THE news about the end of the weekend lockdown might be good news – at least as long as it doesn’t reverse the downward trend of new COVID-19 cases – but it remains maddeningly inconsistent in many ways.
Take for example the difference in curfew hours. The weekday curfew nudges an hour later to 9pm, while the weekend curfew will be 6pm. Why the difference?
Outdoor dining will be permitted from Monday to Saturday – but drivethrough and takeaway only on Sunday. Why the difference?
Hotels, meanwhile, can conduct indoor dining. Is COVID-19 somehow magically absent from hotels?
Some previous inconsistencies get levelled out – so people can go inside a pharmacy again, rather than the pharmacy having to operate curb-side only, even if it’s right next door to a supermarket whose doors remained open.
Beaches and parks are again open on weekends, rather than just during the weekday.
Eleuthera, meanwhile, gets extra measures after a surge in cases there – after reportedly residents did not follow preventative measures.
Whether they did or not, their position now, with a greater clampdown being brought into place, is a caution to us all.
Just because the rules are being relaxed in places doesn’t mean we should be any less careful about protecting our health.
Use the measures we have been told about over and over – wearing masks, washing hands, keeping distance and so on – or else we will face a slide back into a more strict lockdown.
A great deal of the measures that keep us all safe are simply a matter of courtesy. Show respect to the rules out of courtesy to others – and hope that they will do the same for you. There’s no need to squeeze past someone in the store, rather step back and say “after you”. There’s no point in wearing a mask under your chin, so pull it up and cover your nose and mouth for the sake of everyone.
At least those steps have remained consistent – and we all know them and should be able to follow them, even if the government measures elsewhere can be somewhat baffling.
In this column in August, we wrote about how our past failings in healthcare have been coming back to haunt us – and another article in today’s Tribune reinforces that.
New studies have shown the extra impact from COVID-19 on patients who are obese. Nearly three-quarters of nurses hospitalised, according to the US study, have been obese. Another study showed that obesity could interfere with the effectiveness of a vaccine.
The Bahamas has its own problem with obesity. As noted last year by former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands, The Bahamas has been named the sixth most obese country in the world.
More than 70 percent of the population is overweight. That’s more than two out of every three people in the country.
So what are we doing about it? Current Minister of Health Renward Wells has not seemed to signal any action, but isn’t it about time we took preventative measures to help the whole nation?
These are difficult times – but there are steps that could be taken. How about some money to invest in classes for managers of care homes, for example, to ensure healthier meals are served in such settings.
And how about a renewed public campaign giving people useful information about how to cut their intake and eat more healthily.
Fighting COVID-19 can be about more than just testing and isolation – it can be about getting the nation healthier along the way too. Think of the bigger picture, it’ll be better for all of us in the long run.