It is still a New Year!
There is never really a dull moment in SVG. How many times have I said this! Today is such a time with about seven of 14 ULP parliamentarians declared positive for the COVID-19 virus. There is nothing funny about this, but it should remind us that we do not have everything under our control and therefore must act recognising this. There was a big hullabaloo not long ago about parliamentarians not being vaccinated or declaring their vaccination status. It was a continuation of the national song and dance about vaccination status. There is really no problem with such a debate but when it came down to some persons considering themselves righteous and others being labelled as backward then it began to traverse dangerous grounds. At that time there seemed to have been an assumption, it appeared to me, that only unvaccinated persons were able to spread the virus. So out of concern for national health we jumped to a position where front-line workers broadly defined were relieved of their jobs if they refused to be vaccinated. It became clear to all of us after, that vaccinated persons were also contracting the virus and even spreading it. One of the benefits of vaccination was to avoid getting very sick and being hospitalised. That is something of the past. Even though the numbers are quite small compared to the unvaccinated we have cases of fully vaccinated persons dying.
When you add to all of that what has happened in parliament, it demands a reassessment of our whole approach to the issue. What all of this shows is that even vaccinated front-line workers could spread the virus. So why were some persons fired even though they might not have indicated by testing that they had the virus? Shouldn’t this matter be looked at again? But even doing that does not solve the problem. We have a situation where there is an obvious spike in positive virus cases and we cannot simply sit back and assume that things will work themselves out, as a number of people seem to be doing. Is now not the time for efforts at a united approach? The question Is who will initiate this.
The updates on the coronavirus cases are not very regular. Some of it I do not understand and had always been requesting a continuing education about the virus and its impact. I was looking at a release put out by NEMO on January 11. It indicated 215 positive cases over a period of a few days. There were at the same time 344 new rapid antigen positive cases from flu clinics.
How are these rapid antigen positive cases from the Flu clinics treated? Have they got to be retested or forwarded for further tests before they become positive or negative cases in the official count? I am raising this because it is not clear to me, and I know other people are confused about this. In situations as we face today it is important to have the information flow done in a manner that is easily understood by most of us. We are all in this together. One of the unfortunate things is that many persons have simply come to the conclusion that we all will contract the virus at some point. Perhaps this might be so, and most will survive virtually unscratched but in the meantime some of our fellow citizens will fall victims. But at the same time there still appears to be little information, understandably so, about the long term effects of having the virus.
Unfortunately, faced with a pandemic that has certainly not run its way we are on different battle fields battling each other instead of targeting the virus. Is there anything that will get us to put the interest of the country before anything else?
Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian