COVID-19 psychosis – spinning my head
EDITOR: My head spins every time I read something new about our country’s reaction to COVID-19.
Call it COVID-19 psychosis, which is also causing lots of people to simultaneously act irrationally and selfishly when dealing with this pandemic. There is a real riddle here.
Rather than employing patriotic, rational contemplation, or even exhibiting a bit of gratitude for the valiant way our politicians and overworked health care professionals have handled this emergency, too many of us are acting like spoiled brats and conspiracy theorists when urged to comply with well established virus mitigation efforts, like wearing face masks, physical distancing, testing to see if we are infected, or accepting vaccination.
All over the world, hundreds of millions of people have been tested for COVID-19, whether they like it or not, for the elementary reason that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Indeed, this well-known aphorism is an understatement here, because there is no cure for COVID-19, only precautions, inhibitors, and treatments.
There are all sorts of similar precautions and preventions that most people automatically adhere to, like requesting an annual flu shot or yearly physical examination, or looking both ways before crossing the road.
As for virus and other disease prevention, our babies have been inoculated for decades against polio, tetanus, mumps, measles, chicken pox, diphtheria, and other contagious ailments without any public concern, let alone outrage.
In short, vaccines and the tests that often proceed them, including those which study whether candidates are allergic to the ingredients in the injection, are a time-tested public heath-safety measure preventing contagion and potential spread of deadly viruses.
But the rise of COVID-19, exacerbated by the profitable anti-vaxxer movement, which now includes the unproven belief that COVID-19 was developed in a laboratory in Wuhan under the authority of the Chinese Communist Party as part of a long-standing plot to take over the world, seems to have changed humanity’s acceptance of virus testing and vaccination, especially in less developed, less informed, and more superstitious countries like our own.
As if these concerns were not enough, many people, including government workers, seem more afraid of our main COVID-19 vaccine, the AstraZeneca inoculation jointly develop with prestigious Oxford university, than they are about COVID-19 itself. The most recent evidence released by the European Union’s drug regulator on Wednesday, April 7, is that there is a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a “very rare” blood clotting disorder – a few women under 60 among the 25 million people who have received the vaccine – but recommended that its use continue in adults, saying the benefits of the shot still outweigh any possible but unproven risks.
Such advice and similar previous advisories have fallen on deaf – and dumb – ears in our country: only about 12,000 people have accepted vaccination to date, a very low number given the number of injection sites across the land.
All this is relevant to the logical contradiction between getting tested and getting vaccinated, especially among government employees, as mandated by the Prime Minister, which is the real reason my head is spinning.
On the one hand, many, if not most, teachers and others working from home, are afraid to return to their government jobs because they have not been vaccinated. Yet many of these same workers refuse to be vaccinated because they fear its potential, but unproven, side effects. Egged on by their politically biased labour unions, most of these people also refuse to be tested on a bi-weekly basis on spurious constitutional “privacy” grounds. How could a simple and non-intrusive five-second saliva or nasal swab test twice a month, in lieu of a vaccination, possibly be seen as an attempt “to oppress public servants,” as one commentator opined?
Adding to this foolish talk, Public Sector Union President Elroy Boucher in a joint press conference with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union and the Police Welfare Association on Saturday, April 3, proclaimed, “We, as a union, will not advise any public servant to divulge your medical records or medical tests to any supervisor or head of department,” a preposterous assertion given that employees on extended sick leave are obliged to provide medical evidence of their illness to their superiors.
Moreover, all persons landing in SVG, whether Vincentians or not, are obliged to take a COVID-19 test and then “surrender their personal freedom” by accepting quarantine in a government approved facility.
Or is it that those employees currently working from home, mainly teachers, are simply trying to remain ensconced there, with the complicity of their union, while receiving their full salary and benefits until this virus dies off on its own, as it surely will, perhaps years from now, just in time for their retirement.
If true, this would solve the riddle and make my head stop spinning.