The blogmaster has sympathy for small open, tourist dependent countries. Developing countries with meagre resources that were struggling to manage poorly performing economies have been struck for SIX with the onset of COVID 19 pandemic. The challenge for governments to implement policies which balance shoring up livelihoods with public health priorities is real.
The blogmaster will not enter the toxic arena of blame gaming. At this juncture it is not a constructive exercise. Unlike New Zealand, Australia and a few other countries which are commodity driven economies and can support an aggressive quarantine protocol, Barbados has been caught out by operating at the margin which conflicts with the proposal from the local medical association of doctors (BAMP). The proverbial between a rock and a hard place.
- Have we made mistakes managing the pandemic, YES.
- Did the country become complacent, YES
- Do we need to find ways to earn hard currency, YES.
- Do we need to ensure COVID 19 screening is robust to adequately protect residents, YES.
- Do we need to ensure authorities enforce laws to signal to those who compromise public health safety are penalized, YES.
- Do we need to make the local economy less reliant on services, YES.
- Have successive governments been unimaginative and lazy in charting a more sustainable economic path for the country post independence, YES.
The blogmaster could have added several more bullets to the list.
The harsh reality is that the country is ‘broke’ and to close the country again if it can be avoided to “keep out the virus’ as some promote is silly. The COVID 19 virus will be with us for the foreseeable future. Even if 100% of people take the vaccine health experts are unsure how new strains/variants may compromise the process. Even if the vaccine is 100% effective it will take possibly two to three years to immunize the global population to achieve heard immunity level. Then there is the issue of countries operating outside the purview of WHO like China, Russia…
Obviously Barbadians are concerned given the recent surge in COVID 19 positive cases. It is what it is, we have to deal with what is before us and move on. Have a look at the BU Sidebar Covid 19 Tracker and COVID 19 Update Page. Barbados is not waging the COVID 19 battle alone.
The government needs to ensure that our COVID 19 protocol is relevant/fit for purpose.
Residents need to ensure we adhere to the health protocol – wear your mask properly, wash your hands and physical distance please!
We can do this Bajans!