Abdul Hayi Moomen writes: A military slap vrs coronavirus

Abdul Hayi Moomen Abdul Hayi Moomen

Wed, 1 Apr 2020 Source: Abdul Hayi Moomen


It's day one of the era of restriction of movement but the Nima market is alive. Two men are walking around the periphery of the market, holding hands, talking and sometimes laughing. I approach them, and ask "why are you out today, are you not aware of the restriction of movement?" "We have heard about it" answers one of them. "But they say we can come and walk around the market if we want fresh air."

Meanwhile, 5 potential buyers are standing around a table of tomatoes. The seller is wearing a big hat to protect her from the sun. But she is not wearing a nose mask to protect her from the potential droplets of saliva from the mouths of her bargaining customers, who themselves are crammed together without recourse to the nonsense called social distancing.

"What are you doing here?" I enquire from a middle-aged woman around the Osu Oxford Street. "I heard police and soldiers will be out today, I want to see it if is true".

Bars and entertainment centers have been ordered to close down until further notice. It is 10:00AM at Kanda and the popular bar is open. There are already revelers there. "Sister, are you not aware that you are not supposed to open?". I ask. "They only said we shouldn't sell Alcohol, so today, I am selling Banku and Tuo" she answered. "But that man just bought beer" I said.

"Yes, when the security people come, they cannot drive us away because as you can see, I am selling banku. But when the people want beer, I give them." She said with a satisfied smile.

By the way, at James Town, Nii Laryea, isn't even aware of any restrictions. He says he doesn't watch TV." What of radio?" I ask." I listen to Plus FM they play very good music".

Back at Mamobi, life goes on as usual. The kenkey seller close to the Mamobi Poly Clinic is operating, so is the provision kiosk, but so also are the people in the usual queues waiting to buy. Movement is free!

At the Kwame Nkrumah interchange enclave, the usual crowds are missing, nevertheless, there are people - people who are not necessarily on the list of exemption.

The Police and military men on the ground, those I have encountered, have been very calm and collected. They have been too nice to persons who are neither going to buy food nor use toilet facilities. They have been too nice to people who just don't care.

Nyaba, for once, I wish they would whip sense into our heads. The pain of a military man's slap will be less severe than the pain caused by the slap of Coronavirus.

I am an advocate of human rights. But I am more of an advocate for life - life first. Our health system is so fragile that even Malaria and diarrhoea kill people. Let's slap sense into recalcitrant heads to save us all.

Columnist: Abdul Hayi Moomen