TIME and again during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been reminded of the importance of the work being done by medical personnel – and the need to do our part to help protect those workers.
When a number of medical workers were quarantined because of one incident at Princess Margaret Hospital, we were warned of the strain that put the rest of the medical system under.
So with doctors and nurses calling for officials to implement “necessary protocols” to better protect workers, we have to wonder if the government has been doing its part.
As far back as April 6, then Health Minister Dr Duane Sands was reassuring the public that the country had adequate supplies of PPE gear – personal protective equipment. That’s the gloves, masks, gowns, goggles and so on that help to prevent the transmission of the virus by reducing the exposure to skin and the chance of breathing in COVID-19.
Now, however, medics are saying there is not enough PPE gear, with Bahamas Doctors Union head Dr Melisandre Bassett calling for the need to ensure that “all of our staff, cleaning staff and doctors have the proper equipment”.
More than that, Dr Barrett says that some workers have been left compromised in the face of the COVID-19 threat by overcrowding “because of the overwhelming number of patients with suspected COVID symptoms” at the Accident & Emergency Department.
There is also reportedly a concern that nurses have been put into quarantine but have not been tested – with only patients reportedly being tested.
This is the frontline staff whose efforts we have been depending on – and who we point at as one of the reasons why we take the measures we do, so that they don’t become infected and our healthcare system does not become overwhelmed. They have every right for their concerns to be taken seriously, and for their questions to be answered.
Where, for example, are the supposedly adequate supplies of PPE? What measures are being taken to reduce the risk of A&E departments being overwhelmed? Why can’t nurses get tests if they have been exposed to risk?
We would ask these questions ourselves of the new Minister of Health, Renward Wells, but he had not replied to our calls as we went to press last night.
The important thing is to ensure the safety of our doctors, nurses and hospital staff. They are risking their health on the frontline for the sake of the rest of us. The least the rest of us can do is make sure their needs are met. And quickly.
Pets in need
The economic impacts of COVID-19 can be seen in many ways, some more obvious than others.
But one of the most heartbreaking is the news that the Bahamas Humane Society is full to capacity because members of the public have had to surrender animals to their care.
Right now, people are hurting and struggling to feed their families, and struggling to feed an animal is an extra challenge. It must be the hardest of choices to give a pet to the Humane Society but credit to people who turn to others when they need help.
And now the Humane Society could do with your help. A little can go a long way. Your donations will help pay for food, cleaning supplies and more. Better yet, each donation you make will be matched on Fundrazr.
You can make a difference. You might even check in to see if you can offer a home – temporary or long-term – for animals that just need a little food, and a lot of love.