Opinions Fri, 3 Jul 2020

Surviving coronavirus – How can we help?

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine shared on our WhatsApp group platform and on Facebook that he had been diagnosed positive of COVID-19. When I saw it, I took it as a joke or a report about someone else. Then, I realised the message was personal and about him.

I called him to verify. It was affirmative. My friend got his test result in and he was positive of the pandemic. I prayed with him and promised him that I will do everything possible to be with him in his dark moment until he comes out of it.

For many people, they still think COVID-19 does not exist. They posit that it’s a figment of our imagination. Until someone close to you gets it, you are prone to think it’s a mere hyped virus.

I am of the opinion that if some people we know get it, we have to help them to recover. How? The story of Dr. Joan Woode of the Neonatal Unit of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital of Ghana can help us get some tips to help others. She was infected and recovered as was reported by Adom News.

With over 17,000 infections, over 13,000 recoveries and a death toll of a little over 100, Ghana is a shining example of how to handle this global pandemic. But since there is no cure, our best bet is to help people to come out. I asked myself a simple question: if I get it, what would I expect family and friends to do for me? The following tips will help.

1. Contact them

The reason why I called my friend immediately when I read about his case was because I read that when Dr. Woode got it, her family and friends supported her. They called her, sent her WhatsApp messages, text messages and phone calls aimed at boosting her hope that recovery is possible. They wanted her to know that she is not alone. She had a cloud of supporters.

When biblical Job was going through difficult moments of his life, his friends openly came out to support him. We may not be able to go there physically but we must use all available technological means to contact and support them.

Some people after contracting this virus have been abandoned, neglected and stigmatized by other people. They have been treated badly as well as their families. No one likes to be neglected at the moment of their pain and suffering. They need us. They yearn to hear from us and know that it shall be well. Ever since my friend got it, I have been contacting him now and then to build his hope.

2. Pray for them

The next thing we can do for persons with COVID-19 is to pray for them. I am a Christian. I believe in the power of prayers. Dr. Woode, for instance, shared that her family and friends called to pray for her. When I called my friend, I prayed for him. I told him that we will never forget him but pray for him. Indeed, I went a step forward to share his case with my prayer team so that they intercede for him.

Everyone needs prayers. We need the hand of God to intervene when all solutions are not working. To get a virus without a cure is no joke. If God does not help, who can help? If grace does not abound, you will face disgrace and death. Prayer works. God listens and answers our prayers.

The Bible says in Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) that, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

A firm trust in God is a sure way to build your hope and trust that all will be well. We must pray for COVID-19 frontline health workers who risk their lives for the rest of us. We must pray for patients. God will answer our prayers and cause them to be safe and recover.

3. Encourage them

Probably the last thing we can do for persons with COVID-19 is to encourage them. Don’t scare them. Don’t stigmatize them but encourage them that it shall be well. This is not easy for most of us because we see figures of the cases and deaths. We feel that because there is no cure, their end is death. Since we are seeing massive recoveries, we must encourage people that they will recover too if they keep fighting for their lives.

After Dr. Woode recovered, she shared her story for all to be encouraged that recovery is possible. The world can defeat COVID-19 if we rally around the call to encourage patients to recover from this deadly virus. Encouragement is pure medicine for recovery.

I feel we can win this war against this invincible enemy called COVID-19. Though it has caused a lot of havoc and still doing so, we can beat it with the spirit of helping someone with the virus come out by contacting them, praying for them, and encouraging them. We shall surely overcome. This too shall pass!

The writer is a blogger (www.erickotchere.blogspot.com) and a podcaster (https://anchor.fm/eric-otchere). He can be reached via mail at otchereeric@gmail.com
Columnist: Eric Otchere