British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Nov 29, 2020

Better safe than sorry: stand together to fight coronavirus

Better safe than sorry: stand together to fight coronavirus

Your front-page article on March 10 about the coronavirus’ spread (“Coronavirus can travel for 4.5 metres”) illustrated the challenge of understanding disease transmission.

Patterns are very important in the search for vectors (the mode or mechanism of transmission). Researchers in Hunan investigated a case of possible transmissions of Covid-19 on a public bus. But the evidence is not conclusive, so how should it be interpreted? With caution, obviously, that is strongly on the side of “prepare for the worst”.

Until we know more, it is only prudent to follow the advice of public health professionals: individuals should wear masks in public, particularly on public transport, clean hands frequently and avoid (unnecessary) social gatherings; service providers should assume surfaces are potential reservoirs of disease and clean them frequently. Sars-CoV continued to kill affected patients for two years.

We are still very early on the learning curve with Covid-19 and it is impossible to predict, at this time, the longer-term social, or indeed political, implications of the disease. What we do know is that the virus has no race, no politics and no religion. It is a product of nature and will do what it can to survive. We can aid and abet it. Or we can stand and fight.

To put it simply, divided we fall, united we win. We now have a global pandemic that demands a global response and the only body structured to deliver that is the World Health Organisation. Such an organisation is always going to be a target of criticism but now is the time to focus not on problems of the past but on solutions for the future.

Andrew Burd, Tai Po

Charge panic buyers more, and wear a mask if ill

In response to Andy Tong’s letter “Here is one way to make people wear masks”, I think it’s perhaps worth mentioning that across the world experts are still repeatedly saying: don’t wear a mask if you are not showing symptoms, coughing, sneezing and so on.

The reality is that there are a lot of us who do not like wearing masks, such that when we do wear one, we find ourselves constantly fiddling with it, adjusting it, squeezing it to make it fit, and thereby doing the worst possible thing: constantly touching the eyes and nose, so that the mask is zero help and, in fact, quite an added danger.

If I could make a counter-suggestion: all those panic buyers should perhaps face a crippling surcharge for the third or fourth purchase of whatever it is they are buying. This would make them more socially responsible, and ensure goods are still available for those who genuinely need them, instead of the individuals who are panicking wildly and thereby depriving others of goods.
If you are coughing, wear a mask. If you aren’t, don’t.


Quote of the Day

The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.

Colin R. Davis
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