The questions on my mind
I would like to keep it short, and I would like to keep it sweet.
1, What is the cost to the country/economy of Bermuda of accelerating vaccination potential/speeds by opening another vaccination centre versus the cost of shutting down the workforce of the country? Would vaccinating people more rapidly save more lives? Would it be the most cost-effective way of saving lives?
2, If a substantial portion of Bermuda’s population is not rushing to take the vaccine, is there a reason for this?
3, Is the reason a lack of understanding of how a vaccine works? Or a distrust in the source of the vaccine? Or simply a trust that their own immune system will suffice without the accelerated response benefit that a vaccine provides.
4, If all of Bermuda’s population has had the opportunity to take the Covid-19 vaccine, but a significant portion has chosen not to, how does the Government justify any decision to lock down the whole country?
The country has been given the message that this lockdown is being done to save lives; that saving lives is more important than anything else, more important than any economic consideration, more important than the personal freedom of each individual to choose.
I do have to ask: why then, when there was no Covid on island did we open the island to tourists for economic purposes? What is the switching point where the policy decision shifts on whether to prioritise “saving lives” or making money?
Is it based on whether the hospital is nearing capacity?
If so, would it be more cost-effective to use empty buildings and create more hospital space? Will it save more lives to create more hospital space, vaccinate faster, or shut down the country? Which is the most cost-effective option?
5, I believe it must be an individual’s choice as to whether they take a vaccine — there are very sound medical and psychological reasons for this.
I do not see how the Government can justify locking down the whole country to protect the life of someone who has had the opportunity to take a vaccine that has proved effective, but has chosen not to take that vaccine. (I recognise that potential long-term effects have not had a chance to come to light because not enough time has passed for there to be a long term.)
It must be the decision of each individual as to whether they take the vaccine. In the same way I believe it should be the decision of each individual as to whether they chose to lock themselves down …. once they have taken the socially responsible action of getting vaccinated.
If the Government has a concern that the healthcare system is being overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients, then perhaps the Government should effect a lockdown for all non-vaccinated people — to protect non-vaccinated people from themselves?
So what is the best way forward for the country given the variables?
A, During this initial one-week lockdown, to my mind the Government must seek to educate the country further on the vaccine. To reach everyone, the Government must use every communication medium — radio, TV, newspaper, internet.
B, If there are 30,000 people vaccinated, then we are about halfway there. During this one-week lockdown we must look to open more vaccination centres as the most effective way to save lives and address economic costs. It is far cheaper for the country to add another vaccination location and accelerate vaccinations than to shut down the country’s businesses. More lives will be saved by vaccinating faster than increasing hospital capacity.
C, At the end of this week of lockdown, those who are vaccinated should not be restricted from returning to normal freedoms. If the Government feels the need to call for another lockdown to keep the hospital from being overrun with Covid cases, then it should apply only to those who are not vaccinated.