A troubling trend

By Val Henry, MyVue News.com

Basseterre, Wednesday, 9th June 2020, (MyVue News.com)-The past 22 days have not been good to St. Kitts & Nevis. Or perhaps, put another way, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, have not been good to themselves. Not all. A few.

Most of those who have contracted the Coronavirus in recent weeks were innocent victims.

Looking back, after being stuck on 45 for a while, with cases that were imported mostly from the United States, something went wrong. How St. Kitts & Nevis shot past 100 cases is almost unimaginable. Almost!

However, and unfortunately, the answers are clear. There is no mystery. It is easy to imagine.

Too many are still not wearing their masks properly, while others half rub the sanitizer onto their hands. Social distancing…that’s largely on vacation. People still do line-up but keeping six feet apart, hardly.

The Chief of the Medical Staff at the Joseph N France General Hospital in St. Kitts, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, has a habit of reminding citizens that the Coronavirus cannot transport itself. It needs the help of human beings to move from one place to another.

Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Chief of the Medical Staff, JNF Hospital, St. Kitts

The last three weeks have proven Dr. Cameron to be right. The COVID-19 has been having a successful ride across the island of St. Kitts, facilitated by human transportation.

The change came on Wednesday, 19th May, when case #46 was discovered, resulting from what government officials called, close contact between someone from Argentina and an unsuspecting host from St. Kitts.

The first 45 cases took almost a year and a half to accumulate, but it took only 22 days to produce 74 additional confirmed cases, shooting St. Kitts & Nevis to a shocking 119. At least 71 of those were through community spread.

Since then, life in St. Kitts & Nevis, mainly St. Kitts, has not been the same.

The virus has been carried from hotels to homes, into schools, through the doors of business establishments, and other places where ordinary citizens are engaged in daily community activities.

High schools, daycares, preschools, and primary schools, have had to close.

In the private sector, Royal Logistics had to shut its doors and have all staff tested. The Air & Sea Ports Authority sent home almost 20 employees who were exposed, and TDC on Wednesday, 9th June, closed its insurance business after one staff tested positive.

Days before, Cage St. Kitts-Nevis, a gaming company, was also forced shut with many staff in quarantine and 2 testing positive with the virus.

It gets worse, the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws said on Tuesday night, 8th June 2021, that one person has been a superspreader, infecting about 9 others.

The CMO also reported that 4 patients were hospitalized. All are stable.

Dr. Hazel Laws, Chief Medical Officer, St. Kitts & Nevis

Fifty three persons have recovered, leaving 66 active cases, as of Tuesday, 8th June. And in recent days, over 1,000 persons were tracked down through contact tracing.

The last 25 cases came on Monday, (19) and Tuesday, (6).

There are too many cases of negligence, complacency, and an unwillingness to do the right thing…follow the protocols, including vaccination.

There is no need to castigate those who are constrained by medical issues or other valid reasons to reject the needle, but others are able and don’t mind taking the injection, but just cannot be bothered to go next door to a health center. Then there are those who government refers to as anti-vaxxers.

While some hesitate, 64.6 % of the country’s adult population has stepped forward, with 30, 617 doses administered, of which 9, 280 (28.1%), are fully vaccinated.

Just when the COVID-19 situation in St. Kitt and Nevis was looking promising and seemingly on a path of restoration of normalcy, all it took was one misstep, and the country was spun into a troubling zone of infections.

Perhaps it is time for everyone to listen to the argument that doctors have been making, that if protocols are followed (as required), and if people are tested and vaccinated, then COVID-19 would be starved of its energy. It would be frustrated and prevented from hopping across the island, sending some to the hospital and others into quarantine.

If Dr. Wilkinson is correct, there is a deadly virus out there, waiting for a mode of transportation, to spread its harm to many innocent citizens, including children and the elderly. With 5 steps, you can stop it. Keep your distance, wash or sanitize your hands, wear your masks, get tested, and get vaccinated.

And do so properly!

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