to after work and the possibility of them transporting the virus home is very high, but this fear does not deter them from rendering their hallowed duties to the world.

From the bottom of my heart, I salute these courageous and selfless men and women who have the lives of mankind at heart. No one can do what they do and have done and continue to do. It is about time the world came together to pay tribute and homage to these resilient folks. Since the fight for this battle commenced, many frontline health workers have died or contracted the virus in the line of duty. Others have put their families at risk by transporting the virus home for which their families have been exposed to. I have reiterated that this is the most sacrosanct and devoted work and service a patriot can render to his or her country.

To frontline health workers all over the world, we love you and your courage to change the world for good most especially your unrelenting effort to control this virus is laudable worthy of commendation. The world is indebted to you forever and ever. Our money cannot pay you. We cannot build mansions to thank you enough for the tremendous work you have done and continue to do. YOUNG POSITIVIST, through this solemn piece, wants to eulogize you for your frantic effort to sustain our lives.

If I had the power to make changes, I would set aside a day to celebrate your magnificent and glorious contribution to the world and mark it as a holiday as we do on Christmas day and Easter day. We are grateful for your love and attention that you at the expense of your life has given to the world. I am optimistic that our Heavenly Father will reward you for this priceless service given us. Our hearts are with every frontline health worker who has died or contracted the virus or has put his or her family at risk in the line of duty. We express our condolence and say we love you and the world has seen your work.

What can we do as citizens to help curtail the spread of this virus? We need to religiously follow all the protocols and guidelines given by the WHO and the health experts by washing our hands with soap frequently under running water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid large crowds, practice social distancing, wearing of nose mask or face shield mask and all the other preventive measures put in place. Our efforts in thoroughly obeying these measures will reduce the burden that will be put on frontline health workers and health facilities.

In conclusion, if the world has not appreciated your services enough over the years, this is the right time to do some retrospection and do the needful. Again, if leaders of various countries have not prioritized the health sectors of their countries and their staff, this is the appropriate time to bring some revolutions into that sector to facilitate their works smoothly. Leaders should establish pandemic centers and also save funds for any unforeseen future pandemics.

The lessons COVID-19 has thought us are enormous and we need to learn quickly. On this note, I would like to say “Ayekoo” (Well Done) to all frontline health workers. We love you and appreciate your work and service to us, God bless you abundantly!

Ghana must work again, Ghana will work again, YOUNG POSITIVIST a concerned citizen of Ghana.