Letters

For whom the bell tolls

Dear Editor,

The Nassau Guardian reported on Sunday that there have been two additional COVID-19 deaths recorded by the Ministry of Health, pushing the overall total to 29 — all since March.

At the current rate, COVID-19 is killing on average nearly five people per month.

With 18 deaths during the so-called second wave, this COVID-19 strain is more lethal than the first wave virus, which claimed 11 lives.

A COVID-19 Task Force official on Grand Bahama told the media that COVID-19 patients at Rand Memorial Hospital are sicker than those infected during the first wave.

Whether or not his assessment is scientifically accurate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that people with underlying conditions, such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant, obesity, serious heart conditions, sickle cell disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus, are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

During an address at the Bahamas Podiatric Medical Association Conference last October, then Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands said that one in seven Bahamians are diabetic, with the death rate from diabetes standing at 37.9 deaths per 100,000 people.

With 71.6 percent of the population being overweight, and 43.7 being classified as obese, COVID-19 has the potential to exact a heavy toll on an undisciplined Bahamian population, which has to be disconcerting to COVID-19 Task Force and Ministry of Health officials, who are now mourning the tragic death of Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre nurse Bernadette Rolle.

With the availability of such data, it should come as no surprise that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis subjected the Bahamian people to curfews and lockdowns, even to the extent of doing irreparable harm to the domestic, nonessential economy.

Bahamians have been given the options of two poisons: an anemic economy or COVID-19.

They are badgering for the former.

While dean at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London from 1621 to 1631, the English metaphysical poet John Donne witnessed the death of thousands, some of whom were his parishioners, due to the Black Plague which ravaged Europe.

In his famous poem titled “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, Donne said the following: “No man is an island…Each man’s death diminishes me. For I am involved with mankind. Therefore, send not to know. For whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

Each time I hear word of another COVID-19 causality, my mind immediately goes to the situation in Donne’s day.

In addition to making nearly 2,000 Bahamians ill and wrecking the economy, the likes of which we have never in the post-Majority Rule generation seen before, COVID-19 is killing Bahamians at an alarming rate.

We can only hope and pray that this crisis comes to an end.

Kevin Evans

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