Time to Open

Submitted by Petko

I wish to preface this by stating in no way am I affiliated with or have any financial interest in the tourism or travel industry, as I know what I write below will have people stating I have only written to push a personal financial agenda.

The time for Barbados to open her borders completely is now. By this I mean in particular the 2nd test and hotel quarantine policy of tourists and returning Barbadians has to be terminated. As well the mandatory Harrison Point isolation of any person testing positive for Sars-Cov2 virus should also be scrapped.

The coronavirus is endemic in Barbados, no wordsmithing such as clusters or West Coast or North Coast spread can deny this fact. In addition, I put forth that it has been endemic since March. Only a naïve person can believe that the virus has not been constantly circulating since it was first tested for in March. Barbados opened her borders in mid June and did not institute the second test of incoming persons until mid-October. If people have been found positive on the second test since October, it is only logical to surmise the same percentage of people were positive from June to October that were landing here. Hence the virus has always been here and circulating. The only thing that happened during this Christmas season is that a local Bajan was tested with the virus being detected. This was followed by the mass testing to find the 500+ positives we have now. It is common knowledge that from May to now the local population has barely been tested, there were days in June with 15 tests reported – from a population of 285,000 people. Testing only reached 60-120 per day when the testing of incoming passengers began.

Based on the above we can extrapolate that with a circulating virus the health care system at no time was over-whelmed. The fact is when you don’t test for the coronavirus you don’t find the coronavirus as 98% of people who “catch” it suffer at most a common cold and thus you wouldn’t even know it existed. Currently we see that from the 560+ current cases not a single person is in serious condition. From 200 positive prisoners we see that 95% are asymptomatic. We have 1 year of data, we know that people over the age of 80 are vulnerable to this as they are to a flu – these people need protection and caution, but the 30 year old Sea-doo operator is at zero risk to Sars-Cov2.

The argument some have of shutting the borders is to be polite, pure nonsense. I find it quite hypocritical when people accuse incoming persons of bringing and spreading the “dreaded” virus. Consequently, these same people are quite happy to receive the hard currency these people bring, the pharmaceutical supplies, the TV’s and laptops and the Toyota Hilux’s that a modern society requires. We have always lived in a globalized world which trades in goods, knowledge and disease – this is the human condition.

There is no finger pointing here, the fact is with all the protocols on incoming passengers, the coronavirus is here and has been here. Even if 100% of humanity was vaccinated for this virus it will still exist as the vaccines are not eliminating the virus but making its care manageable. Manageable is the key word here. Barbados needs to manage the situation in a rational way that considers the positives and negatives of every action.

Tourism is the lifeblood of the nation; it will be the lifeblood in 100 years. Barbados nor any country in the Caribbean is going to start manufacturing pickup trucks or OLED TV’s – the core competency is the tourism product which arose from the glorious weather that this region is blessed with. We should be championing it rather than disparaging it, as some do. Currently Barbados is the only country in the region which requires the 2nd test in-country with the threat of going into isolation. What has this resulted in?

Well, the coronavirus is here and is not going anywhere, even post-vaccine. Thus, a ZERO Covid policy is sheer folly and unscientific. Next it has resulted in a drop of 95% to the tourism product resulting in up to 40% unemployment as well as a government stressed to its financial borrowing limits. Currently Barbados is receiving 350 incoming passengers per day on 4 major international flights. A quick look at our neighbours shows a different picture.

Montego Bay is handling 33 flights per day, Aruba has 19 flights daily, Cancun has 100 and Nassau 16. These locations require either no test of any kind or a negative PCR test 3-5 days old and nothing else. Yes, these countries have “cases” but so does Barbados. The difference is these countries are managing the situation and keeping their economy and tourism lifeblood functional. Travellers will put up with bringing a negative PCR test (for now – in 2 months when the entire USA has immunity do not expect Americans choosing destinations requiring tests) and they are showing it with their travel to these destinations. There is also the threat that once a long-time visitor to Barbados has tried out another destination such as Aruba, they may never come back here.

