Don’t take the virus home this Christmas

Dear Editor,

The Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville, the eminent Dr. Duane Sands, and other medical luminaries are predicting an international fourth wave of the COVID-19 virus.

A major difficulty local and international citizens face is that the virus continues to mutate producing different, sometimes more contagious, and/or deadly strains. To compound this difficulty, opposing views by medical practitioners – both for and against vaccination – have added to the confusion for the common folk.

I, personally, find credible the CDC studies which state unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are fully vaccinated, and vaccinated people are nearly five times less likely to get infected and 10 times less likely to get so sick, they ended up in the hospital.

The 650-plus Bahamians that have died from this killer disease ought to move each of us.

While vaccination is a personal choice, I verily believe my right to personal choice may need to end where an international public health crisis begins. I contend we have long passed the point where a serious national, public discussion on when mandatory vaccination of the population should be implemented.

Can we effectively achieve herd immunity when only around a third of the Bahamian population has been vaccinated? Do we not have a collective responsibility to each other to protect ourselves and each other? I am on the side of public vaccination.

With the Christmas season on the way, Bahamians sing “Mama bake that Johnny Cake, Christmas comin’.”

But the reality is on our present trajectory, Mama, and some of her siblings, may not be here to bake anything if we do not take this deadly disease more seriously, and fully recognize our personal and collective responsibility to end this pandemic.

The joy and celebration of the birth of Christ must not be punctuated with careless exposure to and transmission of the virus.

I say, the best gift you can give to those you love this Christmas is to make sure you don’t take the virus home to them.

Get vaccinated.

– Bishop Simeon Hall

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