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Editorial: If Lockdowns Aren’T Working, What Next?

OVER and over in the battle against COVID-19, we have said that our approach is led by advice from health experts.

Well, what if the health experts say our current approach is not working?

Dr Nikkiah Forbes has won much applause for her straight speaking during this crisis – and it is her voice we hear today as she raises questions about the effectiveness of the current approach. “I think that it is safe to say that partial lockdowns may not be effective,” she said yesterday. “It really depends on what people are doing outside of the curfew and restrictive period.”

In other words, it’s all very well people obeying the restrictions for a couple of days, but if it’s only for a couple of days and then everyone comes back out and mingles again and spreads the virus, you’ve lost the benefit of those days of isolation.

Dr Forbes said: “There are still a large amount of cases daily and I would say that cases haven’t gone down in this second wave that we’re seeing. As a matter of fact, we heard in the press conference last week that they’ve just gone up slightly in the last two weeks.”

She adds: “Now that being said, any restrictive measure that is put in place for a virus that transmits like this, you have to consider the incubation period. You won’t see the results until the end of one or possibly two incubation periods when you’re doing your restrictive measures.”

What are the signs of a system that’s not working? We’re seeing it now. Constantly increasing cases, a healthcare system struggling to deal with the number of patients, offices regularly closing for cleaning after exposure… look around, this is where we are now.

We say this with no joy because everyone in this fight wants it to work. So the question becomes, what now?

Repeating actions that aren’t working is the definition of madness, so do we supplement what we’re doing with extra measures or do we do something else?

The government seems focused on reopening to tourism less than two weeks from now, despite the virus being uncontrolled in our communities at present.

Is that swaying the government’s hand when it comes to applying extra measures? We cannot say, but we can say this – a senior health advisor is saying that these partial lockdowns aren’t working. What shall our response be to that?

We must wait and see, of course – but in the meantime, we must redouble our personal efforts to prevent the spread through those simple measures: wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance. Whatever comes next, we must get through this.

Truth about shanty towns

When it comes to failing to learn from what has gone before, let us look at another story today – about the residents of shanty towns in The Bahamas.

But before we do, let us take a step back in time – not far, just back to December 2018 when the results of a previous survey of shanty towns emerged. That survey showed that most shanty town dwellers in Abaco had legal status to live in the country – work permits, spousal permits, citizenship and so on. About 20 percent were undocumented.

Prior to that, 70 percent of shanty town residents in New Providence were reported to have a legal right to live in the country.

Fast forward to today’s story when, surprise surprise, the residents of a shanty town in North Andros are, by and large, people with work permits and not illegal residents. Over and over again, the same conclusion is drawn – and yet, what have we learned?

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister puts his finger on the problem in one respect, saying: “They are working in communities, but they don’t live in those communities and people have been getting work permits and leaving them to fend for themselves.”

It’s no surprise that if people arrive in this country on a work permit and are essentially abandoned to sort out accommodation for themselves, they’ll find it where they can get it – especially given how expensive the rental market is in The Bahamas.

Is the solution finding ways to provide affordable housing? Perhaps that might go some way towards an answer, but it’s not everything.

Either way, we should stop castigating the residents of these shanty towns as “illegals” when time and again that is shown to be untrue. Why do we demonise people who are just here to do the work we ask them to?

Comments

rodentos 1 month ago

nothing next.

It was clear from the begining that loocking up healthy people is not only stupid but also illegal. Now you have the results, equals to nearly zero and the unevitable anyway to come.

It is a human arrogance to think we can fight nature. Viruses have been there since begining of the life and they will be here long after humans are gone.

Just some people will die, like they would die from diabetes if there were no meds etc. There is no law of nature that there must be a med for everything.

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bogart 1 month ago

The Doctor like having epiphany like Lockdowns ain't seem to be working should add Lockdowns to her list of other local words like Accountability, Transparency, Zero Tolerance (used in relation to Police curbing offences).

