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Brace up Sierra Leoneans – COVID is still here!

By Sheku Putka Kamara

President Bio recently announced the relaxation of more COVID-19 measures in the country. The news was needed by almost all sectors. So, government had to once again adhere to the numerous calls of the masses and a good number of public opinion leaders and setters as you may wish. Before the announcement, our pupils in examination classes also had the go-ahead from the Basic Education Ministry to start proper preparations and so, July 1st saw them out and about. In all of these instances, government did make it clearer that all necessary health preventive measures must be adhered to. It is also said that the relaxation of some of these measures must not inform citizens and other nationals in Sierra Leone to treat things with levity. These are the things we are looking at in today’s edition of the Legendary Column.

It has been said that kids have better chances of surviving or even not to contract the corona virus. This means that, we have less to worry about, but we must not totally relax. Health experts have suggested that children must be schooled on the dos and don’ts of COVID-19 just so that they all could play safe. This is needed. It is not a secret that children are fond of interacting a lot and yes, we may not have the opportunity of stopping them from playing.

Another worrisome nature about this global corona virus pandemic is that some of its carriers maybe asymptomatic. This means that they may not have signs and symptoms of the disease. That is why care has to be taken to ensure that we all are safe. We all must brace up and make those essential sacrifices that will ensure that Sierra Leone becomes corona free.

The ban on religious gatherings has also been lifted and the curfew is now extended to 5am, starting 11pm. This was something that people yearned for and it was apt that government adhered to the protocols outlined and suggested by our religious bodies.

For many people, there was a lesser need to close places of worship when ‘major streets in Freetown are crowded Mondays through Fridays.’ It has now been assumed that worshipers may now use this opportunity to pray to the Almighty so that corona may end. Whatever that means, we may still just have to hope for the better. A few of my colleagues were saying that they did observe that a good number of persons abandoned prayers during this COVID-19 period. If that is anything to go by, I wonder what amount of seriousness we may want to show God Almighty when we may have neglected Him all this while. Anyway, God knows best.

To me, it is necessary to remind worshippers that the corona virus pandemic is still with us and so we all must play and stay safe. It is understood that our country is accustomed to handshakes, but this is not the time. Muslims may still say ‘Asalamua Laikum etc’ without shaking hands. Christians may still greet one another with no shaking of hands. You do not know the health status of the other person. Do not take chances. Besides, we all could still pray and worship anywhere appropriate. Maybe what matters most is the intention. This is why greater cautions have to be taken. Our religious leaders must ensure to play a crucial part in all of this. The fact that they command a greater amount of respect cannot be overstated.

The fight against this pandemic could be won if we all work in the best interest of our country.

In all of this, I have seen and heard elderly people and even persons in authority that doubt the existence of the corona virus pandemic. In most cases, believers of this opinion are not health experts, but they still have the confidence to misinform compatriots and other people alike. Some of these attitudes cannot and would not help us. If not for anything, let us bear in mind that people that have succumbed to the destructive nature of the virus never wished they could have found themselves in such situations. Global statistics have also shown that the corona virus is not a stranger. World economies have been battered and shattered. Even the World Health Organization appears to have been overwhelmed. Surely, it appears that we still have a lot of catching up to do.

It is my strong conviction that the easing of restrictions must not make us to be making uninformed decisions. There could be costly consequences for some of our actions. If care is not taken, we may be heading for some wrongful paths. It is clearer that the globe did not plan for this pandemic as it was surely not expected.

Therefore, at a time like this, the best option is to go by what health professionals and experts have said. One of the best principles that did make countless agendas for example is the idea of frequent hand washing. We must not relent. We all should see a strong need to adhere to this mechanism because it has the proclivity to save lives and reduce the risk of transmission. These are things that we all have to do to defeat this common COVID-19 enemy.

It is widely believed that God Almighty helps those that help themselves. That is why we have to make huge sacrifices and see that our country becomes corona free. Let us negate the pessimistic mentalities and inculcate optimistic attitudes. The fight against the corona virus is definitely winnable just if we do not continue to treat things with levity. We must realize that the easing of restrictions must not be a pathway to go against set rules and norms.

We still need to realize that it takes collective efforts and responsibilities to resist the temptations of not doing what is correct. These are some of the things that could aid us all in defeating COVID-19.

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