Opinion

Open schools and restore hope

By Ngor Khot Garang

Yesterday I was just thinking about what has befallen humanity and what we should do to control it or to put to an end the suffering of mankind. Then I turn my thinking to coronavirus. It is true that coronavirus has become a part of life and we are beginning to get use to it. Learning institutions and many businesses are reopening in most of the virus hit countries particularly the United States, China and Italy maybe for one reason or the other.

It could be that these people have realize that the virus came not only to destroy but to stay and people must find better ways to live with it and on the other hand, there are people who are still glued to the belief that the virus will vanish in a blink of an eye but that, they think would not possibly happen when we are under lockdowns. They put everything on God’s hands and they are right anyway. Life needs to go on amidst this virus and we need to survive also at the same. It has been noted that economies are ripping apart and the criminals cases are mounting due to the restrictions imposed on schools that make students idle and lockdowns that do not allow people to work leaving them with without choice but to just rob to survive.

The world as we all know has seen similar disasters worst than coronavirus but people made themselves strong and those calamities were overcome. This shades a green light on the fact that this virus too can be controlled and we can get through with or without it. In most of the African countries, people are just poor and they cannot manage to wait in their houses without going for work for the country to be declared coronavirus free. This is like asking people to commit suicide because there is no need to live in this painful world. I am not against the prescribed measures but we need to consider coronavirus as part of this life because what kills us this time is not the virus but our attitude towards the virus.

When the deadly Spanish flu was first discovered 1919, many lives were lost because of the fear inserted in the hearts of the people by concerned authorities but when they found out that the virus was just like the other viruses that have existed before and there was need to live with it. It became easier to combat the virus. The same thing applies to this coronavirus. We cannot afford to remain home for the virus to first find its way out, we as South Sudanese do not have exit strategy. Our success depends on Uganda and Kenya and we cannot afford to wait for them to open their schools, businesses and workplaces so that we follow their steps.

We are an independent country and we need to be an example to the rest of the world. We need to open schools and other businesses and preventive measure would still remain in place. Our children are not doing their normal duties because they are idle and this is another disaster. There are many premature teenage pregnancies and a lot of youth crimes than when these kids were in schools. The government should withdraw from these measures and open schools and churches because these measures have not been effective from the day they were imposed. We are still hearing shocking cases from the National Task Force and some of these are too good to be true. It is just fear and our fight must be to annihilate fear and replace it with hope. And this can only happen when schools and other institutions are allowed to operate.       

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