ON Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis unveiled regulations that gave him powers to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. Yesterday, he used them.
We asked in yesterday’s editorial “What now?” Well, we got our answer.
This has been a decisive move by Dr Minnis to impose a curfew across the country, and while we are sure there is criticism of him by some, the motive behind it is clear: to preserve the nation’s health.
It will be tough, but we only need to look around the world to see the danger this virus presents.
Last night, the governor of California estimated that more than half of Californians – 56 percent, or a total of 25.5 million people – will test positive for the coronavirus within two months.
Yesterday, the death toll in Italy overtook the number in China as the country struggled to deal with a combination of a virus out of control and a significant elderly population.
Yet there is also hope.
The city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged three months ago, had no new infections – a sign that the lockdowns imposed there had worked. Korea has used widespread testing to identify and isolate cases and they have reduced the impact of the virus across their nation.
That is the reason for taking the drastic action of imposing a curfew – and we should, in good heart, comply for the sake of all of us.
Don’t just follow the new rules, embrace them. Make sure that the trips you make really are only essential ones. Businesses, do all you can to minimise the risk of your staff and whatever you can do to help them work from home, do so. Do what you need to do to get by, and those things you don’t need to do? They can wait. Stay home. Keep your family home. Don’t give this virus the slightest encouragement.
When this has passed, we will have the opportunity to start to help our nation recover. But to do that first, we have to stifle the virus. The sooner we stop it from harming our people, the sooner we can start to help our nation.
So hunker down, follow the restrictions, and let’s try to follow the path of the likes of Korea in flattening the curve of this virus, rather than the nations now feeling its scourge.
Stay put. Tell your family and friends to stay put. If you see someone boasting about going out or saying they’re going to a party regardless, shame them. Tell them what they’re doing might not hurt them, but it might hurt their country.
You may need a little daylight from time to time. You can use your yard. And if you need to walk the dogs and so on, we’re told that’s fine outside of curfew hours. But don’t do it if you don’t need to - and practice social distancing if you do. The goal is to stop gatherings - so the virus can’t jump to a new patient. Stay away from others when you’re out, so they can’t give you the virus and you can’t give it to them. Simple as that.
There are heartrending stories starting to come through of whole families devastated by the virus and all because they met up for a dinner party or at a gathering. Don’t let that happen to us.
Close your door, follow the news, and when the curfews are over, come out ready to fight to put things right.