THE numbers tell the tale. Steadily, the number of cases of COVID-19 have been rising.
Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar might be the one to say the words, but we can all echo his sentiments when he says: “We can’t afford for there to be a third wave; that will set us back dramatically.”
We cannot afford the financial cost a third wave would bring, but more than that we cannot afford the human cost.
On Saturday, there were 42 new cases. On Friday, 34. For a long time, we had slowed the progress of this virus. Have we become complacent? Have we taken our eye off the prize? Now that the vaccine is here, have we started to believe we no longer need to follow all the rules about social distancing and wearing masks even though not nearly enough of the vaccine is in people’s arms yet?
Word reaches The Tribune that a tightening of restrictions is being considered – do we really want to go back to earlier curfews and, worse, weekend lockdowns?
The good news is that the vaccine has added another weapon to our fight. In countries where it has rolled out already, there has been a significant drop in hospitalisations already. That makes sense – vulnerable parts of the population have been getting the vaccines first, so that reduces the risk of them ending up in hospital from catching the virus instead.
If you’re over 60, you can now make an appointment in The Bahamas to get the vaccine. Healthcare workers have been offered the vaccine too. Frontline officers in the police and the defence force have been getting jabs too. Despite saying he wouldn’t invite the media when he was taking his vaccine, Police Commissioner Paul Rolle got his jab in front of the cameras on Friday. Good for him. It’s good leadership to show the officers under his charge that he’s taking the jab.
We must keep using the weapons we’ve been using already, though. We must keep our distance. We must wear masks. We must keep washing hands. It’s been so very hard to deal with the isolation that has come with surviving this pandemic, but the vaccine means the end is in sight. Not as quickly as some might say, but coming.
We must hold the course. Don’t give this virus an inch.
The Christian Council has delivered its report on the vaccine – agreeing that the use of vaccines is warranted.
Better yet, they go further to point out that some of the concerns being floated by sceptics have no basis, and that those taking the vaccine should “not be deemed an accessory to abortion” because of the use of cloned cells from cells from the 1960s and 1970s.
“There is no basis that COVID-19 vaccines, and in particular, nucleic acid vaccines, alter or modify the human DNA,” the report adds, going on to dismiss wild suggestions that the vaccine is the “mark of the beast”.
There’s an old story about a man who hears a storm is coming on the weather forecast, but he ignores it. Later, neighbours knock on his door and say come with us to be safe, but he says no, he has faith that God will save him. As the storm hits and the water rises up his steps, a man in his boat comes by and says get in, but he says no, God will save him. The waters rise again and he climbs to his roof where a helicopter sees him and drops a ladder but he says no, he has faith. The storm takes him and in heaven he asks why God didn’t save him, and God says well, I sent you a warning, a car, a boat and a helicopter, what more did you want?
In the fight against the pandemic, we have been sent scientists to make the vaccine, experts to tell us how to limit the virus, political leaders to secure the supplies, the medical community to put the shots in our arms and, yes, now we have the Christian Council giving its reassurance too. For those who are still listening to scare stories on Facebook instead of the assembled expertise and knowledge that has brought the vaccine to our door, what more do you want?