I’m Francis C., 30 years old, and Ghanaian. I work with my dad; I’m his financial analyst and a project manager. We have projects in Uganda, Cameroon, Kenya and Ghana. During the COVID-19 era in 2020, I was traveling to and fro Accra, Wa and Ateiku (Western) to manage the projects. I was staked at Ateiku when Mr. President locked down Accra and other places.

For a couple of days staying at western, I had a sore throat, aches and pains, conjunctivitis, headache, and loss of taste or smell. I quickly searched for symptoms of COVID-19 and without any equivocation, I knew I had the coronavirus! I told my dad and he wanted me to see a doctor with immediate effect. But hey, here is the thing, I wouldn’t like the stigmatization and ostracism. So I decided against going to the hospital and instead tried local herbs. I gathered some herbs and recipes (if only I’m using the right words) like neem tree leaves, ginger, lemon, pineapple and garlic. I boiled the mixture for a couple of minutes and I took it twice a day; a cup in the morning and a cup in the evening. On the third day of self medication, the only symptom left was loss smell. It took me another three days to sense any good or bad smells, meaning my “COVID-19” was healed in less than a week.

Globally the world was upside down and inside out; this sparked off an economic downturn. Project A, The Helping Hand Rubber farm project made losses in outputs and returns. We had capital locked up, and operated on a net operating loss. The reason for this: Outputs need to be sold to the Chinese market but our borders were closed and we had no buyers for the outputs. We waited a couple months for things to go back to normal. Our outputs couldn’t spoil, but they lost a great deal of weight. For example, a tonne dropped to 600 kilograms and this weight difference shrunk our returns. Other projects were placed on hold.

Come to talk of my personal businesses, my Uber driver dropped in sales, I closed down the cosmetic and barber shops, I couldn’t lay the workers off but operation was on stoppage until things got better and we are now back on track.