No need for extra COVID-19 jittersTuesday, March 02, 2021
While the new COVID-19 guidelines are welcome, I believe it is a bit late and more could still be done.
I agree with Opposition Leader Mark Golding that the ban on burials is “ill advised”. These are difficult times and we are telling families they cannot bury their dead? Where is the compassion? Limits on the number of attendees can continue to be imposed for funerals, most of which have been live streaming, but morgues will be overwhelmed, not to mention the additional costs of storing bodies.
How can you explain that weddings (allowed up to 25 people) are more important than paying respect to the dead and showing compassion to grieving families? I urge the Government to reconsider.
We also need to enforce restrictions on public passenger vehicles, including route taxis? While gyms, zoos, parks must close by 6:00 pm, are protocols enforced in these facilities to reduce gatherings and risks?
People need to take heed and realise that the situation is serious; both private and public hospitals are at their capacity and under strain. Those spreading false information about COVID-19 being a hoax need to stop. You can be sceptical, but we are not stupid.
Until we impose drastic measures many will not take this pandemic seriously. The news that Jamaica has reached a deal to receive 1.8 million vaccines from the African Medical Supplies Platform is welcome, but shipment will not arrive until April. So much can happen in a month if we do not take heed and follow protocols — wear masks, social-distance, hand-sanitise, and avoid gatherings.
Those wishing not to be vaccinated are not compelled to do so; they can carry the risk, but should not be allowed to put others at risk.
The New York Times report ranked Jamaica's current rate of infection as alarming. We are moving into dangerous territory. The misinformation out there about vaccines is also puzzling. Vaccines are not new. Johns Hopkins University, a private research facility, went to great lengths to discuss myths about these vaccines. COVID-19 is so contagious it did not take long to measure the effectiveness of vaccination. Countries already vaccinating have seen a decline in deaths and hospitalisations. These vaccines do not cause infertility; the vaccines were not rushed; the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are based on technology which have been studied for years. Scientific data about the virus has been shared between countries.
Scientists believe that vaccines offer much stronger protection than the body's natural response. If you were previously exposed to the virus it makes sense to get the vaccine for added protection. Of course, those with allergies should be more cautious and discuss vaccination with their doctors.
People need to realise that this virus is deadly; it can cause long-term complications. The virus has far greater risks to fertility and health than the vaccine itself. No steps were skipped in the testing and development of the vaccines already approved. Of course, these vaccines would not have been approved otherwise.
Science is constantly advancing, and we should appreciate that. Let us stick to the facts, please, and stop spreading rumours and misinformation to alarm and confuse people.
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