Time to Pull the Lever!
April 3, 2020

Time to Pull the Lever!

WHEN NEXT THE Prime Minister addresses the nation, we would be grateful if he would share with the public the explicit thresholds which have to be crossed, in order for him to agree to tighten restrictions which will enforce the measures that have been recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Yesterday, while speaking on radio, the Prime Minister said he prefers to build consensus instead of pulling the legal levers that the state has at its disposal.(see story below).

Will the levers be pulled when we have 10, 20 or 30 Covid-19 positive cases or when local transmission is established? We need to know.

Consensus is all well and good, and yes, preferable, but it implies the consent of persons who are willing to voluntarily abide by a position. It assumes a common desire of all, eventhough there may be slightly differing views.

In the war against COVID-19, we need all on board. Not 99 per cent, but 100 per cent. And in war time, there is no time for consensus building. Our leaders must go forward decisively after careful consideration of all the information and technical advice at their disposal.

In any event, we are not likely to get consensus among our people on this. We may get 90 per cent compliance, but that is not enough. The 100 per cent compliance we need will only be attained by pulling those legal levers to which the Prime Minister referred.

No one likes to be confined. Everyone will not stay off the streets if given a choice. Ordinarily, we will not call for a heavy handed approach, but as we see with what happened with the second person who tested positive for COVID-19 here, some people will never put the public good ahead of their personal agenda.

So we are speaking here of what is necessary, not what is optional; not what is subject to individual preferences.

We empathize with the recently bereaved, but at a time like this, there should be no more than 10 or so persons at funerals, and no one other than the couple, the officiant and witnesses at weddings. Strict limits should be put on the size of all gatherings, including church services.

This is the time for bringing out the best in us. This is the time to show the indomitable spirit of a nation which at once is rational, sober and caring. Unfortunately, this spirit is not espoused by everyone, everywhere, everytime. And that is what we need – every single person on board.

As a society, we came together and agreed to be guided by laws. This is the time for enforcement. This is the time to persuade everyone decisively to stay at home, unless you are needed at the hospital, the police station, clinics, pharmacies and the supermarkets or have an emergency elsewhere.

This the time to pull the lever that isolates the unfortunate persons who contract the virus and care for them in a state-controlled facility while they recover. This is the time to sanitize the country. Three in a row in a van will not do. It is time to pull the lever to ensure that no one else from the world’s epi-centre of COVID-19 enters our borders, using any means of transportation, including private jets or yachts. It’s time to pull the lever.

We will suffer through this period of extreme societal control. But, in the end, we will be healthier and happier for having gone through it.