It has been a bleak five months since the dreaded coronavirus hit us. It has impacted many in one way or the other. The good news, however, is that some smiles are gradually emerging, no matter what.

Cause to smile

And so, whether it is recovery period for self or a loved one, there is cause to smile because health has been regained. It could have been worse as the disease could have taken a different toll. If unfortunately and painfully so, you lost a loved one to the disease, yes, your loss is irreplaceable but know that God’s provision will be sufficient. 

The disease thought it could shut our places of worship for good. Well, not exactly. It is time to smile a bit because in-person worships are bouncing back albeit with strict adherence to safety protocols. But that is okay because it is better to play safe than never.

Whether it is separation from loved ones or a celebration that has eluded us due to the safety protocols in place, it is time to smile because of the silver lining the same protocols have brought us. In observing social distance, what the disease has done is to bring us even closer and on a daily basis to the people in our lives through the power of the internet and social media.

You may have lost a business, a job and therefore, a livelihood. Difficult as it may have been, just look beyond for the opportunity that is waiting to be discovered. Remember the saying that when one door closes, another opens? There are countless income-earning opportunities and new ways of doing things. Just shrug off the negative moans about your loss and look for what next can be done.

I love the spirit of a local textile manufacturing company with the initiative to create designs that depict the lockdown we went through. They have gone further to cheer us up with designs of the President’s signature-tune spectacles and named the design “Fellow Ghanaians”, signifying the President’s popular salutation when he is addressing the nation. Those designs, colourful as they are, give one so many smiles and thumbs up for creativity in a time of doom.

I found out last weekend that the smiles are beginning to beam out there for family and friends when it comes to getting together to socialise. To mark two family events in a small way, we went out for a meal and to our surprise; we saw life is bubbling again. The protocols are definitely there and it behoves on us to strictly observe so life together with family and friends could continue.

I had cause to smile last week with the news of largesse of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong. Single-handedly, the MP is reported to have mobilised and donated $428,650 to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to support the evacuation of more than 700 stranded Ghanaians in Lebanon. 

Allegedly, $200,000 of the amount is his personal contribution while the rest was mobilised through an appeal he launched for others to support. Such philanthropy brings smiles into any dire situation, hence my loud applause.

COVID-19 updates

While the smiles one shared together dimmed with the onset of Covid-19, the same smiles are beginning to light up with updates coming through this week on our Covid situation. The updates put Ghana’s official recovery rate from the disease at 95.4 percent, well above the global benchmark of 66 percent and 74.6 percent for Africa. 

There is cause to smile about our active cases as a percentage of recorded infections which currently is said to be as low as 4.6 per cent. This could be benchmarked against the global rate of 29.9 per cent and Africa rate of 23.1 per cent. Even in the unfortunate death rate, we are told that the country’s percentage is 0.54 compared to a global percentage of 3.55 and 2.29 for Africa.

So the global and regional comparisons available to us, five months on, should bring back beaming smiles for as long as we all commit to be disciplined. One needs to consciously keep to strict safety protocols as prescribed by health authorities.

Admitted, we are not out of the woods yet, but we have cause to spread the smile. Life after all, is not all doom, five months on.

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The writer can be contacted via email: vickywirekoandoh@yahoo.com