COVID-19 – Saint Lucia’s Leading Killer?

Is Covid-19 the leading cause of death in Saint Lucia for this year?

We pose this question not to elicit an answer, because we know the answer, but rather to get Saint Lucians to indulge in some sort of introspection in the hope that they get the message that COVID-19 kills and is no respecter of persons, no respecter of age groups and certainly no respecter of gender.

To underscore the above, health officials this week reported that a 26-year-old female from Vieux Fort was the victim of a Covid-19 related death.

Over the past two years, 2020 and 2021, this simple, yet profound message, seems to have eluded too many Saint Lucians, hence the reason why rapid advancement of the vaccination process the country so desperately wants to see is hindered.

In essence, the inability of too large a chunk of the population to perceive, react, process and understand the disease so as to make proper decisions for themselves is weighing the country down, sinking it further into the abyss.

Today’s good news of daily declines in the positivity and infection rates of the disease will have to be taken in silence knowing that too many Saint Lucians are still unconcerned about the COVID-19 protocols which, if not adhered to, could lead to a fifth wave, which could be deadlier than the fourth which we are currently battling, due to the many variants of the disease now floating around.

Today we seem to have reached an acceptance of the wearing of masks as most people now cover their noses and mouths when in public.

But while the wearing of a mask is crucial in the fight to halt transmission of the virus, this by itself is not sufficient. It alone will not do the job adequately enough to prevent the spread of the virus and the inevitable deaths. The partner to wearing a mask is social distancing. The two come hand in hand twinned in the fight against COVID-19.

Unless we, collectively as a nation, understand that the wearing of a mask over our noses and mouths comes with distancing ourselves, one from each other, six feet distance or more when we are outside our homes, then and only then can we say that we stand a chance against the virus.

Until then we are simply spinning top in mud.

While the fight to get Saint Lucians to mask up is not yet over, although we must admit it is not as tough as it used to be, it appears that the fight to get Saint Lucians to stay six feet or more from each other is tougher than ever.

Just look at the human lines that are formed in front of banking and grocery facilities, drinking establishments, hanging out spots, beach activities, etc.

The government still has quite a job on its hands in getting Saint Lucians to pay attention to their health in these COVID-19 times after 19 months fighting COVID-19. This is shameful and is not a criticism of government, but rather an indictment on the people of this country, primarily the percentage of those who still believe in conspiracy theories about the virus itself and that of the vaccines developed to halt the virus’ transmission rate.

Sadly, the good measures which are put in place by the government and which comes at a cost to the coffers of not just the government but every micro, small and large entrepreneur in the country, are ignored by too many of us.

As a micro economy, compared to world standards, the scale of the loss we have suffered as a direct and related cause of COVID-19 is staggering. Saint Lucia’s earning power has diminished, both from a government and private sector perspective; deaths from COVID-19 are 253 and climbing; the education of our children, who will replace us older ones tomorrow, has taken a beating; What more, in heaven’s name must be done to awaken our sense of social responsibility.

Decisive and effective COVID-19 control measures must originate from government. Government must now stop its dependence on citizens to show commonsense in the fight against COVID-19.

The evidence before us has shown that commonsense is truly not common at all amongst too large a percentage of the population.

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