Just a little faith and flu

Just a little faith and flu

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Editor,

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro calling COVID-19 “a little flu” was an attempt to be faithful. Brazil now has the second-highest number of infections and related deaths, only behind the US.

However, others' “light at the end of the tunnel”, too, is woefully inadequate, and late, for the true faith is the light at the beginning of the tunnel.

There are three bits of information about this pandemic that could have helped in this regard. The first was an initial epidemiological report early in the pandemic, which projected a near 50 per cent infection rate, and two per cent to three per cent fatality rate among those who contracted it. This means that the chances of contracting the novel coronavirus is basically like that of flipping a coin, and that one is more likely to be a “carrier” of this virus and not a “victim”.

Epidemiological data on the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic showed that regions of the United States of America which lifted travel restrictions earlier fared with a better long-term epidemiological outcome than those which did later. This could have been because of logistics related to immunity thresholds, mobilisation of efforts, and possibly of the benefits of the outdoors, which brings us to the third perspective in the battle against COVID-19.

When New York City, and many major European cities, were retrofitting themselves to promote outdoor activities and physical means of travel during the pandemic, such as by foot or bicycle, and even exempted those activities from state restrictions, we, in Jamaica, were breaking people's legs to get them inside and boasting about new highways. Bicycle sales in New York soared. Paris even offered to assist people in having their bicycles repaired, where needs be.

So, respectfully and faithfully, what face mask, what tunnel, and what death do they speak of?

Andre O Sheppy

Norwood, St James


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon