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Insight: Bring On The Vaccines As It’S Our Only Realistic Route Back To A Life Of Normalcy

DOSES of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca are logged by a technical officer, as they arrive at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, England, on Saturday. The UK has 530,000 doses available for rollout from today. Photo: Gareth Fuller/Pool via AP

DOSES of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca are logged by a technical officer, as they arrive at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, England, on Saturday. The UK has 530,000 doses available for rollout from today. Photo: Gareth Fuller/Pool via AP

By MALCOLM STRACHAN

IF I had only a dime for how many times I’ve heard 2020 called “the worst year ever” or “a year to forget”. Indeed, 2020 inflicted what seemed to be an unending loop of trauma on people all over the world. It wasn’t until the end of the year that we were all ready to remove our hands from our eyes to see the possibility of change in the near future as a result of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Yes, friends, we could have some hope that we can truly put 2020 and all the pain and heartache behind us.

As confidence has grown that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines hold the key to unlocking a potentially non-COVID-19 future, whether you love the idea of taking the vaccine or not, getting back to life as we knew it before will always be an attractive proposition.

Is there really an alternative? Perhaps our resorts can continue to remain open at low occupancy until the money dries up and then they’ll again become shuttered as a result of tourists opting for domestic vacations? And what option is there for families already pushed beyond the brink economically as poverty sweeps over our communities? Certainly, we can agree none of us want these scenarios.

The fact is, our economy, as currently constructed, does not allow for us to turn up our noses at any weapon being used to defeat COVID-19.

With over half of our population unemployed, many of whom work in the tourism industry as hair braiders, straw market vendors, taxi drivers, tour operators and as staff in restaurants downtown, we ought to welcome anything that signals a return to pre-pandemic life.

COVID- 19 has taken the lives of nearly two million people around the world, and although The Bahamas only accounts for a tiny fraction of that number with 171 of our own succumbing to the virus, our economy remains very much on life support.

And as a new year dawns, we can let out a sigh of relief that the worst may be behind us. This good news is being trumpeted from every nook and cranny, as hoteliers and travel experts around the world point to this year’s summer solstice as “the longest and brightest [day] of 2021”, as it marks a period when most tourists will likely feel more confident about international travel.

The division president of international accident insurance company Chubb, John Thompson, when speaking to USA Today, said travel will obviously have a different look going forward, but as a result of a “deeply human desire to connect, to socialise and collaborate, to maintain and strengthen family bonds”, that are still firmly rooted in us, he believes people will regain their confidence.

This notion is supported by consumer research firm, Destination Analysts, which has been surveying Americans every week since March 15, 2020 and coming up with some very encouraging findings. Their data reveals that 54 percent of US travellers say they would feel comfortable with international travel as a result of the COVID-19 vaccines by this summer, which would afford us an incredible opportunity to take advantage of what may be an uncharacteristically higher arrival low season – fingers crossed.

And while the cruise operations are expected to rebound in 2021, the industry has received a black eye as a result of the horror last year taking on the imagery of floating petri dishes being etched in the minds of would-be cruisers. In fact, a survey performed by SpringOwl Asset Management, an investment group based in New York, determined that 80 percent of its respondents who have never been on a cruise, would avoid getting on a ship.

Thankfully, as avid cruisers are typically loyalists, when operations resume to The Bahamas, we should still be able to depend on this very integral revenue stream – “when” being the operative word. Although operators have been given the green light to set sail on March 1, much really depends on developments of the new UK variant of the virus. Additionally, from a global standpoint, we are watching to see the implications of people’s activity during the holiday season, and finally, how many people are vaccinated between now and then.

However, as we’ve been living with COVID-19 for nearly a year now, companies in the cruise industry - after a year of suffering record financial losses totalling $32bn - have likely gone to great lengths to innovate and save their businesses. How much the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention buy into that will be a separate matter. But with promising results coming on the vaccination front, they will survive.

While we have certainly had our challenges with the cruise industry, as noted, we must prioritise the health of our economy and getting Bahamians back to work which is a collective responsibility. Certainly neither the government, nor the citizenry can take its hands off the wheel at such a crucial point in our economic recovery.

With an election coming up next year, the Minnis administration is surely looking to accumulate some wins and take advantage of what may become a general sense of relief in the country.

We’re certainly not there yet, nevertheless, we’re much closer than we have ever been. Let’s just continue to do our part.

Comments

John 2 weeks, 3 days ago

Over 30 different vaccines hitting the market whose constituents and long term effects are not known. Are we (y’all)) creating an even greater pandemic and medical assault on mankind? Or is it just subdued extermination of sorts? The man who believes the world’s population is now intimately involved in the creation and distribution of a vaccine, that is claimed to prevent such population reduction from happening. Y’all (yinna) can’t be serious!

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John 2 weeks, 2 days ago

*The man who believes the world’s population should be reduced by one third.

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GodSpeed 2 weeks, 3 days ago

"Bring On The Vaccines As It’s Our Only Realistic Route Back To A Life Of Normalcy"

lol that's exactly what they want you to think you dumb 🐑🐏🐑 if you want to take the bioweapon go right ahead but don't force it on the rest of us. My body, my choice!

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Bobsyeruncle 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Your side are starting to sound more like a bunch of 🐑🐏🐑 now, too. At this rate we are going to be having to deal with a frickin' 🐑🐏🐑 epidemic in 2022

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Bobsyeruncle 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Also, I would guess based on your other posts, that you're not 100% a 'my body, my choice' person when it comes to abortion rights. If I'm wrong, then I apologize in advance.

