COVID 19 - What would Grandma do?
How would Grandma Beat COVID?
How would our Great grandparents have handled COVID-19? What if they were in charge? How do we compare these times to theirs? Especially when we see so many older people tragically falling victim to this dreaded disease.
COVID-19 is here to stay
For all of us who have Covid in our communities and have crossed into the dreaded threshold of community spread, be advised that COVID 19 is now endemic and therefore it will be around for a long while. Protocols and border closures gave countries a weapon to help slow the spread of the disease not to prevent it. Like any other disease, we must now live with it whether we like it or not. We will have to adjust our lives to suit but we cannot continue to think that our cases will ever go back to zero.
Vaccine Hesitancy is a symptom of a greater problem
Health authorities and Governments will not win the information war on the vaccine through messaging. There is nothing more Health officials and doctors can do now, to convince persons to take the vaccine. Once they make the vaccine more available, then they must consider the reality of the situation. Vaccine hesitancy is not just about the vaccine, it is an anti-preventative medicine mentality which has crept into our Caribbean and global societies. We only fix it if it’s broken; we only go to the doctor if we are very sick; in very serious pain; think we are dying; and out of home remedies. We also do no routine medical checks although we take our cars in for servicing to prevent them from breaking down. Medicine for us is now about curing illness, not preventing it. This approach has meant that the Noncommunicable disease pandemic has continued to rage on and continues to be one of the greatest contributors to mortality and debilitating quality of life. Health officials have pleaded with us about exercise, healthy diets, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol, all to no avail. The Vaccine Campaign Like NCDs is falling on too many deaf ears.
Grandma would not have gotten run over by COVID-19
Our grandparents and great grandparents would have handled this better. No, they would not have had the science and technology to get a safe and effective vaccine out in this short space of time. However, once they got one, they would have taken it. You see, people of that generation trusted the people with the expertise. Medical Information in that time came from the medical community and doctors did not have to compete with social media. That generation also had lofty goals of making their society a better one for their children. They cared more about protecting their children and making a good life for future generations, than they care about themselves. Ironically, the sacrifices they made then, are benefiting us today. They took the vaccines and medicine necessary to eradicate the diseases we no longer must fear. Yet too many of us are refusing to make the same self-sacrifice a part of our own legacy.
Knowledge isn't powerful; it’s making us powerless
We are “reading the book upside down.” Spending loads of time reading social media but learning very little. We are obsessed with so-called “truths” which can make us appear popular, controversial or defiant and we are less concerned with the things that can lead to our own survival and success. Grandpa and Grandma would be thinking about their own children and would be less concerned about trying to grab five minutes of fame or likes on social media. They would be doing, not sitting back and talking! There was no honour for them in being a professional critic, or a serial couch-potato. These were strong men and women of action: legacy, leadership and life over, lies, lawlessness and likes.
So where do we go from here?
I believe there is a 6-step plan to this:
1. Get Vaccinated and stop fearing COVID. COVID is not going away now, and we cannot stay in our houses and hide from it indefinitely. We must adopt the mindset that we may get it, but we will recover. We also must bear in mind that this is a deadly virus and that if we are unvaccinated, it might kill us. The nations of this world whose populations are vaccinated are the nations that will recover fastest. The nations with tough protocols but low vaccine uptake will only have a false sense of security.
2. 100 Percent Workplace Vaccine Uptake is the key to economic survival. We have seen several business closures recently, due to Covid. We have also seen businesses which have not been affected. The hotel sector in many parts of the region is 100 percent vaccinated. This is one of the sectors right now showing the most resiliency to workplace interruptions. It is a model of the future where, if you are not vaccinated you may not be able to work in an office.
3. Follow The Protocols but understand that protocols merely slow the spread; they don’t prevent the disease.
4. Live A Healthy Lifestyle. The one good thing about this pandemic may be that it will force us to be healthier. Limiting alcohol, getting regular exercise, not smoking, eating healthier meals and reducing stress are now even more important. These things which we thought we had the option of doing, may have now become mandatory.
5. A Country Is As Good As Its People. Leaders emerge from the people. No matter what leaders may say, it is up to us to act or not to act. The success or lack of success with this pandemic is going to be up to us. Our behaviour, our zeal to get back to work, our willingness to follow the science and our interest in protecting our children will be the key factors.
6. Be Prepared For Even Greater Battles In The Future. COVID-19 is a warm up which should teach us a lesson about being unified, scientific in our approach and caring more about future generations than ourselves. This is a perfect playbook for the crisis we are about to face with our climate. That will be the biggest battle modern man has ever faced. The adversary this time won’t be a virus but will be the massive oceans, the air around us and the temperatures. Sound daunting? Well at least we have had some battle practice with COVID. Get ready to FIGHT!