FRONT PORCH: States and citizens playing Russian roulette with COVID

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Bahamas Advances In Adoption Of SARS-COV-2 Vaccines By Bahamians. The absorption is constant and constant. Still, it’s not as good as it could be or as good as other jurisdictions where citizens are getting vaccinated at a faster and faster rate.

In some countries, citizens are rushing to get vaccinated, especially in jurisdictions that have seen untold death and horror. Some countries are enduring wave after wave of relentless suffering.

In India, as the BBC reports, “India’s holiest river, the Ganges, has been swollen with bodies in recent days,” where “hundreds of corpses were found floating in the river or buried in the river. sand from its banks. Those who live near where they were stranded in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh fear they may be victims of COVID-19. “

In the Bahamas, there seems to be more fear and anxiety about vaccines than there are rabid anti-vaccination mindsets and viral denial, although these mindsets are present in some. circles, including among certain religious fundamentalists and conspirators.

As many see parents and coworkers vaccinated with little or no side effects and more privileges for the vaccinated, more Bahamians are getting vaccinated. This includes Bahamians in their 20s, 30s and 40s, many of whom want to return to work without having to undergo constant and expensive testing.

Russian roulette “is a game of lethal chance”, “the practice of loading a bullet into a chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one’s own head.”

Those who have access to a COVID-19 vaccine but refuse to be vaccinated play Russian roulette with their lives, their health and that of others. Even the mildest cases of COVID-19 can pose longer-term health risks, including effects on the neurological system.

By failing to ensure global equity in vaccine accessibility, the world’s vaccine powers are playing Russian roulette with the long-term safety of their citizens and the citizens of the world, especially in the poorest countries. and even in middle-income countries.

There is a moral imperative to get most of the world immunized as quickly as possible. It is also a matter of proverbial enlightened self-interest. Writing for The Bulwark in April, Dalibor Rohac argued:

“At the current rate, it may take years to achieve global herd immunity. In the meantime, the world will become poorer, sicker, less economically interconnected, and more prone to conflict than it would otherwise be. America should not allow this to happen. …

“The United States should commit to vaccinating the entire world this year, not, or not just, as an act of charity, but as an act of self-interest and leadership…

“More worryingly, the larger the pockets of the world in which the virus continues to circulate, the greater the potential for new strains, possibly including vaccine-resistant strains now available.”

VARIANTS

The world is in a frantic race between vaccinations and new, more transmissible variants of the virus such as the Delta variant which first appeared in India and now the Delta Plus variant. The Delta variant has been found in 80 countries, including the United States.

It is the most contagious mutation to date. In the unvaccinated, it can trigger more serious disease than the other variants.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal last Tuesday: “The highly transmissible Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is spreading so rapidly in the United States that it could become the dominant strain within the next two to three weeks, the researchers said. , adding urgency to the national vaccination campaign.

The Journal noted that as of mid-July, 50% of COVID-19 infections in the United States could be the Delta variant. President Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor, Dr Anthony Fauci, warned: “The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the United States for our attempt to eliminate COVID-19. “

Bahamian health officials suspect the Delta variant is in the country due to the number of new cases from those who have traveled overseas. The number of Bahamians traveling to the United States has increased dramatically and continues to increase during the peak summer months.

A travel agent told this columnist that she is seeing a dramatic increase in bookings from Bahamians traveling to the United States. This obviously includes unvaccinated Bahamians, who put themselves and others at unnecessary risk.

There is worrying moral selfishness on the part of those who refuse to be vaccinated, contract the virus overseas, primarily in South Florida, and then return to the Bahamas, potentially spreading more dangerous variants.

It’s worse than magical thinking. It’s stupidity on steroids. There is no mask warrant in Florida, where the virus continues to spread, but not as widely as before. While not at the astronomical heights of the last major wave in the United States, the pandemic is raging around and around the world.

ILLEGAL

Let’s call this unvaccinated journey what it is: selfish, stupid, morally irresponsible, reckless and dangerous! And it’s unpatriotic! How can anyone claim to love the Bahamas while helping to endanger our economy, our society and our healthcare system with unbridled selfishness?

