Ghanaians Must Stop the Stigmatisation of Covid-19 Patients

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How deplorably sad is to hear of my fellow Ghanaians in Ghana not only stigmatising Ghanaians living abroad but also, and most especially, the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) patients in Ghana. They don’t want to venture into any area where a “Ghanaian burger” newly arrived into the country, even after their compulsory isolation and quarantine, is living. They also don’t want to have anything done with a patient, or a healed person, of Covid-19.

Yes, the disease is understandably highly contagious and deadly. Therefore, it is only common sensibly advisable to stay away from infected persons as well as maintaining advisory social distancing even from healthy persons. However, to discard Covid-19 patients, especially those recovered from the illness, as though they never existed and were never part of your life in any meaningful way, is quite ungrateful to say the least, if not very reprehensibly wicked and stupid on your part.

The disease does not know any boundaries. It infects the rich, poor, weak, strong, illiterate, highly educated, slave or master. It is no respecter of persons unlike a Ghanaian court judge who may at times discard the available credible facts and evidence before them to base their judgment on the status of the person as may also be influenced by bribery. Covid-19 does not accept any bribes to be induced to refuse to attack anyone it comes across.

Unlike HIV/AIDS, novel coronavirus does not attack one based on their immoral behaviours. Therefore, why should you not shun only the patient who in their sickness may be seen as advisable, but also, the healed and their family members?

While the white people always show love and sympathy towards the patients, victims and the family members of such pandemics, the black people, especially Ghanaians, will not have anything to hear or do with such patients. That is madness on our part, I must confess and state so without any fear or favour.

In those days when HIV/AIDS was killing people, a disease that infected people mostly through immoral behaviours with even some innocent people contracting it from the barber shops and hairdressing saloons, or from already contaminated blood from the hospitals during blood transfusions, Ghanaians were found to be keeping their distance from such patients. Unlike Covid-19, shaking hands with HIV/AIDS patients without any direct cross-blood or semen contamination, one would never get infected yet, the Ghanaian out of ignorance and lack of knowledge, but dwelling on instinct, did away with their very family members and friends suffering from the disease.

Stress kills. Loneliness kills. These have been proven during outbreaks of deadly diseases. If one falls sick of a disease and recovers from it, they should not be ignored but embraced into our fold once proven that the person is no longer contagious.

I am certain Ghanaians living abroad will not behaviour so wickedly coldly towards their fellows contrary to the attitude of our brothers and sisters back home in Ghana during this outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

At times, it could not be the fault of one to contracting a disease so in such times, please let us show love to them rather than discarding them. If the person has stubbornly ignored all the available useful advice and ran into the illness, then you can decide to ignore them but for a while. This is to teach them a lesson as well as to serve as a deterrence to others. However, ignoring them for any reason and for any length of time must not happen in an occasion where the person has been affected by the disease through no fault of theirs.

Lessons are being learnt. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t let outbreaks of diseases harden our hearts to be wicked towards ourselves only to empower some foreigners to divide us to conquer and to rule us, making us compulsory slaves in our own land.

Let us show unity among ourselves in life, in sickness and in death. No more stigmatisation, please!

You hate your own brothers and sisters or fellow Ghanaians from suffering from Covid-19, yet you gladly accept gifts, probably infected or not, from China, where the disease started or originated from. Does it make any sense? Ghanaians, please let us wise up to behaviour as rational human beings but not as ignorant weakling easily conquerable by any intelligent or superior foreigner.

We need to adapt to the changing conditions of the times to be able to survive as a nation and a people. Anyone who has ears, please let them hear what the fearlessly no-nonsense son of Kumawu/Asiampa soil is saying. He does not claim to be a repository of wisdom, either based on his old age or grey hair, but he does proudly believe to be overflowing with a fountain of wisdom that anyone can freely drink from to quench their thirst for wisdom.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

Rockson Adofo

Friday, 01 May 2020

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