Editorial

Choosing life over death

“CHOOSE life over death” should be the motto for all Zambians amid the deadly Covid-19.
With the country recording three new Covid-19 cases, the brazen declaration by some Zambians that: “they would rather die of Covid-19 than of hunger,” is misplaced and should be discarded.
It’s strange that some people would rather choose to death over life when they have an opportunity to live by simply adhering to guidelines. Is this too much to ask?
The argument by such people is, if they stopped selling on the streets and retreated to their homes, they would have no means of sustaining their livelihoods which they argue depends on hand-to-mouth businesses.
But this is not the problem with Government! The bone of contention is that such people and ignoring health measures such as wearing masks and social distancing in public places, among others, as they trade.
We implore those deliberately ignoring recommended health measures and presidential directives to deeply reflect over their stance and choose life over death because that’s the right thing to do in these difficult times.
Admittedly, people have the right to make their own choices over their health, but not so under the prevailing circumstances when a noxious virus is threatening to wipe out humanity. Government’s decisions take precedent.
Given the foregoing, Government has the right to use all legal means at its disposal to protect citizens from any danger and this includes Covid-19 under prevailing circumstances.
Unfortunately, the disease has already claimed two lives so far and it is therefore important for every citizen to cooperate with the authorities by adhering to the recommended measures, more so that the nation has recorded three new cases after a hiatus.
With signs of infections spiking, it’s time for those ignorng the guidelines to seriously reflect over their behavior. For refusing to abide by the rules, their carelessness could result in the death of millions of people including, their own families.
This is why we agree with President Edgar Lungu’s advice for people to choose life over death by simply and stringently abiding by the health guidelines.
The potential for the virus to spread, as Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya warns, is high if people continue refusing to cooperate.
Thus far, the high level of defiance of the guidelines by some people is appalling and is a great source of concern. The penchant for indiscipline and stubbornness by the public is exceedingly alarming.
Repeated calls for people to stay home, maintain social distancing, wear face masks and gloves, avoid mass gatherings including in places of worship and completely close bars keep hitting a brick wall.
Sadly, some have even gone to the extent of refusing to be quarantined, opting to hide and put their lives and of other citizens at risk. This is not as it should be.
It’s shocking that some business persons have continued selling beer and allowing people to gather secretly to imbibe despite the risks of exposure to the virus.
But even more disappointing is the fact that caught those going against the measures even the audacity to cry foul on the basis of human rights and accuse police of manhandling them. This is unacceptable and hypocritical.
Yes, police must always uphold human rights in their course of their duty but doesn’t enforcing the law that helps prevent people from contracting or spreading the Covid-19 virus amount to protecting human rights?
Should the police sit back and watch people who are deliberately refusing to stick to the guidelines transmit the virus to the public? Nay police must act for the greater good and this is exactly what they are doing.
People won’t accuse police of manhandling them if they do the right thing, and that is, choosing life over death. That’s the way to go!

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