Esther Edina Welbeck’s thoughts … Coronavirus: lessons we can learn

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The whole world, for some months now, has been hit with a strange novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. The virus emerged from Wuhan, a city in China, in late 2019, and has since infected millions around the world.

The number of infections keeps increasing by day, with many reported deaths. Governments are doing their best to contain the disease with measures as lockdowns, tests, isolation and quarantine, among others, but they are not coming on a silver platter.

We have all been advised to practice safety protocols including observing physical or social distancing, avoiding handshakes, washing our hands under running water often and using hand sanitizers.

Many businesses have been temporarily shut down, sending many out of jobs, at least, for the time being. In Ghana and many parts of the world, nose mask has now been made mandatory as part of the measures to bring the disease under control.

Healthcare professionals and researchers are also working around the clock to help resolve the situation. But we have all seen that it has not been easy at all. Even the ‘advanced’ nations are on their knees and scratching their heads to find a solution.

We, however, cannot lose sight of the fact that throughout history strange epidemics have occurred and claimed many lives; earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes and famine.

All this while, I have been asking myself where the ‘self-acclaimed’ prophets are, who seem to predict everything before they occur, as we have been experiencing in our part of the world.

They have been unable to provide a cure to this ravaging disease. I have felt so sorry for these groups of people and their followers.

I recall a poem I read in my senior high school days— The Pulley by George Herbert, a metaphysical poem unveiling the truth that human beings are so restless and unsatisfying inspite of all they get.

George Herbert explains that after God made this universe, He gathered all the blessings of the world and distributed to human beings one after another, starting from strength, to beauty to honour and then pleasure, and when almost all was gone, God kept rest from man, thinking that when man gets what he wants in all sufficiency, they may forget God. A typical example is what we see today; thinking that the human being is sufficient.

In all of these, I am delighted that the President has been inviting various groups in the country including pastors to fast, pray and find lasting solution. This means we have not forgotten the God factor in these trying moments.

This pandemic has taught everyone a lot of lessons that when human capabilities fail, there is a God to help mankind. Some have learnt to pray to their living being, God, for his protection from this unknown virus.

Of course, that does not mean we should put away the safety protocols. But when man’s wisdom fails, God is available to help.

The fact still remains that some of us have learnt that, as humans, we must be humble, care for each other as a people and see each other as one people just as we are working together to fight this disease.

I am certain that we will all come out of this successfully, with the hope that a vaccine could be developed – which is months away – to fight this disease, to make the world a better place that we have always wanted.

 

The writer is a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism

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