The BLP unfortunately painted itself into a corner with an unrealistic goal and message of Zero Covid. They now have the opportunity to exit this strategy and embrace that of managing the disease as well as the tourism product. I have no doubt that both can be done at an exceptional level in Barbados. Time is of the essence and the 2021 Winter tourist season is not done yet. February and March provide the traditional breaks in the source markets of the UK, USA and Canada. Literally tens of thousands of people are ready to travel to the Caribbean and if Barbados keeps its onerous and unproductive 2nd test none of these people will grace our shores. Thousands could be put back into employment, the economy would begin its rebound and we would be moving forward.

Pursuing the 2nd test strategy will only result in Barbados staying in its current sclerotic state. PM Mottley has been adamant in Barbadians should embrace change, well the BLP and herself needs to now do the same. The old policy did not and could not work, pivot and manage and let Barbados get back on her feet in 2021.

236 comments

  • Critical AnalyzerJanuary 25, 2021 6:31 AM

    Did we bankrupt ourselves so pharmaceuticals can sell vaccines and collapse world economies. When are we going to wake up and realize we have all been played for fools.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Whatever happened to Hydroxycholoroquine or whatever its name was … or is?

    It was not the older folk who caused the panic!!

    It was the asymptomatic younger folk terrified of death and dying, a fear played on by the press.

    Like

  • There was also the financial gain of treating COVID.

    It was more financially attractive for hospitals to treat COVID cases.

    … but control of the media is the major issue!!

    Like

  • Here is the problem and it doesn’t rest with the older folk.

    It is the younger folk who are terrified of dying, the most natural thing to happen in life.

    So COVID is not going away now, don’t care how low the cases fall.

    No amount of legislation will do that.

    Older folk have mostly come to terms with their own mortality and found ways to accept they too will die.

    No one wants to die, but they will whether they like it or not and whether they happen to be young or old.

    Fear is the enemy and the media stoked it up as high as it could.

    The media is the enemy of the people, not COVID.

    Like

  • Hal AustinJanuary 25, 2021 7:49 AM

    How do we get old people with underlying conditions to present early?…(Quote)

    What does this mean?

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Hal boy,

    Pointless asking this question!!

    Like

  • There is now the UK variant to explain the rise in cases, the South African variant and the deadly variant expected to affect the US in the coming months.

    The media needs to realise it is time to put this COVID mess to sleep and start asking for answers to the harder questions.

    But it won’t because it has blood on its hands.

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  • @Quaker John

    I notice that you have called me ‘boy’. I am a pensioner. Nevertheless, plse do not suggest the media have blood on their hands. Incompetence is not a capital offence.
    I am sure the president has a very dim view of journalists; she has of accountants.

    Like

  • Press latest on COVID in America.

    https://www.msn.com/en-xl/northamerica/northamerica-top-stories/us-passes-25-million-covid-19-cases-johns-hopkins/ar-BB1d3cvA?OCID=newswrap

    Suppose it was 2.5 million or 10%, would there be all this hoo haa?

    Like

  • @CA

    Understand some of what you have proposed BUT it does not address the issue of individuals in the 80s and 90s who are sheltered from traditional communication channels from presenting early. Appreciate your deep thinking on the nettlesome matter of Covid pandemic.

    Like

  • Instead of telling lies that are dangerous to Barbadians on BU, it would be nice if the half ah lawyer, John Knoxious fly to the US to join the team needed to defend Rudy Giuliani in his lawsuit filed by Dominion, in which he is being sued for over a billion dollars.

    I am certain he could use a Shittical Analyzer as well to wade through the shit. These three would make a terrible tootie trio of Trumpeters capable of providing us with “much mirth”. Gone Potty and Dung Beetle would also fit in well and should consider joining the cast of crazy characters in a skit I would love to see on Saturday Night Live.

    Do go!

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    @David
    Don’t worry about the 80 and 90 year olds. They good.

    They already know they might not see tomorrow or they might slip and fall and that might be the end of them. The regular flu or cold caught from their great grans visit can kill them the same as COVID. The ones I know able to move around and do things for themselves have not stopped spending their remaining time doing what they like to do, not worrying about some virus.

