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Pandemic of the irresponsible – vaccinated and not

Dear Sir,

File photograph by Akil Simmons

Many are fond of declaring this “a pandemic of the unvaccinated”. Fingers are constantly being pointed and blame placed at the feet of the untouchables, as if we cultivated this virus in a lab somewhere and then let it escape and wreak havoc on the world.

A caste system has been formed that is being shaped by the number of jabs one has received. And for what reason? From the earliest days of the pandemic we’ve known that this is a virus that disparately impacts the elderly and sick/unhealthy, which seems to be an inconvenient truth for some. Yes, the vaccine can mute the symptoms and perhaps keep Covid at bay for a time, but it is not a substitute for healthy living. Nor does it eliminate the spread; that’s not what vaccines are meant to do.

Take a look at your own data that is plastered in the paper several times a week. Where is the correlation between vaccination percentage and declining Covid numbers? Where does it show that government restrictions have been effective? Where does it show that increasing airline arrivals have led to an outbreak (another commonly used scapegoat)? Hint: you will not find any of this in the data because it isn’t there.

I would argue that at this point this is a pandemic of the irresponsible — both vaccinated and not. Look at the recent spikes. It’s an open secret that the April outbreak was caused by some flaunting of the rules, including illegal gatherings. Following that, the Government introduced SafeKey and mandatory hotel quarantine for arriving unvaccinated in June, at a time when cases were in the single digits. They remained there during July, only to have the most recent and largest/deadliest outbreak yet start in early August … right as Cup Match and raft-ups rolled around.

Interesting. A lot of good SafeKey and hotel quarantines did. Yet the 14-day quarantine remains, although now we at least have the convenience of home confinement. Small victories.

Keep in mind our biggest spike yet just occurred at time when 70 per cent of the population had been vaccinated, a threshold we were long told would signal herd immunity. The Government needs to stop pointing fingers at the unvaccinated and imposing unnecessary and inconsistent restrictions. Like it or not, Covid is not going anywhere, and herd immunity is an oasis because (a) the vaccine doesn’t eliminate spread, (b) only works for a limited time period, and (c) the virus continues to mutate — probably more aggressively as it searches for ways to overcome the vaccines.

We need to learn to live with it. Hostile policing and shaming have limited impact and only sows seeds of mistrust and contempt. People will not easily forget how they were treated by their government and their own neighbours once this is over. Sad!

KARLYLE ALVINO

Paget

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Published October 29, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated October 28, 2021 at 9:01 pm)

Pandemic of the irresponsible – vaccinated and not

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