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Good letter. Very sensible, I'll be first in line. In reading the idiotic comments on this thread though looks like we may very well have to make it mandatory. These dumb, ignorant conspiracy theories man, sheesh....

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John 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Obviously your post on the thread is the most senseless and idiotic. If you research the origin of this COVID-19, then you will be more enlightened. And maybe you will not be swimming in ignorance.

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Say research... Lol.. you mean sign on to Facebook hey? Lololol...

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John 2 weeks, 2 days ago

If that’s your level of ignorance, then yes. Apparently you feel you are the authority and your posts are gospel and should not be opposed or challenged. Carry on then.

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Uh huh. Sure. Say hi to everybody on Facebook for me, tell em I'll never, ever sign on again. Enjoy all the idiotic conspiracy theories...

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Bill Gates is coming to get you! Lolololol!!!

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John 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Conspire this: claims that colds and flu are down 98% worldwide! This is attributed to measures being taken to stem the corona virus (exclusive of vaccines). Experts claim the NINETY EIGHT PERCENT reduction in colds and flu is directly a result of reduced travel around the world, which is considered a major means of flu and cold spread. Other factors include wearing of masks, social distancing measures and less of large gatherings of crowds. Hand sanitizer is also a factor. This has led to LESS persons opting to take the flu vaccines this flu season even though many medical experts recommend taking the vaccine in addition to one of the many COVID-19 vaccines available. This is despite the effects of taking a combination of both vaccines are not known as neither are the long term effects of of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 2 days ago

I was vaccinated as a kid for a number of diseases. So were my siblings, my cousins, all of my school mates. 50 years later all is good, polio is gone, measles gone.

So just hush....

Thank you...

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John 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Is all really well? Before the mass polio vaccination, cancer was unknown to 90 percent of the Bahamian population. Now it is rampant. And there has been admissions that at least 30 million people received a polio vaccine that was ‘contaminated’. Contaminated with a substance that will invade their gene and eventually cause them and/or their offspring to be prone to developing cancer. So away with your supremist mentality, telling people to hush.

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Uh huh. And Bill Gates wants half the earth's population dead... Yep. Sure. Okie dokie then.

Do you guys just make the tin foil hats or is there a conspiracy theorists Walmart all of you shop at?

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Bobsyeruncle 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Umm, cancer has been around (and known) forever. The first recorded use of the word in the medical field was by Hippocrates in 400-500 BC. The Polio vaccine was discovered in the 1950's or early 60's, so if my math is correct that's 2000 years between the two. It's more likely that there was very basic medical knowledge amongst the general Bahamian population in the 60's, which would explain why most hadn't even heard of the word 'cancer', This is a more viable explanation than you're ridiculous statement supposedly linking polio vaccine to cancer.

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John 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Calculate how much these companies will make if the world has to be vaccinated annually against the corona virus. And most of these vaccines are in two parts that require extreme storage and transport conditions.

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Bobsyeruncle 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Remember vaccines are not like normal drugs, which earn pharma companies a continuous revenue stream for it's patent lifetime. Vaccines are typically a 'one and done' product, unlike most drugs which you have to repeatedly take. Once everyone is vaccinated, the revenue stream drops to zero very quickly. Also pls note that the cost of Research, Development, Manufacturing, Clinical Trials, Regulatory Submissions, Packaging, Shipping, (and lets not forget all the employees working on this vaccine) etc etc. is absorbed by the company. Just like any other business, they have to recoup their costs and make a profit too (that profit also pays for all the failed R&D projects too - of which 90% fail)

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tribanon 2 weeks, 2 days ago

No thank you. I would like to keep my prostate gland and testicles, among other things, fully functional in order to maintain my biological right to produce children of my own. Just think, one of the longer term side effects of these COVID-19 vaccines for negro men could well be erectile dysfunction, or worse. That would certainly go a long ways towards controlling the population growth of a segment of our global population that the sinister and evil Communist Chinese Party would like to eradicate with the help of the likes of Bill Gates and his bio-tech engineering friends in big pharma.

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Wow. What an incredibly ignorant comment...

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Bobsyeruncle 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Agreed. Even if it were true, there's a little blue pill that I hear works a treat for ED. Given a choice between taking a little blue pill (which he will probably still need to do in his older years) or the possibility of dying alone in a ventilator with a bunch of tubes stuck down my throat because I refused to take the vaccine, I know which of the two I would prefer

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benniesun 2 weeks, 2 days ago

@proudloudandfnm - Apparently, whenever anyone disagrees with the mainstream narrative he is labeled as a conspiracy nut - even qualified doctors are also labeled. MD Russell L. Blaylock has been giving out info for years, and he is a very good teacher. Look him up; it will do you good.

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proudloudandfnm 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Where does he get his tin foil hat?

Lol...

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DDK 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Looks like Big Pharma dem never had it so good!!

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 2 days ago

Shouldn't come as a shocker to your insight's confidence if it's uncovered after research that the vaccines are being bought from the same exact supplier - supposedly contracted brungs to Abacoians - them 250 mostly invisible to the naked eyes? Shakehead a quick once for upyeahvote you cannot just make such 250 mostly invisible to the naked eyes domes up** nonsense up. Twice for not.

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