The current administration under the leadership of Prime Minster Allen Chastanet has once more displayed its maturity in addressing the most practical way forward during the pandemic challenges facing the world.
We make this comment based on the fact that our Prime Minister concurred with the path taken by the Singapore administration by using all the down time created by Covid to invest into the infrastructure of their nation. The reason being, that two scenarios are accomplished as the citizens are put to work and the nation makes itself ready once the world economy returns to normalcy. This format has been prioritized time and time again, but unfortunately, individuals who have never operated a business or closely associated to a business do not possess the skills and reasoning of preparations subsequent to any massive downturn.
The concern by many regarding the opening of our borders has to be viewed from two angles. A small nation like St. Lucia and its Caribbean neighbours do not have the luxury of a lock down, as when 50% or more of our production workers are out of work, major damage to our economy will remain permanently damaged. In other words, what it has taken years to construct can be greatly impacted, consequently, we must endeavour at all times to save what we have built and achieved.
The closure of pubs and withdrawal of liquor licenses must not be viewed as a cure to those ills. Our overindulgence in alcohol is an illness and St. Lucians need to address that problem as it not only affects lives and livelihoods during a pandemic, but it is an ongoing cost to our medical system. Additionally, this overindulgence creates an influx at our medical institutions. St. Lucians will be amazed to learn of the number of our citizens undergoing dialysis treatment.
To keep the body fit while undergoing treatment there is an approximate cost of 600 dollars per week for the three treatments recommended by physicians. How many of us can afford this level of treatment? But the sad part is, the patient never gets cured. What quality of life do patients have during that period? All this could be totally different by St. Lucians living a moderate life free of alcohol abuse. Similarly, today the wearing of a mask and avoiding clusters will place us in a safer position, but we must have the determination and discipline in accomplishing a healthier lifestyle which we should never take for granted.