We allowed the party crowd to lead us astrayFriday, August 13, 2021
We are currently experiencing the third wave of novel coronavirus infections and it is safe to say that our latest reopening exercise was a massive failure.
With so many industries hurt by the pandemic, most businesses sought to maximise profit during the reopening. This, perhaps, is one of the reasons for the current spike.
There is a lot of blame to go around from businesses not strictly adhering to protocols, weak risk assessment at the municipal level, bars not turning away customers at the appropriate capacity, and even individuals trying to have fun.
But, before I go on, let me say I am a big supporter of the entertainment industry as I have been a part of the sector for the past four years working as an event organiser. As such, I wanted to believe that the industry could have reopened successfully and operated within the protocols. However, whether it is indiscipline on the part of the promoters or indiscipline on the part of the patrons, the industry has not represented itself well enough for me to support it staying open.
It may be simply too much to ask people who are intoxicated to act responsibly, pretty similar to how we don't allow intoxicated people to drive.
I want to extend my sympathies to the members of that industry who genuinely seemed to have believed, when asking for the industry to be reopened, that the events could be staged within the realms of the existing COVID-19 protocols. Now, the only message I am hearing is “personal responsibility”.
Additionally, a notion that I want to dismiss is that crowding at the tax office and any other place of business is the same as people gathering at a party. At the tax office, and most business places, the wearing of masks is strictly enforced. And, even if people are not adequately distanced they are not jumping and bouncing on each other without masks, which is clearly a major issue at these party events. But, most important, they are not consuming alcohol, which actively suppresses one's immune system, inhibitions, and good sense.
I want to sympathise with the Government also, as they had their concerns but were convinced by the stakeholders that they would ensure adherence to the protocols; however, I cannot see, under any circumstances, how approving a five-day party festival would be a smart idea.
Reopening the industry should not have meant a grand green light on all events. It should have been a tempered approach, giving approval to smaller events like round robins and smaller get-togethers so that the smallest man could benefit. Sometimes a Government has to save its people from itself by employing objective foresight.
Get vaccinated, and before you act irresponsibly, ask yourself: If there is one ventilator left will they give it to me or the CEOs, politicians, and public officials?
Adrean A Gentles