THE GREAT Ebola LOCKDOWN: BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER
Sierra Leone will be locked down for three days - 19th - 21st September. De Pa's government started off by denying there would be any lock down. In fact last Saturday, 24 hours after the whole world was reporting the proposed lockdown, the so-called national broadcaster, SLBC under the headship of Orman still had an item in the radio news, quoting the deputy minister of information as saying "government had no intention of doing a lockdown", so much for news writing in a 21st century world.
Anyway, the lockdown is here. We have some concerns but let De Pa take all the measures he thinks will help him beat Ebola. Sierra Leoneans are dying.
Let's see how ordinary people like us can handle this lock down.
BEFORE THE LOCKDOWN
1. Please go to Sanders' Street near Saint John and buy many yellow jerry cans. If you can afford it, and depending on your family size buy at least 20. The overwhelming majority of homes in Freetown have no running water. If you have a large family and cannot afford those jerry cans, tough luck.
2. Buy a lot of gari and sugar. Forget about cassava leaves and stew and all those kinds of things you like eating. This is lock down time. You can't get it. Even if you can afford it without having to go eke out a living on a day-to-day basis, where do you preserve it?
3. For houses where there are no toilets...well even in normal times, that's a serious problem. But please get many black plastic bags and distribute them among the housemates. Of course, the most active people should get more. They find a little corner in the house and deposit them there until the lockdown ends and damn the consequence of the content of the black plastic. We know what that means but we are in lockdown mode, people.
4. Criminals may attempt to take advantage of the lockdown and steal from offices, so take all valuable items home and leave furniture and things like that to their mercy.
5. For those who have generators, buy a lot of fuel. NPA workers are also part of the lockdown.
6. Make sure you are in the right home and don't assume somebody will be away for the lockdown. They might just surprise you by turning up at midnight on the 18th.
DURING THE LOCK DOWN
1. Well, there isn't much you can do. Prepare whatever little food - preferably gari - you have and eat. Watch TV - light permitting - as much as you can, or listen to radio. You will get easily bored with the kind of programmes particularly on Orman TV but we get what we deserve. If you are in the rural areas, sorry.
2. Pray for the nation and for David Cameron to forget a bit about the referendum in Scotland (the BETTER TOGETHER camp is winning despite their recent fears) and deploy soldiers and equipment back to Sierra Leone, like Obama is planning to do. We suspect, in Liberia mainly, for obvious reasons.
3. This period of the lockdown will be full of stress, so don't go calling people for aimless tok, tok. But you can go on Facebook and Whatsapp and continue with those gossips.
4. You can organise your own church service. No collection plate, please.
5. Please, no prank calls on 117. The little we have is overstretched.
AFTER THE LOCK DOWN
1. Congratulate yourselves for cooperating with the government and their partners and then wait for them to bring the results. MSF is certainly not impressed but they should also have something to say.
2. Go back to work and pretend as if you were just from one of those extended holidays we get in April (without the mask devils, of course).
3. Don't forget to quarantine yourself continuously as and when possible. WHO says we are in this for months to come. Leh God sorry for we!
LAST MINUTE ORDERS FROM A DROWNING SLBC DG
We understand that SLBC's Orman was very busy re-decking the flight chairs on the Titanic the other day. Here is Orman who should have handed over to his successor since 1 September, calling a meeting with two senior officials of the troubled corporation to give them some very queer orders, claiming he had divine inspiration.
Our information is that he gave orders for some politically-biased editing to be done on some film clips used as signature tune for news on TV depicting the infighting in the Red House. At this stage we want Orman to know that he cannot hide. We know what went on in that meeting and we shall let the people know. But we will approach this in our usual professional manner.
We have obtained a copy of the new signature tune and we are now doing our forensic analysis on it, in line with the old one. Isn't that clever? In the meantime, our sources are lining up to help flesh out the story. These are well-informed sources whose perspectives are unimpeachable.
For all we know, Orman can go on re-decking the flight chairs. His Titanic will surely sink in two weeks. At that point the inquest into his performance in that office will begin. We warn him that from the records we have, even his best friends would find it difficult to be kind to him.
Ebola OUTBREAK HITS COMIUM RESUCITATION PROJECT
Things have gone so bad at the mobile phone company called Comium that the workers have decided to do something we've not witnessed for a long time. We feel very sorry for them because they have families and their job prospects are simply non-existent now especially at a time like this.
The other day we saw two banners tied to the fence at their main office building on Wilkinson Road. We don't want to repeat what they wrote on the banners but we believe that is what people who are really frustrated with their situation can do.
On our part, a poor newspaper, our effort to help by setting up a fund to resuscitate Comium has run into difficulties with the Ebola attack. Hahahahahaha. We still don't have a penny in the account.
We are thinking about embarking on a radical approach in fund-raising. We are not working with the owners of Comium or the staff. This is an initiative from people like us who are still grateful for those three months of free air time we enjoyed when Comium started here. Please pray for us. Our plan is to raise money to help Comium stay in business. By the look of things, this is going to be tough but with your prayers, we shall overcome. Hahahahahahah. Tough luck. May be we are the only people now for a bailout because a senior politician who wanted to buy it over, is enmeshed in Ebola conundrum.
THE LEONE STARS DISEASE CONTINUES: DR CONGO, HERE WE COME
Those who thought we were only being funny, even uncharitable, when we made the point a long time ago that our national team is totally incapable of defending a lead should now understand the angle we were coming from. Leone Stars always allow their opponents to come from behind to either beat them or force a draw.
The examples are many, so it's not much use trying to put them down on paper. As far as we are concerned, that is a technical problem that our coach ought to have dealt with long ago. If we fail in our bid to go to Morocco, that is where the problem will come from.
We appreciate the pressure under which Leone Stars played in Abidjan but we cannot keep falling at the same hurdle and bringing up the same excuses each time we fall. The money we are putting into this game is huge and our reputation is being battered all over the world over Ebola even when all our players and technical staff are based abroad.
(C) Politico 09/09/14