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Opinions of Thursday, 29 April 2021

Columnist: Vicky Wireko

Coronavirus: Has it made your world better or worse?

Coronavirus dealt many economies a big blow Coronavirus dealt many economies a big blow

It is true that there are two sides to every coin. It is also very true that in all things, one should give thanks to God. Why am I saying so?

The COVID-19 pandemic, though still raging with all the ramifications and the terrible harm it has caused us, has demonstrably shown the world a way where, that hitherto, we seemed not to know about.

Unfolding before our eyes are some real truths coming out of the pandemic that could be celebrated.

My checks point to some pleasantly surprising number of openings and innovations that have come up to better lives.

Can we forget about the vaccines that scientists and the medical world have tirelessly worked on and come out with for human trials in a record 12 months?

There is even talk about a pill one can take to cure the disease if infected.

At the onset of the disease when thousands of lives were being lost on daily basis all over the world, one heard it said that vaccines could take up to 24 months.

But the super urgency of the situation defied all the odds and here we are with different kinds of vaccines to provide some degree of intervention.

Then also is the welcome observation from health officials that there has been a reduction of infections caused by poor hygiene, including diarrhoea and cholera.

They assign this to the positive response people have given to the call to wash hands regularly with soap and under running water.

Strict observance of personal hygiene and regular hand washing have been two of the championed protocols to stem the spread of COVID-19 infection.

According to health officials, usually, around this time, the country could have been registering a high number of patients with respiratory diarrhoeal diseases.

Regular hand washing brought about by the pandemic has helped to reduce some personal hygiene related diseases.

Available statistics are that hand washing can prevent about 30 per cent of diarrhoea related sicknesses and about 20 per cent of respiratory infections.

According to global hand washing partnership, each year approximately 525,000 children die from diarrhoea diseases, making it one of the top killers of children globally.

Digital platforms

The other brighter side of the pandemic has been the increasing use of digital platforms. Increasing innovations in technology have made our lives better and richer in the last year as one gets introduced to such medium as Zoom broadband.

One can sit in the comfort of one’s home and stream all types of entertainment to cater for different tastes. With high technology, families and friends are staying closer and in touch every minute irrespective of distance.

Churches are reaching a lot more people away from their own ‘Jerusalem’ through the medium of technology.

As for the work place, the transformation has been tremendous for many white collar jobs. They have connected easily and faster. People are attending meetings and conferences from the comfort of their homes and within scheduled times too.

The working-from-home concept and the shift system are giving people the time and flexibility to focus on other things.

Above all, the pandemic has led to many more innovations for better living. The family dinner table, the regular exercising to valuing the free oxygen and sun we get, the bountiful open fresh air as opposed to enclosed heating or air conditioners and diversifications and retrofits of businesses are all pluses unveiled in the last year.

Yes, the pandemic has been a year of regrets. Dear ones have lost their lives as many others got sick.

There have been loss of jobs and businesses have collapsed. It has been a year of academic losses for those in education.

Closeness to family and friends, the hugs and the kisses we cherished have been given fatal blows.

However, there have been some silver linings we cannot gloss over. All has not been lost.

With vaccines making their inroads and technology giving us leeways, the pandemic, one can say, has given us something to smile about.