Letters & Opinion

If you get sick, you take that responsibility: Read how Jamaican Prime Minister Holness took the COVID bull by horns and tail!

By Arvel Grant, Public Health and International Development Specialist

I agree with the position of Jamaican Prime Minister Holness for the following reasons:

As the world oscillates between the northern and southern winters, human civilizations could experience an average of two major COVID outbreaks each year (what I call the COVID echo) 1 driven by each hemispheric winter. Therefore, it is unsustainable and retrograde to keep shutting-down economies and societies, in response to each new outbreak.

Most importantly, it is unfair to continually expos the vaccinated to loss of: An education, jobs, business, worship and recreation, in order to protect people who are unwilling to be vaccinated against sickness and death by COVID related diseases. The anti-vaxxers (like everyone else) must take responsibility for their own health.

Furthermore, (without the cover of states of emergencies)   our court systems could become overwhelmed with civil actions, seeking to recover damages, from national authorities, by businesses suffering at the hands of successive government lock-downs.

We should take account of the human experience with the influenza virus in learning to live with this COVID virus.

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A case in point? After more than 100 years, the elderly, young children and people with weakened immune systems, are still required to take annual flu vaccines, to be protected from the various mutations of the influenza virus- Around 132 flu mutations to date. Given those realities, all of us should prepare ourselves for (at least) an annual COVID booster shot, for the foreseeable future. Additionally, as a matter of urgent priority, smaller health systems, must establish and use dedicated covid care facilities, in order to protect the main health services from collapse, under the weight of successive outbreaks.

I believe that, unless countries achieve sustained universal immunization of children of school age, like the flu, COVID will join the community of diseases endemic to human populations.

At this stage, my considered opinion is that (given the extreme polarization around COVID II) everyone alive today, will grow old and die leaving the COVID virus in the human population. In such circumstances, most if not all countries will have to abandon “the lock-down play book) and let the unvaccinated pay the price of their health choices.

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