Little by little, we are suffocating
All of us are suffocating under the burden of increasingly intense Covid-19 regulations, while not being convinced that the regulations that we are being forced to follow are actually preventing the transmitting, contracting or dying of the disease.
We are overly focusing on Covid-19 positive test numbers, and we are not focusing on who is becoming sick with Covid-19 and the implications of this. What has been demonstrated to significantly reduce transmission, severity of disease and likelihood of death is the vaccine. However, even the vaccine is not foolproof.
People who have been vaccinated can catch Covid-19, and will sometimes have symptoms, but are much less likely to be admitted to hospital or die from it. (Public Health England has analysed UK data, and results show that two shots of the Pfizer vaccine are 96 per cent protective against hospital admission with Covid-19. Our own recent data, although small numbers, show that we have had no deaths in fully vaccinated people, and only five out of 133 hospital admissions have been fully vaccinated.)
Bermuda needs to alter its aiming for zero-risk approach since it is not working, and in doing so, we are suffocating. Life is inherently full of risk. Within medicine, we need to accept some risk.
Many of us have been vaccinated. We are aiming to protect both ourselves, our coworkers and our loved ones in doing so. Those who have chosen not to be vaccinated have chosen a different path, and the rest of us are having to jump through hoops to protect people who have decided that they do not wish to avail themselves of the best protection out there.
Hospitality is having to send workers for regular tests, losing hours of time on the job, chasing up results, checking people’s SafeKeys and disallowing entry into common spaces that previously were accessible. It is becoming impossible to simply get the job done among the increased weight of administration.
Education is having to demonstrate that all the children are in masks all day. Whole classes are once again being forced to quarantine, together with their home contacts, even if they are vaccinated and even if they test negative. This is unsustainable.
Children are not being allowed to play together at school, when those same children will be playing together after school without masks on. Children remain at much lower risk of severe disease from Covid-19. The windows should be opened, the teachers should be vaccinated, and life should continue. Yes, you may get Covid, and if you are vaccinated you are unlikely to become very sick. If you are not vaccinated, it is your choice, and you are more likely to become sick and end up in hospital.
Medical offices are being overwhelmed with phone calls, test requests, and the heightened anxiety of the general population is leading to increasingly urgent demands for medical care. They, like other places of work, are short-staffed owing to quarantine demands.
The Delta variant sucks. Covid-19 sucks. The best answer we have at present is the vaccine. It almost universally prevents severe Covid-19 disease, hospital admission and death. If all adults eligible would step forward and have the vaccine, those who cannot have the vaccine would be more protected, those who cannot mount a good immune response would be more protected, and our children would be more protected.
Please can we stop increasing the regulations and administration in order to provide second-rate protection to those who haven’t been vaccinated? Please can the adults in the room step forward to protect our children, who cannot be vaccinated?
Regulations don’t stop Covid-19. Vaccines do.