Lockdown not the answer

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When we lockdown, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Professor Senetra Gupta from Oxford University said that lockdowns are very nationalistic. Not buying stuff, not trading is not only destroying our jobs, but destroying jobs of other nations.

Professor Gupta said that “WHO do not advocate lockdowns as a primary means of control of the virus.”

It is used to buy time, reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers, but by and large we rather not do it.

She cited the Caribbean Tourism Industry as an example and that small farmers around the world are suffering as their markets got dented.

Dr David Nabarro, special envoy to WHO said in an interview with the British Magazine, the spectator said that poverty levels might be doubling by next year and there would at least be a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at schools. Poor families simply cannot afford.

“This is a terrible ghastly global catastrophe actually” and I appeal to all world leaders to stop using lockdowns as your primary control. Develop better systems for doing it.”

Lockdowns have one consequence that you must never belittle and that is making poor people poorer.

In my own humble opinion, lockdowns encourage the spread of COVID-19 in families and in your clusters since you are basically locked down.

If one member of your family, group or cluster has the virus and you are locked down for a period of time, chances are that it will spread to the entire group. So lockdowns can actually have the reverse effect.

How did the world treat with Aids? The solution is to use protection. Simple as that. If you do not want to get the COVID- 19 virus, the solution is even simpler.

Wear your masks, watch your distance and wash your hands, especially when at home. Many of us feel that because we are home among our family, we are safe.

This is very far from the truth. Members of our family are out there and they can easily bring the virus home. So locking down can actually increase the risk of getting COVID-19.

As a people, we have to face the consequences.

We know what we have to do and if we do not do it then there is no one to blame. It is the hard truth.

COVID-19 and its accompanying variants are here to stay. Yes and unfortunately more people are going to die. We need to expend resources in our healthcare system as never before.

I beg the question—Where are our elected members of Parliament at this point in time? What are they doing on a personal basis to render assistance to the poor? Are they moving around to see what is taking place in the country? Are they in touch with the people? We have opened the construction sector so the question begs, who is going to feed these workers? Do you think that they are going to get up early and cook and carry? The candid answer is that the communities will provide curb side pick-up for them.

People are still cooking from home and distributing their products. This practice never stopped. So who are we really
fooling by having lockdowns? The time for lockdowns has long passed, we missed that boat. And now the boat is sinking.

Sports teams typically use timeouts to regroup, discuss what hasn’t been working and come up with a clear game plan to reverse the course of a game.

Teams shouldn’t use the timeout to say: “Oh, our opponents will probably quit soon or go away.” What we need is a clear, co-ordinated, organised national response that includes nationwide testing, surveillance and contact tracing that could keep continuously tracking the virus and guide more focused efforts to box in and contain the virus.

Lockdowns can have a profound negative impact on individuals, communities and societies by bringing social and economic life to a near stop. Such measures disproportionately affect disadvantaged groups including people in poverty, migrants, internally-displaced people and refugees.

These people most often live in overcrowded and under-resourced settings and depend on daily labour for subsistence.

The St Kitts Prime Minister recently announced that the country would return to a full-lockdown from July 2 to July 8 and again on July 10 and July 11.

He did admit however that “the reduction envisaged over the 14-day incubation was not realised.”

Meanwhile, the UK prime minister said that “UK must live with the virus and that Britain plans to scrap laws requiring face masks and physical distancing.”

This is whilst he acknowledged that lifting the restrictions will drive surging coronavirus cases higher.

We are a very talented people. Let us prove our cultural depth and heritage by making a road march song or a chutney melody, or any song using the three watchwords: Watch your distance, wash your hands and wear your masks and let us sing and chant this mantra until we win the battle against COVID-19.

TERRENCE KALLOO