“You will get through this. Don’t stop fighting. There are wonderful things waiting for you on the other side of pain.” Daily Motivational Messages
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a major concern of the government and citizens of our dear land – Saint Lucia. We must get into the right mind set to deal with COVID-19. We should not allow misinformation to divide and destroy us. Families are divided on the issue of Vaccination. We must begin to place some degree of faith in our leaders. Efforts are being made to control the number of cases and deaths caused by COVID-19 with some success. However, it is very clear that the future control of the virus depends on the population embracing the science and getting vaccinated.
The statistics are overwhelming. Unvaccinated persons are at a substantially higher risk to get the virus than those who are vaccinated. Unfortunately, everyone has an opinion and in most cases, one that is not aligned to the science. Religious, political and social leaders who are the leading Influencers in our society must step up with unambiguous positions regarding the vaccines that are available at this time. The media needs to devote more time to Health Bulletins and testimonials from Influencers and ordinary people who have a story to tell about vaccination. My story is simple “I took the two vaccine shots as prescribed, and I feel very confident as I go about my business meeting with persons who seek out my services.”
St. Lucia is ranked at Level 4 by CDC and the US government has indicated that effective November, 2021 persons travelling to the USA will have to receive two vaccines prior to their entry. While vaccination is not mandatory in Saint Lucia, it does not prevent employers and agencies from making it mandatory for persons seeking to enter their place of business or accessing their services. Everyone seeking to enjoy the privileges of life must be prepared with the necessary documentation to access them. Vaccination ID seems to be the next document that will open doors to the lifestyles many of us seek.
The government of Antigua and Barbuda has recently enacted Mandatory Laws in the state to deal with COVID 19 and the issue of Vaccination. We should be looking at this development to see how it plays out while governments of other states are expressing frustration with their citizens’ response to taking the vaccines. This situation calls for us to get into a new mind set to deal with COVID 19.
This week, the United Nations General Assembly met in New York, and the spotlight was on President Joe Biden. Apart from the pressing issues on hand related to Afghanistan, France, China and Australia, his intention to provide Vaccines to poor countries was well received. It must be noted that the White House is not doing as well as is expected in communicating with the public, and has been landing in hot water with a few of their announcements.
There seems to be a lack of cohesion. What is worse is that President Biden is slipping in the polls at home, a situation which is not helped by the Democratic lawmakers in both houses who are not united in their approach to getting President Biden’s agenda passed as they relate to Infrastructure, and other social benefits, in an effort to build back better. These were all campaign promises.
Previously, bananas were readily available on the local market. Currently, there is a shortage of the staple – green figs. This is something that we must take seriously. Our Food Security should be given top priority. It is important that our main food crops be spread across the island and not concentrated in only certain areas. Today, it is food crops; tomorrow, it is likely to be water. Shortages are the signs of the times. The situation demands an audit of all-natural and human resources to identify location and production capacity. After the construction of roads and bridges around Saint Lucia, equipment and transportation of supplies, and crops should not pose a problem as it is likely that there may be many unutilised vehicles.
One of the most vital areas of economic planning is the ability to provide statistical data in every sphere of activity in a country. This is one area that Caribbean Governments have been lacking, and every effort should be made to update our information gathering. A simple Skills Bank within the Ministry of Labour was suggested several years ago, and so far nothing has occurred. During this period when planning is critical, there should be no better time than now to lay the foundation for data collection at all levels.
Let us pray for complete eradication of the COVID 19 pandemic as we follow the science, get vaccinated, stay safe, and stay home. Keep the faith, Yahweh is in charge. We shall overcome.
Freelance Journalist/Realtor/Business Consultant