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The coronavirus and its allies

The world continues a major battle against an invisible enemy known as Covid-19, which has claimed thousands of lives and wrecked millions of families.

Leadership in this war against the coronavirus has been controversial in just about every country. Making the situation extremely grave is that the only way to halt the spread of this deadly disease is for people to isolate themselves with global lockdowns, since the virus thrives on moving from person to person in situations where intermingling is part of normal, day-to-day activity.

In many countries, including Bermuda, despite the deadly impact of a virus yet to be fully understood, authorities find themselves not only confronted with trying to protect lives, but they are also having to deal with those who fail to take lockdowns seriously.

Here in Bermuda, these people who attempt to sneak about during curfew hours not only create problems for the Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment, who put their lives on the line to keep the island safe, but whether they know it or not become allies in helping to spread the disease.

Just imagine: a disease fully capable of shutting down much of the world's economic machine getting help from those who could fall victim themselves by ignoring the Bermuda Government's lockdown orders.

This is not a step taken to create hardship, although there will be hardship with many families, especially those with children to feed while keeping a roof over their heads. However, with this virus it really is a matter of trying to keep people alive until the dust settles, so that we can rebuild a stronger Bermuda.

The island is certainly not alone in having residents who refuse to comply with shelter-in-place regulations, with some people by their irresponsible actions aiding a virus that needs no help in attacking anyone, regardless of political or economic status.

Lost at times are the medical workers on the front line, many operating without proper personal protective gear. These men and women, dedicated to their profession of helping the sick, have in larger countries paid with their lives in carrying out their duties.

This is why it so vital that, in large or small countries, leaders take a firm hand in dealing with people who flout the rules of a lockdown — putting not only themselves, but others in danger.

Bermuda is too small to have anyone acting as an ally to Covid-19 by behaving in a manner that could lead to further loss of life.

This really is a war, and in any war there is always the need for sacrifice. In other words, there will be pain and suffering during the thick of battle, but the knowledge that victory will bring a brighter day makes it all worthwhile.

There should never be a rush to restarting our economy before it is certain the enemy has been laid low through vigilance and determination. It is the hope of all to get the economy machinery rolling again, with people working to keep Bermuda safe and successful.

That will not be achieved without sacrifice from every member of our society.

Many countries with strong leadership are weighing that aspect carefully, knowing that to jump-start the economy too quickly could lead to a resurgence of Covid-19. A second wave is unthinkable with medical workers already stretched to the limit.

It is more than important for Bermuda to view those who violate curfew rules as a danger similar to the actual virus. We must as a country stay calm and obey rules designed to bring this medical crisis under control.

The struggle will not end quickly, but it must be fought because lives and our future depend on it.

In the trenches: Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, spends time with a Royal Bermuda Regiment soldier during the early days of a “new Bermuda”. Policing curfew breakers remains a challenge (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published April 18, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 18, 2020 at 8:47 am)

The coronavirus and its allies

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