Keeping it civil during Covid
There was a time that we thought the divisions in Bermuda were based on a few categories such as race, economic class or politics.
Then again, there is always the biggest divider in Bermuda. That being those of us who support St George’s and everybody else.
Sadly, over the past month or so, yet another fault line has shown itself.
Globally, the Covid pandemic has not affected us just medically and economically. We are now clearly seeing social divisions among friends, families, co-workers, neighbours and strangers.
There are those who take the pandemic seriously, follow guidelines, and who have gotten immunised.
There are those who take the pandemic seriously, follow guidelines. But, however, they are hesitant to get immunised based on justifiable, personal, religious or medical concerns.
Then there are others who think the pandemic is all a planned event by global forces, at times do not follow guidelines, and feel that immunisation is a danger to a person’s health.
To be fair, some fall into any combination of the above.
Around the world, it is safe to say every one of us wants to return to life as it was pre-2020.
No one wants to have to stay away from friends and family, take tests in order to travel, and wear masks.
Here in Bermuda, we miss those social gatherings that bind us as a community: birthdays, happy hour, Bermuda Day, Cup Match.
For far too many persons, they wish that they could get back a loved one, or loved ones, lost to this disease.
So, yes, everyone would like to see the backside of Covid.
Whether in chat groups, family settings or at workplaces, there are bound to be persons who hold different perspectives.
Often, far too often, these differences of perspectives boil over into full-fledged arguments and name-calling based on persons taking solid stances.
Inevitably, there will be “facts” purveyed via social media, citing statistics, Whatsapp voice notes, medical opinions and news articles.
This debate leads to a never-ending cycle of persons trying to have the last word.
What is undeniable is that people are suffering and dying from Covid-19.
After nearly 15 months, there is a clamour in some sectors that countries should disregard regulations, quarantines and vaccines. Many think the body’s immune system will fight off Covid.
Unfortunately, for far too many persons, our bodies do not adapt and evolve overnight.
Therefore, to save lives, there has to be some form of medical intervention.
Without quarantines, countries could see their borders becoming the gateways for every single variant.
Without stringent guidelines, countries could see their populations mixing in both small and large gatherings, thus creating mass superspreader events.
Without vaccines, even though they do not create a 100 per cent chance of no transmission, those variants will move on from person to person in greater numbers.
Essentially, without those above provisions, countries, especially those such as Bermuda with high density, would face a catastrophic breakdown of the healthcare system and loss of life.
Freedom of life
In Bermuda, we have a strong history and, dare I say, a legacy of protests.
That is what democracy allows for: freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.
We all should give a level of respect to those who have a view contrary to the majority, no matter how unorthodox their thoughts may seem.
The salient facts remain that Bermudians are suffering and dying. No amount of Vitamin C, fresh air or organic foods is changing that trajectory.
Additionally, on the cusp of our tourism season, our high number of positive cases has caused us to be on semi-lockdown and landing on the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 4 high-risk list.
Essentially, that means tourists are likely to choose to travel to other areas that they deem “safer”. Lack of tourism then leads to thousands of Bermudians in all sectors, remaining unemployed.
Additionally, continued avoidable Covid spikes lead to more businesses having to be closed.
With all our differences of opinion and belief, we must remain united in our drive to save both Bermudian lives and Bermudian jobs.
Let us remember that in our discussions with each other.
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org