Pandemics occur once in a century and it is rather unfortunate that we are constrained to cope with it. We cannot wish it away. One of its most distressful results is that, contrary to the doctrines of love enshrined in Christianity and Islam, it causes separation of friends and families. It has caused isolationism and boredom and while it lasts man can no longer claim to be a social animal but is rather forced to live like an oyster, solitary and self-contained. It is frightening to think that it could last for about a year according to scientists.
Lord! How sad it is to see our compatriots masked like surgeons all over the place. Small wonder that some people are saying it is the Destroyer or the Devil that scatters plagues all around the world. It is a sly disease catching high profile and low profile persons regardless. As the elite contract it one wonders whether it is owing to the suspicion that they do not observe the elementary guidelines against the disease thinking themselves immune.
Because it is less virulent than a disease like Ebola there have been lots of denials mainly by semi-educated citizens and surprisingly from so-called educated ones. Though scary figures of deaths are published in the media doubting Thomases still regard it as fiction. Though there is freedom of speech enshrined in the 1991 Constitution these denials constitute rebellious action and should now be punishable.
Though Krio is the lingua franca it would appear that some of the key messages for compliance are not getting through to the targeted audiences. This is due to the fact that the communicators either want to impress the public that they are highly educated or they lack expertise in the Krio language. They are oblivious of the fact that any jargon thrown into a sentence can distort it while the communicator goes away deluding himself/herself that effective work has been done. For this reason native speakers of each language should be employed.
Since when did the word JAW become obsolete? We hear TALK FOR TIDAY and other neophytes saying: Under you chin instead of the simple word known by leaners of Krio as JAW. The other word, which these charlatans are attracted is ADHERE instead of KEEP. Churches (and some of these impostors are Christians) know about KEEPING the TEN COMMANDMENTS not adhering to the TEN COMMANDMENTS.
That is the word used by the world’s most read book but our journalists keep impressing the public by using the rare words. How many educated secondary school students knew the meaning of the word SANITIZER before Ebola?
They just spew words ‘fiti-fata.’ They use words like SOCIAL DISTANCING and TWO METERs as if they paid for schooling for all those illiterates unsuccessfully.
It is therefore necessary for journalists especially those in the electronic media to be persuaded to beware of the language they use if they are not to be performing exercises in futility.
How can the government flatten the curve and see some vistas of hope? It can do so in more ways than one. In the first place it can without much ado offload the quality and Scientific Group of sinecure holders who have outlived their usefulness. The only groups worthy of their hire at this point in time are the medical officers at the Treatment Centers who are doing the dirty job though they are now reasonably financially compensated for their occupational hazards.
The President of Tanzania did it alone by refusing to close churches and there has been no alarming rate or spikes in COVID-19 cases there. That’s a man of his own new direction and not joining the swim with all others. Our copycat closures of churches and mosques here have not resulted in any alarming spikes after their reopening. It will be observed that while these places of worship were closed markets and transportation maintained their clustering as they still do.
Those unfortunate persons who were fined Le20,000 each in the provinces are the scapegoats while their compatriots in Freetown are going scot-free with COVID-19 regulations not worth the paper on which they are written. The government had better abandon the cosmetic face mask requirement and stick to hand washing which is only operational at some public buildings.
Let the Quality and Scientific Group take a ride along the main streets of Freetown and they will soon observe that perhaps only one or two in a thousand would be wearing their nose masks PROPERLY. It is interesting to note in this regard that all the law enforcers namely the army and police officers wear their masks with their noses well above the masks for fresh air. What examples as precepts are they setting?
The face masks are really effective in preventing the disease but they have been virtually REJECTED by the people.
The present status quo vis-à-vis the lock downs is commendable but government should now concentrate on contact tracing and better treatment putting face masks on the back burners. This is the reality of COVID-19 prevention. Let’s face it!