“BE fast, have no regrets… If you need to be right before you move, you will never win”, said Mike Ryan, epidemiologist at WHO
It is with deep concern for the upsurge of the COVID 19 pandemic that I write this column. The news on COVID 19 is very humbling as the citizens of the world continue to watch and pray for this plague to be eradicated. Today’s hot spot is India where the amount of deaths resulting from COVID 19 is alarmingly high. We must extend whatever assistance possible to the government and people of India where on occasions, they reached out to many other nations of the world. Their most recent donations of AstraZeneca vaccines to many nations in the region were outstanding.
The government of Saint Lucia has decided to maintain the 9.00 pm to 4.00 am curfew claiming that it is in the best interest of citizens to maintain the existing State of Emergency, whilst receiving push back from the leader and members of the opposition, citing that such stringent measures are not necessary at this time. This is an election year and it is obvious that the upcoming elections will be like no other. A number of politically related activities will have to be curtailed in keeping with the existing COVID 19 protocols.
It is disconcerting to look at what is going on in the world where we see the United States of America testing the ground to return to some degree of normalcy with the opening of schools, restaurants, offices, and allowing professional sports activities, with advances being made to ease up the situation regarding the movement of people – while at the same time, it is reported that the demand for vaccination in the USA is in decline. With the push to relax the protocols, it is unfortunate that persons in the USA are no longer as enthusiastic as they were prior to the PAUSE of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, even though the vaccine has been cleared for continued use.
The St. Lucia experience is somewhat different as many persons are anxious to get vaccinated, despite that anti-vaccination individuals and groups have been peddling a lot of disinformation to which many citizens take pride in disseminating. Those who seek to dissuade persons from taking the vaccine should accept responsibility for any serious illness or death occurring from their persuasion. The writing is on the wall that many persons will have to make a choice of having their freedoms or having a few of them curtailed. Certain industry officials are already demanding that their workers be vaccinated. Other areas of activities are very likely to have demands placed upon persons participating in them to be vaccinated. We hear about Vaccine Passports; however, it is very likely that we will see before the end of 2021, the introduction of Vaccine Ids.
Let us for a moment look at the types of adjustments we have had to make in our lives as we sought to cope with the COVID 19 pandemic. The protocols demand that we adhere to 1). Washing hands. 2). Wearing Masks. 3). Maintaining social distancing. Those who practise the three foregoing protocols have in the main continue to save themselves and others. Not everyone is comfortable with wearing mask but the evidence has shown that it works.
Washing of hands has brought about greater attention to personal hygiene. In the end, we will all benefit. Regarding social distancing, the nostrils have always been an area for dispersing germs including sneezing and blowing of the nostrils. Now, we are learning to keep our distance. However, many persons still insist on hugging, squeezing, and kissing rather than elbowing and fist jamming. We have made great progress; however, we still have a long way to go to be fully compliant with the protocols.
I am pro COVID 19 vaccination, and when next we meet through this medium, I would have received my second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine. I had no problem with the first and I am hopeful it will be the same with the second.
Let us continue to pray that God will intervene and remove the COVID 19 pandemic from off the face of this earth. Keep the Faith, God is in charge and he will grant us a healing miracle.
Freelance Journalist/Realtor/Business Consultant