Editor: On the basis of the WHO’s definition, criteria and designation of ‘community spread’, SVG does not have community spread. This is clear. Therefore our CMO is correct to insist on a redesignation, and the mere fact that this redesignation has been made supports her stance. The fluid nature of regional and international politics in these ‘covid wars’ demands a type of precision which the very virus militates against. Yet there has to be as much scientific accuracy as possible as the world seeks to plough through this deadly morass.
Having said this, it may be helpful for the WHO to revisit its definition of ‘community spread’ since a ‘one size fits all’ definition does not seem to capture global contextual variations. We appreciate the need for standardization with regard to definitions, particularly where there is an international need to address and mitigate this pandemic. However, theories and theorizing sound hollow when a small community like SVG feels as though it is under the siege of this virus. Perception, as we all know, is at least 75% reality. Our Vincentian community feels as though the virus is all over and out of control. This perception is spread throughout the community. Such a perception should lead to an adherence to the protocols and to a higher level of individual responsibility. An irony however, is that the CMO’s having to insist that there is no community spread, works against the need for the entire community to take stock and do what is required.
Our little community is in such a close, vulnerable, unhealthy space. Isn’t it obvious that while being our brother’s keeper we must bear individual responsibility for self and community? This little virus is bigger than partisan gamesmanship. We always knew that it would take just one act of irresponsibility to infect our entire community. Now that it has taken place we have no choice but to discipline ourselves in the ways which we have not done thus far. It is mandatory that we obey the protocols; and yes, behaviour has to be legally mandated!