Health

Lessons from Covid-19 in Italy: If People Were God

Lessons from Covid-19 in Italy

I live in Italy and it’s been one month since our Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown. The lockdown includes travel restrictions, no movement on streets and closure of all non-essential businesses (apart from groceries and pharmacies). Notwithstanding the drastic measures to halt the spread of Covid-19, Italy has been unable to slow the spread. The country’s latest tally reported a total of 6,077 deaths from 63,927 infections.

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As a Ghanaian residing in Italy, the coronavirus menace is something I never thought would ever happen here. Generally, people are confused, sad, and helpless about what’s happening or when it will end. Personally, I’ve experienced everything from boredom, inspiration, hope, faith; in fact, everything but fear. Of course, I’m deeply concerned but so far, I’ve never been afraid; why? God!

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I give Him all the credit for the no fear, because even more than the coronavirus, there is the fear associated with it. And don’t get me wrong; people have every right to be afraid; the Covid-19 situation is downright scary with fake news and conspiracy theories flying around. We all heard that it does not affect blacks; we also heard how hot water, garlic and walking in the sun are remedies for staying free of the virus. Charlie, the fear, panic, confusion, helplessness is real…    

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The bigger picture: Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown

Corona literally means crown in Italian, and not surprisingly, Heads of States all over the world are at their wit’s end, not knowing what to do. I mean, what do you do after you’ve imposed a total lockdown on your country and banned all internal and external travels? I certainly do not know but please do tell me if you do.        

By now, I’m sure you have an idea where I’m going with this, if not let me just say it plainly. We (humans) do not know everything. We thought we did but now I’m sure we know the truth, which is the fact that we don’t know anything.

So, what if any of these conspiracy theories are true; let’s say this virus is a bioweapon that was created in the lab; what does that tell you about people?

If this really started as a wet market where all sorts of atrocities are on sale, again what does that tell you about people?         

Yeah and there’s that theory about this being a political stunt by America with the aid of China; if that’s true, what does that say about people?

We’ve seen coronavirus videos of people spitting on elevator buttons and doorknobs. We’ve seen people hoard food and toilet paper, not caring about the person who will come after them. Again, we’ve seen vendors increase prices of essential items by frightening margins overnight.          

We’ve seen people putting themselves and others at risk by refusing to comply with directives imposed by their nations for everyone’s safety. You and I have seen people start and circulate false information to incite fear and panic. We’ve seen the greed, selfishness and wickedness of people in 8D.

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Covid-19: Weightier Matters

Sure, there are also good people in the world, lots of good people.

We’ve seen medical personnel who work tirelessly day and night with little rest to take care of others; many have lost their lives so doing. We’ve seen people volunteer to shop for the aged and vulnerable when they haven’t been able to. We’ve seen people sing across to each other from their balconies. Also, we’ve seen our national leaders, eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep or a lot of tears. Maybe both.

So, people are not all bad you see, there’s still some hope in humanity, but is it enough?

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Can we totally and completely (excuse the tautology, it’s for emphasis) place our destinies in the hands of our fellow man?

Heck, we can’t even be trusted with our own lives.

God gave us the gift of free will, I choose to hand mine over to Him; He sure knows what He’s doing and I believe it’s time we all acknowledge who really ought to be in charge of us and our world.

Obviously, people can’t be trusted, we are people we should know that by now.

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What we can learn from Italy’s coronavirus crisis

In Italy, and elsewhere, there is shortages of respirators, basic medical equipment and beds in intensive-care units. Even health care workers are having a hard time due to the shortage of protective equipment.

Many people all over the world are in denial, while others are defiant (like it happened in Italy). I have heard stories of people who were hospitalized (isolation for the virus) but felt fine so they packed their bags and went home. Frankly, it’s that lack of consciousness about how serious the coronavirus outbreak is that hasn’t helped. Globally, there is a large number of people who feel fine and don’t realize they’re infectious.

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Way forward

I know you’ve overheard these messages but read them again and again.

  • Don’t go to crowded places.
  • Don’t eat in public places.
  • Stay longer at home during this time!
  • Listen to the Ministry of Health guidelines.
  • Talk a meter away from people (don’t come close).
  • Don’t cuddle or accept a hug from any person.
  • Take vitamin C to boost your immune system.
  • Take care of yourself love your life and the life of another
  • Stay safe out there.

Ghana needs to impose harsh rules (for public safety) and fast.

Related: After Launch of National Sanitation Campaign, What Next

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Covid-19 Story by Baaba Ennin

Baaba Ennin

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