Some people are not taking the covid-19 serious. They flout the rules and regulations and refuse to keep any protocol. These are the “coronavirus jerks.” Our round two of the lockdown is bringing this home to us. No one wants to die gasping for breath and finding none. The lack of restrictions or the rapid unlocking is causing havoc in many places.

I am home while I left work in the office. The lockdown came suddenly like a thief in the night. I was completely unprepared but will have to make do with what I have.

A friend just reminded me that we were loved at birth and we would be loved at death. We have to make do with what happens in between (birth and death.) Having been born in the former Gold Coast that has no more gold, Ghana is probably the country that loves dead people most.

I have seen funerals in other countries including the rich ones, but in Ghana it has become a sort of competition to show ‘love’ to a dead person. It does not matter whether the said person suffered rejection and isolation or even hunger in life. At death, he assumes a new importance and the valuation of his life goes beyond words. People would go into debt to give a “fitting burial” to a man who was hungry for food or who needed some medication to be alive. Who is fooling who?

With the advent of the professional mourners who would dress up in expensive suits and carry the coffin or casket of the deceased and dance on the streets, it is almost impossible to have a normal funeral. Over here in Botswana, we do not delay burials, at most 4 to 7 days after death a funeral takes place. We also try to outdo others when we have funerals. People want expensive caskets and take delight in the crowd but this does not compare with the wastage of resources to show off in West Africa. While Nigerians have expensive and lavish weddings, Ghanaians have lavish funerals and go into debt for a long time.

The experience of people in Italy and the US and now Brazil and Chile where thousands have died due to covid-19 and are buried without family and no fanfare should inform us about the value of life. Mass graves being dug and coffins are separated by a small partition (for privacy) and being covered up. No one wants to see a loved one buried in that manner. It seems to me that that is why we should take the coronavirus protocols seriously. Our only line of defense is prevention.

A Mayor of a City in Ghana has died from complications of covid-19. Other leaders are hiding their afflictions. Diplomatic sources say that the wife of a president of a small country in East Africa was hospitalized in Nairobi as a result of covid-19. Even though it has not been officially announced, diplomats believe that a President in Africa has recently died from Covid-19.

He was one of those leaders that did not believe that the coronavirus is deadly. He chased the WHO from his country. Tanzania is also loosing many people to the virus but health officials are not permitted to say anything. They are muzzled. Grave diggers know the truth. When are we going to wake up from our slumber?

President Trump plays down the coronavirus but he is taking malaria medication as a possible prophylaxis against it. He also wanted to start to “bleach it” away. He is a global leader that is failing the world. We in Africa need to be ware, the next few months are critical in containing the spread on the coronavirus.

I fear for the motherland, I fear for our seniors, I fear for the future of our children. During the lockdown, children of the rich could do online studies but those in the villages could ill afford the gadgets for online learning. The only line they have is the rope used to tie firewood in the forest to bring home, or it may be the rope at the end of fishing net that is pulled from the shore to land the fish. Let’s give our people hope. Let’s do the right thing!

As I write this, news just filtered through that our lockdown has been lifted as at midnight. Life will go on. We hope there would be no outbreaks in the country, so bless us God.

Authored by Bishop Frank Nubuasah

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