One of the things that makes the fight against COVID-19 difficult is the denial of many Gambians. There are thousands of Gambians who are in denial of this novel coronavirus.
Since the emergence of the new media, information control has become all but impossible. There are many individuals sitting in the corners of their rooms and fabricating a lot of untruths and spreading them using the new media.
There are people who claim that this coronavirus is just a ploy by the West to reduce the population of the world and there is nothing more to it than that. There are others who claimthat it is a punishment from God.
The other side is the thousands of conspiracy theorists who seize every opportunity to spread fear and anxiety among mankind. These theorists want us to believe that there are people who are sitting somewhere constantly plotting for the fall of mankind.
Quack doctors also abound; they give every type of weird prescription for the treatment and cure of the coronavirus and indeed all other sicknesses. These, by their fancy introductions, beguile many an ordinary man and woman to believe that whatever they say is the Gospel truth.
For these and other reasons, government must be more proactive in combatting these fake news items and false conspiracies in order to have the trust of the people they are trying to save and protect. It is indeed very important for the person one is trying to save to believe that what one is really instructing is for his/her own good.
It is this trust/belief that will incentivise the people to stay at home, avoid shaking hands, avoid touching their faces, not mingle and to call 1025 when the need arises. Without this cooperation, it does not matter how good-intentioned government instructions and efforts are, they will fail.
Here is a task therefore for the communication unit of the Ministry of Health to tighten their belts and inform the people better.