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We have lost the battle to contain coronavirus – Ridge Doctor writes

Lock down begins. I thought, going to work that I would see a ghost town. I did not. The traffic has definitely reduced, but there are still people on the streets. The shops are closed, or closing. The police stops are increasing. The first day, I was underwhelmed. I did not meet a single police man on my way to work. Today, I was stopped more times. The grip is tightening slowly, but maybe not fast enough.

I met a police woman this morning who did not have a mask on when she stopped me. I was not wearing a mask myself, because I had been sitting alone in an air-conditioned car.

Our separation was just about a metre. I showed her my cards. She waved me on. And then I asked her where her mask was. She said she did not have one. I picked up a spare N95 in my bag, gave it to her and drove on, my mind teeming with questions.

Yesterday, the neurosurgical world lost a giant. I was privileged to sit in Professor Goodrich’s lecture in October last year. He was talking about his experience in leading work all over the world to separate craniophagous twins. These are babies born joined at the head.

Successfully separating them is the holy grail of neurosurgery. This man had led teams to do this surgery over and over again, and succeeded. All over the world, neurosurgeons use his protocols to do this surgery. He had been on ventilator until yesterday in the morning. And then he could carry on no further. All his expertise. All his humanity. All his knowledge, taken away by COVID 19. A top doctor, in one of the world’s most advanced critical care standards, had become a casualty in a battle that is real.

It is not real here yet. It is almost as if we have not seen the havoc that it has wreaked across the world. We are playing with fire, whilst waiting for the fire truck to arrive. There are lessons we should have learnt long ago, but time has run out.

We have crowded asymptomatic people together in markets, trotros, taxis, streets, and now, in the shadow of the lock down, they are settling in homes across the country, and maybe the virus has followed them.

The battle front has not changed. The planning is still fragmented. The moving parts are not clicking together yet, maybe they will . For now, i just hope that the coordination that is so basic to any glimpse of victory, miraculously manifests. That out of the chaos of ineffectual public education, wretched health care, and unprotected frontline staff, something arises. Some kind of Phoenix, out of the ashes of trial and error, to save us from the catastrophe that we are manufacturing for ourselves.

As the storm brews, I am learning a bit more about the country I live in. I have always known about the goodness, and some of the bad. I have also seen some of the harm that dithering can cause, how crucial it is to plan systematically.

Now I have even known how leaderless people feel, and how the lack of selflessness of the people in power, just mirrors the soul of the governed. The panic that emptied supermarket shelves, the cold heartedness that drove prices of staples upwards three/four times over. How will we win any battle saving ourselves, when this virus just awaits the chance to invade the straying individual?

I have seen the masks multiplying in town, as the fear settles. I have seen people protect themselves from the hidden pestilence, in places where no virus would want to be. And it is striking, that whilst the masks are used indiscriminately all over town, the people who face the virus head on, are running out of equipment.

We have lost the battle to contain this virus. It is now only a matter of time, and numbers. The curve is growing, it will peak, then flatten before the virus blows over. And only discipline and community will tide us over. If we stay indoors and take mobility away from the virus, and keep it from infecting even more people outside, maybe we begin to win. Maybe we free the health workers to do the best they can.

Maybe we will protect ourselves from losses we cannot recover from.

Dr Teddy Totimeh,

Medical Doctor at Ridge hospital.

26 Comments
  1. Anonymous says

    Humm Doc if people like you think we’ve lost the battle then ……… real alarming situation we’re faced with.

  2. Rev. Prince Baffour-Ofori says

    This is seriously. I wish this article is read by everyone in Ghana 🇬🇭 but how possible! In Christ alone our help is found.

    1. Peter Adjei says

      The Almighty God alone is our hope. He will yet save us. Even the USA, Spain Italy, UK,France, etc. were not sufficiently prepared to fight Covid-19. The Lord will deliver us. Let’s not despair.

    2. Bright says

      Sure

  3. Anonymous says

    Eeeiii!! If a Dr like this one has now come to a conclusion of this nature, then Ghana must wake up ooo. God save us. It is well.

