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Opinions of Monday, 20 April 2020

Columnist: Richard Tawiah

How Quarantine became the most popular word in my village

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Obviously, the popular words over the past few weeks are lockdown and quarantine. Certainly, people in science-related fields especially those who read Biology or Animal Science in school are much familiar with the word quarantine as it was mostly associated with isolating animals with infectious diseases from the healthy ones, in order to prevent the escalation of the diseases.

Human beings with certain medical conditions are also quarantined but not as we hear of now due to the novel COVID-19. If I were to be in secondary school now, I bet I can easily explain the word quarantine, even with graphical presentation, to my Biology teacher because of what the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me.

On a daily basis, I hear this word for the umpteenth time on the radio, television and lips of my fellow Ghanaians -- even those who have never been to school before. All is not gloomy, at least the COVID-19 pandemic has made many people add on to their vocabulary. My grandmother in the village can pronounce the word quarantine quite well and even explain it.

Hopefully COVID-19 will be over but the words, maybe new vocabularies it brought, will forever stay with us. COVID-19 and Quarantine are twins. Where there is COVID-19 there is also a quarantine. I can imagine how our families in the village will react in the future when they hear from your doctor that you have been quarantined.

One word will come to mind Corona virus! Yes, to some people being quarantined will mean you have the Corona virus. So as we quarantine ourselves from Corona virus we should also not forget that there are many diseases such as yellow fever, small pox, Tuberculosis and many others that also require quarantine. So when you hear someone is in quarantine after this pandemic, don't be too quick to diagnose him/her with Corona Virus.

As we all hope to surmount this virus let's bear in mind that being quarantined isn't a crime. Stop the stigmatization. The person being quarantined is there so you and I do not get infected with the disease. So he or she is protecting you from harm's way as such we must show them love.

It is not an easy thing to be quarantined-the anxiety, frustration, boredom, you name them is not a thing one may want to experience. Let's all follow the safety guidelines by the World Health Organisation, WHO, to keep safe not only from this deadly Corona virus but other diseases that may call for a quarantine.

For now stay home, regularly wash your hands under running water, wear a face or nose mask if you urgently need to go out and also have a hand sanitizer at your disposal. Keep safe. Quarantine your way of living before disease quarantine you.