Ghana, like any other serious or developing nation, has a duty and obligation to beat and manage the COVID-19 pandemic and also attain its developmental goals. As individuals, families, communities, organisations, institutions and businesses, that obligation also confronts us.
Indeed, as we would admit, there is competition globally over which nations are showing commitment and initiative in fighting the pandemic, while we stay afloat rolling out our economic and developmental agenda.
We must admit, too, that there is a race to manage the threat from the pandemic as well as generate responses and strategies in controlling the negative impacts of the pandemic. And Ghana has stakes in that competition.
Indeed, as a nation returning not too long ago from an IMF programme, that duty becomes imperative. And, particularly, having done remarkably well in managing and controlling the first wave of the pandemic, expectations are high from outside and within that we continue to lead, in showing the way, at least, on the African continent.
That is why as citizens, workers, entrepreneurs, chief executive officers, traditional and religious leaders, among others, we have a huge responsibility to ensure that everything works on our markets and workplaces, churches and mosques and, significantly, our educational institutions where distancing is a natural challenge.
When President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched his reporting system on managing the crisis, we at Daily Statesman believe, like all Ghanaians, that he had in mind a programme of citizens being responsible and showing initiative and leadership at all levels in improving lives and livelihoods.
He expected, too, that every community and individual, regardless of that person’s station in life, would act to stay safe. And he also believed that would culminate in each citizen doing his best in navigating the threat as we responsibly improve ourselves.
That is why we believe, like most decent Ghanaians, that retreating to another lockdown cannot be the enduring answer, when being careful is basically what it takes to fight the threat.
For the police and other members of the security agencies to be chasing us before we do what is in our interest is, therefore, to underrate the potential of the virus to cause harm to us or the threat it poses to our physical and socio-economic survival.
Ghanaians love to work. Indeed, particularly in the case of the huge informal economy population we have on our hands, working from home as a policy cannot be an option, in our opinion, though some businesses may even be saving resources working virtually.
Whichever strategies we have in mind, the responsibility we have as citizens and as families is to supremely stay safe and diligent, in helping collectively to defeat the virus.
It is therefore important that the economic actors in our largely informal commercial transport sector as well as markets and churches take the message serious.
Additionally, for our friends who cannot do without parties, funerals and weddings or club activity, this is the time to avoid unnecessary risks, if we want to live, work in peace and fulfil our aspirations in life.
Because we live in a nation whose fortunes are tied to how we conduct ourselves, maintaining the safety protocols wherever we find ourselves will enable us sail these stormy waters.
Better still, that understanding and commitment will help us attain our national goals as an emerging and middle-class economy, in which we have capacity to create hope and security for our children and children’s children.
Let us just remember that an ounce of safety and hard work a day is all it takes to defeat the virus, while those same doses in negligence may land us in avoidable jeopardy.