    I know some old people that never stopped leaving the house during the strict lockdown period last year and nobody could tell them anything and it is their right to enjoy the rest of their lives, not spend it in a prison of your own making.

    Are you going to tell someone who most likely has anywhere between a few months to a few years from enjoying life and seeing their latest great great grandchild and spending time with their remaining family to quarantine for the next 1 or 2 so they can just die alone and believe you me nothing kills active old people faster than quarantining them.

    Like

  • @CA

    The blogmaster is sympathetic to a more robust moral view than you are. We have a duty to do everything to priory our elders.

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    @Donna January 25, 2021 9:12 AM
    Had Trump taken advice from people like me instead of the bureaucratic corrupt political yardfowls around him, he would never have had the election stolen from him and he would not had nowhere near those number of COVID deaths and he would have shown the corrupt media house and pharmaceuticals for the greedy bastards most of them are. He had all the cards in his hand but he played them wrong.

    Too bad you can’t see it is all about money and power. Do you realize how many proper studies on effective COVID virus treatments were torpedoes because the treatments were too cheap and effective.

    Body counts is just a means to play on people’s hearts and minds to get the unwitting masses to go along with their profit making goals.

    The ultimate goal of this pandemic was to get widespread acceptance of the new form of vaccine, mRNA vaccine which is a huge money earner like flu vaccines. They are easier to mass produce than the normal vaccines using dead or weakened version of the virus.

    Like

  • Critical AnalyzerJanuary 25, 2021 9:30 AM

    @David
    Don’t worry about the 80 and 90 year olds. They good.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It’s as simple as that.

    It is young people who have the fear and dread of death and at whom the media targets is doom and gloom.

    Marketing techniques are wasted on people over 50.

    They have already made their choices, know what they like and are unlikely to change.

    Like

  • See what I mean Hal?

    Strictly unidimensional and myopic!!!

    Like

  • Advice from people like you! Man, how you elevate yourself!

    Full of yourself, aren’t you!

    Nutcase!

    Like

  • Wow,

    Cases at 152,244, down 100K or so since last week!!

    Deaths have miraculously more than halved, 1897 vs 4390 on 20th January.

    Probably being allocated to some other cause, maybe flu.

    … and just by rejoining WHO!!

    Meanwhile, over in Merry Old England, there are more children in hospital due to mental issues than medical.

    Compliments of this COVID farce.

    Like

  • Who would have thought it!!

    Like

  • JohnJanuary 25, 2021 11:14 PM Compliments of this COVID farce.

    John, As you are firm in approach that this virus is non existent, why don’t you go and volunteer at Harrison’s Point. Even cleaning up stuff and collecting laundry will help, I am sure.

    Like

  • Ah boy Crusoe

    I see that as one of the many cognoscenti on here you also are struck dumb by the rapid disappearance of the casedemic and reductions in deaths in the US and are unable to deal with the stark reality of what I am sure appears to you an impossibility!!

    I would recommend you recommend to Ms. Mockley that she try to increase the subvention payable to WHO and negotiate a reduction for Barbados in its deaths (though small already) and cases.

    Like

  • The cognoscenti gone quiet!!

    Like

  • All we got to do to reduce the cases is to apply the new rules when we test and discard the false positives!!

    Like

  • John, Given your recent contributions, it is clear that you have the best of the best, of a certain plant.

    You clearly have the know how to market, why not set up a company and make forex? Barbados needs it.

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    @John January 26, 2021 8:46 AM

    These are not new rules. They were the standard rules used to diagnose cases before the COVID pandemic. They simply wanted the numbers inflated to get their vaccine research money.

    The standard before COVID to declare as positive was the following two conditions
    – Symptomatic people who test positive on first test.
    – Second test for initially asymptomatic positive cases to see if they remained positive before declaring the person as positive.

