“We’re going to make recommendations for the following [COVID-19] directive. I’m not letting you understand what those recommendations are, but we wish to get on with life and make certain the vulnerable and the elderly are protected.”
– Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George.
On Wednesday, we printed those words above after we reported that the Ministry of Health is preparing to make recommendations for further changes to the COVID-19 protocols. Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Kenneth George declared in an interview with this media house that “we wish to get on with life”.
Inevitable as it could be, this is sweet news for Barbadians of all walks of life.
“If you’ve a everlasting threat, you only need to change your responses to reflect the times of a everlasting threat,” the federal government’s chief medical advisor said.
For essentially the most part, Bajans have complied with the COVID-19 directives, under the Emergency Management Act, which were in place since March 2020.
Some who’ve did not comply have found themselves before the law courts.
But by and huge, Bajans have stayed indoors when told to accomplish that; they’ve closed their establishments when told to accomplish that; they’ve adhered to the curfews and have been inactive when told to do; the larger a part of the population has “followed the science” and gotten vaccinated and boosted.
In essence, Bajans have done what’s inside their power as a way to “get on with life”. None of us like where we were two years or perhaps a 12 months ago. None of us desires to travel that road again. For anyone to consider that almost all can be reckless of their quest to “get on with life” is a bit misguided.
Some have argued that being locked away, hiding from the deadly virus is as life-threatening because the virus itself. Many experts have commented on the negative effects that being away from school can have on our next generation. It is obvious, because the medical chief said, that the times of lockdowns and isolation are past us.
The CMO told Barbados TODAY: “The times of getting restrictions of movement, etcetera, are over. We all know an excessive amount of concerning the virus. The faculties are open [and] although there have been a couple of sporadic cases of infection, up to now there was no transmission of COVID inside the faculties.”
The COVID-19 numbers are trending downward and the positivity rate is slowly declining; nevertheless, health officials are still not able to put off masks.
“We will not be at a situation where we are able to stop [the] mask mandate right now. We are going to proceed to review the evidence,” Dr George said.
Masks on or off, there may be no debate that now we have come a good distance in managing and living with this pandemic.
Some telling things proceed to occur, though.
Most instructive this week was the Canadian Government lifting its vaccine mandate that affects domestic and international travel. Unvaccinated Canadians will have the opportunity to fly domestically and abroad as of June 20 as Canada suspends proof of vaccination requirements for travel. The move follows months of intensifying pressure on Prime
Minister Justin Trudeau to desert COVID-19 public health restrictions.
Incoming foreigners, nevertheless, will still need to be vaccinated against COVID- 19 in the event that they hope to enter the country, while unvaccinated Canadians must proceed to stick to quarantine guidelines upon arrival.
It could appear that some could have had a change of heart because it pertains to most of the heavy-handed approaches which were apparent last 12 months and caused great divide amongst our people.
The proven fact that tens of hundreds have died during the last two and a half years can never be downplayed. The most effective strategy to honour the memory of a loved one is by the best way we “live”.
Due to this fact, we agree with the Chief Medical Officer that any new protocols have to be designed to not be restrictive or divisive but must allow people to return together, breathe easy, and live.