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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Columnist: Michael Kwadwo Sakyiama, Contributor

Coronavirus: Stay woke!

Michael Sakyiama Michael Sakyiama

The Coronavirus (Covid19) is big, very big and deadly. Big in many ways, it has become the focus of the world, focus not in any special good way, focus because humanity is racing to prevent its further spread and provide a vaccine to cure the many infected. The body counts are going into the thousands. Families watch on helplessly as relations battle for their lives. The exasperated looks on many faces, the confusion on the faces of young children tells you that these are not normal times.

We are humans. We have evolved in many ways. We have survived the worst of conditions. Books have been authored, documentaries screened, fables recounted severally of how we have overcome perilous situations through the best possible options available to us.

I say we are bigger than the novel coronavirus. Yes, we are bigger and know exactly how to defeat the coronavirus and yes we will defeat the coronavirus, and yes we will recount stories of it to generations to come, we will produce videos and documentaries to show how we fought it and we will write books of our varied experiences from every corner of the earth. What I know is humanity will again survive.

To be successful with this fight we must exhibit a great sense of awareness. We must be aware of the times we are in. We must be aware of the dangers it poses to our survival. We must be aware of our peculiar circumstances as a country. We must be aware of the available resources to combat this pandemic locally. We simply must be AWARE!

Ignorance of our precarious situation is not an option. Poorly crafted messages and over dramatised reports will not communicate the seriousness of the pandemic to the populace at large. We have a largely illiterate population. We must communicate in easy to understand and well explained scenarios to every Kwadwo, Kwasi and Ama what the coronavirus is and the healthy precautions to take to avoid getting infected or spreading the infections. As is often said, “we are only as strong as our weakest link,” therefore information dissemination is vital in this fight against the spread of the coronavirus. If I am aware, and practice all the safety protocols advised by the World Health Organisation and allied agencies, and another is ignorant and does not observe these safety protocols, then we will all remain at risk.

This is a good time to involve opinion leaders, market queens, traditional leaders, union leaders, local assembly heads etc to engage at their level in dialects that are easy to understand and explain what we are confronted with to their kin. The respect and importance given to these leaders will engender compliance to observe health protocols.

If we are all aware, it will be easy to use our collective efforts to overcome this pandemic. Stay “woke.”