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Guest Blog: Be disciplined enough to wear a face mask

A nation is said to be progressing when majority of its citizens embrace discipline. I have keenly observed that indiscipline is eating deep into the moral fibre of the Ghanaian society. Our society, which is struggling to disentangle itself from the shackles of economic, political, social, economic and health cankers has also been affected by another instance of moral decadence.

It's been past four months since Covid-19 reached the shores of this country. As of today, July 31, the total number of confirmed cases are 35142, deaths(175) defiling common sense, the ordinary and the entire containment protocols. On the flip side, persons who have been able to recuperate from the disease stands at 31286 currently. There's more to be done!

Indeed, Ghana has been thrown into an uncomfortable health displacement. Whilst this crisis presents bad news for Ghanaians by causing a lot of people to contract the disease, some perishing, having dire consequences on human resource and livelihoods nationwide, it leaves no scare to the "Covidiots".

Don't wrap your pretty head around this new word in the internet glossary. People who are aware of the pandemic(Covid-19) its dynamic nature but still doubt that it's real, can be called the "covidiots". They shun basic cleanliness & safety protocol; the mandatory wearing of face/ nose mask to complement the state's efforts. As a result, the number of cases are taking the pattern of lotto numbers.

In this article, I send the right message to every right thinking Ghanaian; the wearing of a face mask should be guided by the common sense of human not humor.

In the past few months, I have seen people walk around without their nose mask;some advertently hide theirs in their pockets or bags, heard discussions on the negligence of some Ghanaians not wearing it, being likened to trivial reasons rather than safety.

It becomes uncompromising to pinpoint the exactness of this kind of indiscipline. One can boldly say that, it started from the time government instituted the safety and precautionary mechanisms. However, the covidiots have been violating the measures put in place to stem the tide.

They go out without the face protectors and cannot assign any tangible reason. This is making the work of some of the security personnel difficult in battling with such cases which has the propensity of putting their lives at risk. The situation has become so alarming that every Tom, Dick or Harry seems to be affected. I hope that attitudinal efforts could be made to reverse this downward slide among all shades of people.

We can all attest to the fact that, face masks weren't recommended at the start of the pandemic. Has it crossed your mind, as to why? The singular reason was, during that time experts didn't know the extent to which people with Covid-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared.

Nor was it known that some people had Covid-19 but didn't have any symptoms. Both groups can unknowingly spread the virus to others. These discoveries had public health groups to do an about - face on face mask. This has become a centre stage fighting approach for the World Health Organization (WHO) and US centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to include face masks in their recommendations.

It was just a plausible consideration and intervention by the health care and leadership authorities of this country to implement such a protective mechanism too.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo deserves a pat on the back by enforcing the mandatory wearing of face mask as a measure to mitigate the spread of the virus. We are now required by law to wear face masks in public places ; those who fall foul of the new executive order will face arrest and possible prosecution. Here comes the question, are people adhering to this mandatory measure?

Whilst others are being submissive to "mother face mask", some have genuinely disregarded the advice of this mother. Many people unknowingly infect others by going out and spreading germs by coughing, sneezing or even talking to others. Going out in public areas without a face mask exposes us to dangers of contracting the virus. One cannot tell when you're likely to meet people in our daily lives ; it could be close quarters or spaced out. Why don't you make it precaution and courtesy to yourself and those nearby you?

The advertent habit of putting the face masks in pockets or bags, waiting for a Police Officer to put you right should be nipped in the bud. Everyone is susceptible to contract the virus but then, an attitude of adherence will manifest in our total deliverance. A sound health life will be assured & procured when everything normalizes. This is achievable, feasible & possible if we can orient our mindset. Thinkably, it will slow down the virus a lot.

The responsibility lies on all and sundry to wear a face mask anytime you're in public or near people. Make it a fashion to function because, it acts as a physical barrier to protect you from viral and bacterial particulates. The dynamism of the virus cannot be downplayed; don't be ruled by the common sense of humor by going contrary to this directive. A face mask is more likely to prevent you from inhaling microscopic particles.

Your life is always in your hands. Why don't you wear a face mask to cut down 95% or breathing that sends the virus up to 6 feet away in a room, and also reduce fecal or oral transmission by preventing the virus from getting into your nose or mouth?

As citizens of mother Ghana, we need to do our best to help in bringing this social canker under control. We have to admit that, we find ourselves in challenging times and for things to return to normalcy, the attire of obedience & compliance should be worn. It is an indisputable fact that, indiscipline is affecting productivity at all levels of society and slowing down national growth and development. Discipline, undoubtedly is an essential tool for national development and should be embraced by all.

There is, therefore, the need to wage a frontal assault on indiscipline by every right thinking Ghanaian through pragmatic and collaborative efforts to combat it. In doing so that, we can collectively minimize indiscipline & Covid-19 if not totally eliminate it from the Ghanaian society. The nose or face is ours. The willingness to put on a nose or face mask is ours. May God save and bless us all.

The author, Bright Philip Donkor, he's the CSA'20 Online Journalist of the Year; a Social Activist, Columnist, Prolific Feature Writer and a GIJ Student.



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