This too shall pass
The Covid-19 strain of coronavirus is enveloping the world and approaching pandemic status. With more than 112,000 persons infected worldwide and close to 4,000 deaths — albeit that more than 75 per cent of those fatalities occurred at “Ground Zero” in China — it is right that Bermuda takes the outbreak very seriously.
With almost all of the United States affected, it is inevitable that we will ultimately have a handful of positive tests.
But it is pertinent to highlight that a positive test is not a death sentence — far from it.
The significant benefit of having almost a two-month head start in readying ourselves for Covid-19 is that we know who the virus affects in a more serious way and we know how to protect against it.
First, the prevention, which in any event should be a staple of every household — persistent good hygiene.
Wash your hands thoroughly before you eat — afterwards, too — and when using the restroom. Fret not if there is a shortage of hand sanitiser; good, old-fashioned soap will do.
Second, make a priority of protecting our seniors who are the largest and most precious demographic in the country.
It is believed that 45 per cent of those infected with Covid-19, especially younger people, have only mild, cold-like symptoms or no symptoms at all, and are therefore unaware they are carrying it.
Anyone who has travelled in the past fortnight and feels unwell, with a cough or sneeze, should be mindful not to meet or come in too close contact with older people.
For it is they, as well as those with underlying conditions, such as diabetes, who are most at risk.
The virus is now circulating in all areas of the world — Italy, with more than 9,000 cases and more than 450 deaths, has gone into virtual lockdown — and the number of diagnosed cases is just a fraction of the number who have it.
So that's the bad news.
The good news is that information is available to ensure minimal infection on island.
At work, at home and at play.
This, too, shall pass, and when it does, one would hope that the same degree of angst might be applied to the never-ending social ills that eat away at our community in greater numbers than any strain of coronavirus could ever aspire to.
By this we mean drink-driving, speeding, operating handhelds while driving, use of illicit drugs, and gang warfare that finds its genesis in the trafficking of those said drugs.
Now is not the time for political grandstanding.
The Government, particularly the Ministry of Health, should be allowed to get on with safeguarding citizens' wellbeing as best it can without having to ward off snipers looking to tear a few strips out of the ruling Progressive Labour Party.
A time and place for everything.