  4. Anonymous says

    The 48 hours gap between the lockdown wasn’t strategic on the president side. Lockdown is lockdown no time to go anywhere after he spoke the fellow morning no movement and then the security men and women will ensure social distancing among the people the fellowing days. At the various markets across the country. But this 48 hours gap
    gave people enough time to move around and spread out the virus if indeed it’s within the comunity. Then we failed to contain the virus. God help us 🙏

    1. Anonymous says

      The criticisms are enough. No one has a rule book on managing the COVID 19. Even the most advanced countries are still struggling. Let us thank God for little mercies and educate our peers and country men and women on how to take good care of themselves. We talk too.much and do nothing

      1. Anonymous says

        The doctor hasn’t criticize anyone, he is a professional and has made such great observation which are true. Police officers do have masks, prison officers guide inmates in my ward without mask, even the health, we don’t have enough of it. God’s blessings n protection is upon us but God always attaches our part of responsibility,

  5. Anonymous says

    Very pathetic

    1. Promise says

      Let us wake up else…..

    2. Anonymous says

      Our leadership is politically driven in the fight against covid-19. They fail to tell us who among them has tested positive and who among the citizens within the communities has tested positive for us to learn a lesson. They are politically shielding and so people doubt the existing of covid-19. We joke with everything. Dr. No name at Lekma has tested positive and we fail to tell the Ghanaians his name. It’s time they allow the media to make the victims open to the public for our consumption. To the Dr. who penned these food for tot, I will advice him to organize a strike action for the MOH and those agencies to take the necessary actions. After all there is only one Jesus who saves life.
      Emmalat7 from Teshie

      1. Anonymous says

        How do you expect a Doctor to discuss or tell u about his or her patients…..there’s something called Doctor patient relationship, where secrets are not shared. You will victimized them if they make the name available to you…..romeve your political lens and see clearly.

  6. Jimmy Owusu says

    The harmful effects of illiteracy is what is staring at us. Many people think the lockdown is not to their advantage and so it is not necessary. I watched female traders complaining on TV about low patronage of their products due to closure of the borders. I also watched grown up men at Odododiodio saying the government should bring them food before they could stay at home. They have no slightest idea that all these measures were put in place to facilitate their fight against covid 19. Because all these people cannot read for themselves lessons learnt at other jurisdictions from the hands of covid 19 they do not appreciate what the government is doing for them. For lack of knowledge, many may lose their lives. May God save Ghana.

    1. Anonymous says

      We need to wake up as early as possible. God have mercy on us.

  7. Anonymous says

    Very scary. So far as the government refuses to provide a means of transport for the essential workers and allow the trotros and the taxis to work,we shall continue having a lot of people in the street thus increasing the infection rate. Only testing and time can expose us. I suggest the TV stations begin to show the critically ill and the dead bodies(COVID19 victims) to scare us the more. The issue of ‘spread calm not fear’ is also creating laxity among us. If a world acclaimed surgeon is a victim, then the battle is really hard to win.

    1. Michael says

      All is not lost. More education needs to be done. We need to get a dedicated station to talk and show covid 19 issues. Get mobile washrooms in communities without or with few kvip. Cost of nose masks and sanitizers should be reduced. Announce a total lockdown and allow the military to take over the situation.

      1. Abrompa says

        We are not losing the opportunity but rather throwing away the opportunity by interfering too much in the work of the security agencies.
        There were some infractions or excesses but we collectively have to take responsibility for whatever happens. The human rights activist must be part of the education of the population to comply with the directives for the common good of all citizens.

  8. TRUTH says

    This is FAKE NEWS…
    HOW COME DID YOU GIVE OUT N95???
    IN GHANA?.. YOUR STORY SOUNDS AND SMELLS “NAIJA” IN ORIGINE…

    1. Anonymous says

      Your reaction let us know your a fake contributor.

    2. Anonymous says

      Excuse yourself as a Nigerian I find your comment unwholesome to say the least… The man was touched and acted accordingly….. Gosh

    3. Cornelia says

      Lmaooooo… Please. At least use syntacticly correct speech if you’re going to bash on someone’s personal reportage..
      Smh. I was going to explain how he could have given out an N95 but I realized typing that out would be a waste of seconds I’ll never recover….

  9. Felix says

    Doc, you perfectly right, we have lost the battle, on Tuesday, watching Kasoa market, the crowd…hmmm, God is the only help to deliver his people…the government and the security personnels need to wake up also

  10. Anonymous says

    Am not a pessimist, but the reality is what you’ve said. We even lost it early on when refused to heed to the advice from the Italian president to close our boarders.
    This is a war situation and in such times, people are sacrificed for the larger good.
    In God we trust to deliver us now.

  11. Victoria says

    My boss you have said it all. Indeed we have lost the battle. The disease is so real and Ghanaians are just joking about it. Be very careful. God save us all

  12. Judd Thadd says

    Well articulated. Thanks Doc. May God keep u going!

  13. Snake Cross Road says

    Apt and concise piece worth reading and sharing

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