It is illegal to knowingly infect others with the HIV virus. It is also morally wrong. Yet many people at risk for COVID-19 are cavalier about their potential to infect others.

Some have distorted and poisoned the value of freedom to include the supposed freedom to harm and potentially kill others by refusing to be vaccinated, while endangering our collective economic well-being.

A good friend notes an exchange with a Bahamian who refuses to be vaccinated but insists the Prime Minister should reopen the country completely. The former responded with a response laden with unprintable swear words in this journal. But he took stock. At some point, we have to stop pampering the dizzying idiot.

Due to our economic situation and the need to reopen, the Bahamas did not have the option of keeping our borders closed. As it suffered a recent wave of hell, Trinidad and Tobago reinstated heavy public health restrictions.

When addressing the Republic on June 6, Prime Minister Keith Rowley said airports and seaports remained closed to foreign nationals, although he also noted: “The government’s position is that ‘In four to six weeks, we would do away with the border closure system.

At home, the government continued to balance reopening the economy with continued life-saving public health measures.

Only the most deceitful, led by Opposition Leader Philip Davis and a bubble of supporters, have stubbornly refused to give the Minnis administration some credit for its handling of the pandemic on the health and social fronts. economy, although many foreign observers offered praise.

David Nabarro is a special envoy to the World Health Organization in charge of COVID-19.

Nabarro echoed the warning from scientific and medical experts: “The issue of variants is what we are seeing all over the world… [they] will keep coming. We will go from Delta to Lambda then to the other Greek letters, it is inevitable, and some of these variations will be annoying.

SUICIDAL

In his weekly column on the Archdiocese’s website, the Archbishop of Port of Spain, Charles Jason Gordon, reflected on the moral imperative for Christians to be vaccinated.

“To sit down and allow people to be infected, as a deliberate strategy, is inhumane. This is why Pope Francis said: “To refuse COVID vaccines is’ suicidal denial.” Every human being has an ethical responsibility to be vaccinated.…

“This ensures that we open the economy as soon as possible, giving people the chance to earn and regain life, dignity and rebuilding our nation.

“Those who refuse to be vaccinated create a serious risk to the rest of the population, by maintaining the circulation of the virus and increasing the risk of mutations becoming more vicious, both in terms of severity and rate of infection. .

“They put themselves in danger, and as we open up they would be susceptible, and their children and grandchildren could become carriers.

“In a work environment, this will be a new challenge as the unvaccinated will place the burden on the rest of us to maintain restraint and not take full advantage of our freedom. Their choice places a burden on all of us.

Archbishop Gordon also pleaded:

“We will not get out of the series of lockdowns, wearing masks, social distancing and isolation until a significant proportion of the planet is vaccinated …”

Amid geopolitical competition, rivalries and summits, world powers have an extraordinary opportunity for unprecedented ethical and strategic cooperation on the global existential threat posed by COVID-19.

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to participate in a virtual international conference, along with leaders from Russia, Germany, France, India, European Union, South Korea South, South Africa, the African Union, the UN and leaders of regional groups such as ASEAN, Caricom and SICA.

The world will not beat this virus in nationalist isolation. Such a conference, with new international protocols, will serve as a model for other pandemics and for the global climate emergency and the intersection of this emergency with concomitant threats to the environment and public health.

The global commons have the capacity to unleash the world’s largest mobilization of manufacturing and distribution power since World War II to vaccinate billions in the shortest possible time.

Vaccine powers have the ability to harness their logistical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and military prowess and power to produce and deploy vaccines around the world. Middle-income and developing countries like the Bahamas will gladly pay for reasonably priced vaccines.

The United States alone has the capacity to vaccinate the Caribbean and Central America in a matter of months. World powers can vaccinate the whole world in about a year. The problem is a question of political will.

The Russian roulette that the world is playing will bring untold death and suffering. The danger to the developed world is that this game can lead to a boomerang effect: a super variant that could return to infect and kill those in their First World strongholds who celebrated far too soon at home the supposed end of a pandemic that is not finished yet.

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