The following Op-Ed was submitted for release on Friday, September 10, 2021, by One Bermuda Alliance MP & Former Premier, Michael Dunkley, the Shadow Minister of Health…
It is disheartening and frustrating to see COVID numbers increasing at such an alarming rate, but we were warned that the Delta variant was highly contagious so here we are. We are in the midst of the fourth spike with community spread. As a whole, every resident on this island must stop and reflect and ask, “What can I do to help stop this?”
Now more than ever is the time for residents to be honest about their individual actions and whether or not they are contributing to the spread of this virus. Compliance with public health guidelines set out by the Government are more important than ever. While some of the rules may feel inconvenient, it’s a small price to pay for wellness and building our lives back to some normalcy. The recent rise in numbers, now released at night after most people have turned down, are very concerning.
Last Monday government announced there were 10 people in hospital with COVID and two (2) in the ICU. Premier Burt said in Parliament today (Friday, Sept 10)that now over 20 were in hospital and five people in ICU.
No one should be surprised when later tonight (Friday) and next week COVID numbers continue to rise as well as the COVID death toll. While the virus has been with us for 18 months and we are all tired and very frustrated we must solder on and do better as a community. We have come too far.
The COVID vaccine has created a division in our community but we must not overlook the fact that the vaccine helps in our fight against COVID. The numbers demonstrate this fact. While I respect the personal choice of each person I urge people to get vaccinated and encourage anyone who wants to receive the jab to make an appointment to have one immediately.
The rapid rise in numbers and the onslaught faced by the hospital show that current measures are not working. If we as a community fail to play our part in this prolonged battle against the virus the government could be forced to take more severe action.
While the Premier, when questioned in Parliament today, failed to provide information on how close the hospital is to being overloaded, a key factor in public health decision making, the Public Health (COVID-19) Emergency Extension order is still in effect and will be extended by the government when it expires. This means the government can impose a lockdown or a curfew if they see fit.
The shocking increase in patients at the hospital illustrates we have a dire situation. We have been there before and we do not want to go back to that place.
We can win this battle against the pandemic, but we have to do it as one.
The Premier’s statement in Parliament today was titled ‘An update on Moving Beyond the Pandemic’. It is clear we are still in the throes of the pandemic and thus the government needs to return to more frequent updates to the community and not twice a week night time figure releases. The last five weeks have seen COVID positive cases of 46, 49, 87, 94 and 204. Half week numbers for this week are 225. Better communication is essential during this spike.