Dangerous talk has dangerous consequences
“...in any society, leaders who are not willing to make sacrifices aren't leaders, they're opportunists, and opportunists rarely have the common good in mind.” — Sebastian Junger, Freedom
The fourth wave
Around the Caribbean region, there are now increased spikes of Covid-19.
● The main hospitals in Jamaica are now at full capacity with 97 per cent of Covid-19 patients unvaccinated
● St Lucia now has curfew restrictions
● Turks & Caicos now say all visitors must be vaccinated visitors, and unvaccinated locals have to quarantine
● Antigua has clusters at hotels from unvaccinated visitors
● French overseas territory of Martinique enters a three-week lockdown
● US Virgin Islands on the “no travel” list put out by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
There are common trends here in those islands:
● Vaccination rates are extremely low
● Lax to no quarantine regulations
Making unpopular decisions is better made before a crisis versus at the height of a crisis.
A few months back, many, including some Bermudian politicians looking to take advantage of those who were vaccine-hesitant, were openly saying that we must relax our regulations and be like America, be like Florida, be like the other islands.
Using newspaper columns, online media, television interviews and radio shows, they had a co-ordinated and concerted effort to advocate that the Government should just let everyone walk off a plane with no tests and no quarantine.
The question that now has to be asked is this: how exactly has that path worked out for those countries?
As prime examples, One Bermuda Alliance candidate Vic Ball and other political figures have actively taken part in several protests against local Covid mitigation efforts.
At the protest held on June 29 on Cabinet grounds, the following demands were put to the Government:
● End the public health emergency orders
● Suspend all new travel entry regulations
● Stop all PCR tests
In a column written on May 5, Mr Ball seems to take square aim at discouraging persons from being vaccinated.
“However, this time the Government has taken the position that the vaccine is the only way forward. This stance is putting them at odds with a significant segment of the population. The PLP tells us that the vaccine is unquestionably good for everyone and the country.”
So, according to the demands of Mr Ball and other political figures, during a spike in growing numbers of Covid-19 infections and deaths worldwide, the Government should drop PCR tests and not provide vaccinations.
The Bermuda Freedom Alliance on July 15 attempted to persuade Bermudians to no longer wear masks.
Again, how would this have worked out for the country?
If one looks to America, where persons who are loyal to former president Donald J. Trump have taken a stance similar to Mr Ball and the Bermuda Freedom Alliance, the net results are very grim.
States such as Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Texas are now reporting tens of thousands of hospital admissions.
“The Delta variant is fuelling a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases around the country, particularly in states where residents have been most resistant to getting vaccinated.” — Forbes July 23, 2021
Earlier this year, Bermuda witnessed a Covid spike that caused untold damage to lives and our economy. The Government took a strong stance that we will do everything to avoid this happening again.
Unfortunately, as shown above, various political opportunists have proved that they would put their own political interests ahead of the health of Bermudians.
The people of Bermuda now have to ask themselves, had they taken such Trump-like advice, how would that have worked out for our country?
• Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at email@example.com