Third Place in Essay Writing Competition: THE LAW VERSUS THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) by Ewurama Mongson


I remember when I first heard about the coronavirus. I didn’t care because I figured it was some temporary pandemic in Wuhan. Boy was I wrong! It’s now the most talked about topic in the world. The two recent reported cases in Ghana made me realize that this disease is as real as ever. It’s right next door.

While the medical field struggles to find a solution, the burden rests on the law to stand between us and the virus. What you’ll find interesting is that, in order to ensure order, the law has made provisions that have breached the law. In consequence you could say the coronavirus is both winning and losing the war against the law.

Presently, the freedom of movement and association are rights that have been set aside to preserve human life. People suspected of the virus have been placed under quarantine. One North Korean who tried to breach this quarantine was shot dead. In Uganda, some foreign nationals were made to return to their country after refusing to be quarantined.

Major events like the NBA and EPL have been suspended in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Football matches and WWE matches now take place in empty stadiums, depriving both fans and players the full enjoyment of the game. Ghana has been no exception to this canceling spree. I had been busy planning to attend the ‘Repu’ hall week in KNUST when I heard that too has been canceled.

The right to education also hangs in the balance. Schools have been closed in certain countries such as China to prevent the spread. And in Ghana, a petition was sent round by students for schools to be closed.

The law hasn’t done too bad though. Given that the cases started in China, there has been a lot of discrimination against Asian people. The law has provided an avenue for such affected people to air their grievances. For instance, article 17 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana protects people from discrimination. Any of our Chinese friends who feel discriminated against can easily file a case in the High Court.

The medical field better come up with a cure. I don’t know how long the law can hold down the forte. And if the 2020 Olympics are canceled I might just be the new World Health Emergency!