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Michael George Haddad

Good morning.

Tracking the pandemic

West African nations are shutting down to head off disastrous coronavirus outbreaks. Ghana has locked down its two largest cities. Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso have imposed curfews. And even virus-free Sierra Leone has closed its borders.Quartz

West African countries are trying to shut down to contain the coronavirus spread

It's difficult to imagine how a country like Senegal (where I served in the Peace Corps) will contain the virus given the extremely limited access to healthcare in many villages and for the indigent in major cities like Dakar. Even people from the most remote communities, 10 miles from a paved road

It's difficult to imagine how a country like Senegal (where I served in the Peace Corps) will contain the virus given the extremely limited access to healthcare in many villages and for the indigent in major cities like Dakar. Even people from the most remote communities, 10 miles from a paved road, say, travel to local and city markets and can bring disease back to their families who have zero chance of getting tested or treated and who will eat meals together from communal bowls, living close in tiny huts. But at least some African governments are responding promptly to the crisis while the coronavirus caseload is relatively low (119 cases in Senegal, according to this story).

The US is a mess right now and it's hard not to feel desperate about the fact that the wealthiest nation in the world can't manage the pandemic on the most basic levels (masks, ventilators, tests, etc). It's never been more clear that American talk of national superiority is a lot of hot air—or "wind talk" as they say in Wolof, just "waxan galau."

The article misses one important thing: the frequent lack of clean water to wash hands with.

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