By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Tribune Chief Reporter
CONSULTANT Physicians Staff Association President Dr Sabriquet Pinder Butler said it is “mind-boggling” that some people who have contracted COVID-19 are still reporting to work and not properly isolating themselves.
She made the comment yesterday while telling The Tribune that Bahamians have generally not got accustomed to changing their behaviour to safeguard themselves against contracting COVID-19.
This behaviour, she said, has contributed to the “concerning” increased virus deaths in recent weeks.
In other cases, she said people who have tested positive have questioned whether they should inform people they have been around that they too could potentially have contracted the disease.
Asked if she was of the view that the country needed to return to harsher measures to curb the spread, Dr Pinder Butler was noncommittal, saying restrictions only work as well as the people who are being restricted.
“It’s just like wearing a seatbelt,” the CPSA president told The Tribune.
“A lot of people don’t like to wear seatbelts, but you know if you have a fine and people are actively going to be checking we do what is necessary.
“But when we don’t feel like people are looking and we don’t feel like this is something that we need to do even though we know that it will safeguard our lives, unfortunately we let our guards down. We do these things that we know are not to our best interest, nor to our population.”
She continued: “We’re still having people knowing they have COVID and going to work. You would not think that you’re having that but we’re still having that and so the question is are we not thinking it through as a people? Are we tired of it?
“We do know that a lot of times we have challenges with persons accepting that it is actually impacting them until it’s too late and we really never want that to happen. We want people to be able to feel that they can reach a healthcare provider. That they can let us know what’s going on. That we can provide help to them if they don’t know what to do before it’s too late.
“I mean it’s absolutely mind-boggling. Why are you still calling to find out if you should still go to work? Why are you still calling to ask if you should let the people who you’ve been around know? Shouldn’t that be automatic by now? But it’s still not happening.
“Again, if we really thought about each other as our neighbour, even beyond that, thinking of them as ourselves because sometimes neighbourly is as neighbourly does. If you think of it impacting yourself and it could critically impact you maybe, we would think differently.
“Unfortunately, the same behaviours keep occurring and I think that’s what’s going to cause us to be in this pandemic for a while.”
The COVID-19 death toll rose to 608 after three more deaths were recorded on Monday.
In its October 11 dashboard, the Ministry of Health noted that two women and one man died from the disease on September 27 and 29.
The deceased were between the ages of 47 and 73. These deaths were previously under investigation and were recently reclassified.
Fifty-seven new coronavirus cases were also recorded on Monday.
Thirty-five more cases were recorded on Tuesday, pushing the nation’s toll to 21,815.
One hundred and forty-two people are in hospital with the virus, 15 of whom are in the intensive care unit, according to the latest data.
In recent days both former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis and former Health Minister Dr Duane Sands have called for harsher measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.