    Has anyone getting their results had the number of cycles the test was done for? PCR Test can amplify and pick up anything given enough cycles are used including dead viral debris. The PCR Test experts have been sayin all along anything more than 30-34 cycles risks identifying dead virus fragments or extremely low virus loads too low to transmit as positive.

    Like

  • Critical AnalyzerJanuary 26, 2021 9:26 AM

    Listen, doan get tie up with all of dat. We soon going know if what John and you allege is true. Give it three weeks. Then we will see about this asymptomatic thing. I hope that John and you are 100% right. Pick sense from that.

    Like

  • Critical Analyzer

    @Crusoe January 26, 2021 9:37 AM
    All of that is exactly what we have to get tied up with because number of cases is what is driving the decisions. How many cases are serious cases?

    I can sense we going into some sort of lockdown because stupid people on the calling programs calling for a lockdown out of fear. Lockdowns help drive the virus too because it weakens your immune system since the body is not getting exercise and sunshine it needs locked in a house with the rest of your family.

    One third or so in the prison had it and how many needed to be admitted to the infirmary? This virus is not the killer virus we have been led to believe it is once treated properly.

    They will never release daily statistics on serious cases and they will never say the WHO has gone back to recommending pre-COVID testing rules for identifying positive cases.

    Like

  • Critical AnalyzerJanuary 26, 2021 10:22 AM

    I would caution about drawing conclusions too quickly on the severity of this latest wave. It has just got started. You do see that the latest variant has the USA and UK literally at breaking point? This is very probably the variant only now in Barbados.

    Do you think that New Zealand is keeping its borders closed without hard thinking? As I said, give it three weeks and then tell me.

    Like

  • Close the borders.

    Like

  • Crusoe January 26, 2021 8:51 AM #: “John, Given your recent contributions, it is clear that you have the best of the best, of a certain plant. You clearly have the know how to market, why not set up a company and make forex? Barbados needs it.”

    @ Crusoe

    Yes, I agree that based on the guy’s recent rants and raves, especially after the demise of ‘orange turd,’ it seems as though he’s probably abusing an extremely potent illegal controlled substance.

    But, asking him to market the coca plant and its product would involve him engaging in an illegal activity?

    Like

  • @Crusoe

    It is a difficult time, for the world. Watches a BBC report yesterday about how it is rampaging through Africa. A big part of the problem locals must keep their discipline up, fight the fatigue or surges will repeat like the proverbial recurring decimal.

    Like

  • ArtaxJanuary 26, 2021 12:11 PM

    I was thinking medical marijuana, but you may be on the mark.

    Like

  • DavidJanuary 26, 2021 12:12 PM

    Quite right. One thing that I noticed early on, is that the situation on an island or in a region can spin on a dime from almost no cases to suddenly a surge. And this was before the recent UK variant. From zero to sixty in a short time.

    Critical Analyser did point on another post to an important point that Hal also confirmed. That the virus is not a respiratory virus as such, but a blood borne virus that causes widespread inflammation and therefore impacts multiple organs and can cause clotting and other complications. The clotting is actually what starts the issues in the lungs, that then presents as pneumonia. This is what the health sources write anyway.

    But the point is that serious issues may not just arise in the lungs, but generally. That is why when people talk about it being a flu, it is far different and can be far more serious.

    Like

  • @ Baje

    Be careful.

    Like

  • @Critical Analyzer January 26, 2021 10:22 AM “…since the body is not getting exercise and sunshine it needs locked in a house with the rest of your family.”

    Maybe the PM is right to call it a pause instead of a lockdowm.

    In Barbados people are not literally locked in their homes.

    Remember we only have to stay within our curtilage. I wish that Hal’s friend the Minister of Education had not used that antique legalism.

    She could easily have said “stan in ya yard”

    Sit in your gallery

    Lime with members of your household on your back step, or your front step.

    Wash your dominoes and play a game with the members of your household out in de yard.

    But don’ go wandering up the gap or down to the front road.

    For this 14 period unless you have to go out for food or medicine don’t mix wid anybody who don’t live at you.

    I can hear the neighboring couple playing dominoes on their verandah. They seem happy to play together.

    Like

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