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xtreme2x 1 month ago

The health experts need to tell the Bahamian people, "How many of these covid-19 cases was found in patients after entering PMH". Instead of using the Young people and Bahamian people as scapegoat. I think PMH is the EPIC CENTER. You go there for a simple treatment and found out that you have covid-19. The health experts should be a shame. That they kept covid-19 patients and the other patients in the same housing (PMH), They need to sanitized the whole of PMH and remove all covid-19 patients else where. MY 1 cent

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happyfly 1 month ago

The fact remains that the WHO's primary roll is to STOP the spread of a pandemic from the source. Instead, in the case of the Wuhan Flu, the WHO worked in concert with the CCP to make sure that the virus got to all points of the planet within 30 days. Since then it has been nothing but a giant scam to ruin our (the worlds) economy so that the totalitarian communists can step in afterwards, bail us out and own us. Papa Doc's aquezance to the plan can only mean that he has been assured a lifetime dictatorship with unlimited power and wealth in return for throwing us all under the bus. If you think this doesn't make any sense, please try explain to me what else is really going on now ? The only other option is that none of these clowns have a frickin clue what is going on and they have devastated our economy and people are still sick and dying...... so why are they still in charge ??

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whogothere 1 month ago

Finally the truth is coming out - Dr Forbes comments not withstanding... - but the CDC has finally released it's study on mortality.

  1. 299k more than usual died in the USA between January

  2. Of that 100k did not have covid. Thats 100k excess not related to COVID.

  3. Of the 299k excess deaths the largest group of increase was the 24 - 45 year age group with nearly 50k more than normal. Yet only 20% of this group died with or of covid.

  4. Of people that died of COVID 94% had 2-3 other things killing then.

  5. Of the group that Died of COVID the average age was 74, yet life expectancy in the US is 75. Meaning on average those that died of covid were right on in line with normal life expectancy.

  6. The number normal respirarty deaths is down 20% in comparison to the last five years, which suggests that normal proportion of respiratory death have been included in death counts.

  7. Suicides, Overdoses, Dementia, cardiac deaths are way up...

Lockdowns kill, this number will grow even as COVID deaths decrease and if economic conditions worsen. Bahamas government should be taking this carefully into consideration..

Sources: CDC Report: https://cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm...">https://cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm...… Excess deaths: https://cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid1...">https://cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid1...… COVID deaths by age: https://cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_...">https://cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_...

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JokeyJack 1 month ago

My suggestion is that the government give the police the authority to simply shoot people and put them out of their misery. A person could be stopped on the street, given a test and if found to be NEGATIVE then the police could shoot them. In that way the person will not die of Covid.

Any and all steps necessary have been stated to be needed and that should be allowed in order "to just prevent one death from this virus". My suggestion would prevent many deaths from the virus. Of course, they would die, but not from the virus. We have lots of people dying from lack of cancer and kidney treatments and being too afraid to go to the hospital when they have chest pain etc. Their deaths seem to not be important. Our children are not learning to identify emotional facial expressions as they are learning in that stage of life. So death and harm are clearly not the concern here.

The concern is that "people do not die from Covid" and my suggestion would solve that - if it receives government approval of course.

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bogart 1 month ago

On the "What's Next?" suggestions would be to employ some persons and have them in the Constituencies Offices with sewing machines and suitable fabric to create masks that can be washed and resused. Reusable washable masks should be given out free of charge ..and small refillable spray bottles sanitizers.....and no one should be left out and supplied with a number of masks. Present trend seems to be giving out the Disposable blue masks in urban areas knowing fully well that residents in dense populated urban areas go out few times a week versus wealthier citizens can stay home for longer times. Prolonged continuous virus seems for months and months until vaccine comes and the island economy on tourism brings hundreds of thousands to our shores by air and sea. Many durable reusable continuous masks production are needed for this small 7 x 21 mile island and other islands. Few days ago on going through Palmdale there must have a dozen persons along entire main street walking, mingling close to others and in front of stores without masks or below neck. Yesterday on stopping in line of some 10 vehicles in Palmdale there was a young man without mask going to ask money. at every car window. Police should be in unmarked Police cars patrolling all areas including side streets.

Thank you Dr. Forbes and all front line warriors.

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birdiestrachan 1 month ago

Lockdowns of food stores, beaches, service stations and drug stores make no sense. The FNM The government blamed Bahamians going to parties for COVID They went to parties they said

What did Rev Hall and Mr: Banister do to cause them to be victims of COVID.

It is not a matter of people being illegal. it is the matter of building homes on land that does not belong to them.,o

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