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Coronavirus and divine intervention: What Ghanaians must do

Thu, 2 Apr 2020 Source: Isaac Ato Mensah

From Homer’s Iliad through the Christian Bible, other sacred writings, and in many other faiths and cultures, we are assured that there is always divine intervention.

Otherwise why bother to pray?

The moral order always enjoined man to do the right thing.

His actions must meet the salvific plan of the gods.

Today, governments around the world are spending trillions they once made us believe they never had.

As my mentor has observed: “Our governments simply did not have the right priorities and they must not be allowed to get away with that again”.

Let us address the case of ghana and our COVID-19 response.

Where the heck in the annals of the Ministry of Information did anyone ever count 200, or 160 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, or whatever new numbers the dishonest chancers keep churning out?

My mentor again: “An ICU bed is not just a bed and a mattress. Unless of course you are ignorant”.

Do we not have one “astute” journalist who can decide to verify for us this bombastic statement from a cabinet minister?

Is the honorable minister not a journalist himself?

The ruling party is on record as having commissioned a hostel for kayayei in addition to supplying them with spanking new head pans for the last March 6 parade.

How come, they could not house them in the hostel and prevent their flight back to their home towns and villages?

We must insist on gravitas and sincerity from our cabinet minister.

Meanwhile the charade of the president donating three months salary into a COVID-19 fund is annoying.

Listen Mr President: You have 127 ministers. Reduce that number to 36 and thereby free the tax payer of those salaries, fuel and other perks.

All the top scientists have told us to follow the science and the data in these tough times.

But in ghana, have we ever had any respect for science and data?

Are we not the same people with an utter disdain for the few individuals among us who insist on facts, evidence and reason?

Often we have as a matter of fact opted for a “ghanaian way” – a methodology based on mis- and disinformation anchored in recklessness.

So today here we are facing a world wide health emergency with almost empty hands and looking particularly vulnerable and childish.

And this is primarily because of a long succession of underachieving leaders and a populace with warped priorities prompted by ignorance and dishonesty.

Everything is politicised at the level of banal party politics and today we do not even have health professionals in the public service who can speak the simple truth when there is an existential health threat.

Ma’at the African god of justice has raised her sword and is ready to cut through our society.

If we do not act now, we delay our chance at divine intervention.

Our national effort in health and sanitation prior to and during this pandemic has not demonstrated that we are ready to negotiate a divine intervention.

Part of the evidence is the so called “disinfection of markets” – a veritable exercise in throwing chemicals on dirt; yet another classic instance of misguided action that is the hallmark of our pathetic governance.

Everyday we see Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) without PPEs in so called ambulances when peer reviewed evidence suggests only one in nine of them has the basic knowledge of first aid for emergency care.

Meanwhile where is the PPE gear that our healthcare workers will need at this crucial time? And the testing kits?

What can ghana’s insurance companies do for our health workers when even Fortune 500 companies are in a tailspin?

We are completely unprepared for this pandemic and it appears we are not even prepared to think.

Only divine intervention can save us.

It is only right that as we implore The Most High to save us, we begin to forsake the foolish ways that have led us here.

We must do the very best that we can and then surely God will do the rest.

We must resolve to seek the Truth and maintain that path from now on for there are many many more viruses out there.

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Columnist: Isaac Ato Mensah