It’s early days yet as Barbadians adjust to fewer restrictions and get on with life after a near three-month pandemic lockdown.
Understandably, quarantine fatigue has seeped in and most of us are keen to return to the life we took for granted but now miss. But there really is no going back to the norm with an unwelcomed, ever-lurking coronavirus.
So far, Barbados has done well to contain this microscopic enemy that has infected at 13.7 million people and claimed more than 536,000 lives
Everywhere we turn is a stark reminder that the battle is not over and that we can’t afford to be reckless.
As reopening continues, we face fewer restrictions but as individuals, we must act wisely.
When it comes to fighting COVID-19, there is no doubt about what we need to do. Practise social distancing. Wash your hands. And wear a mask.
It’s the face-covering, proven to be an effective barrier against transmission of the virus that is particularly concerning.
Despite repeated caution from our health authorities, an increasing number of Barbadians on the roads, travelling in public transport, shopping and mingling with friends are opting to ditch their masks.
It’s a trend that has not escaped the attention of Minister of Health Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic.
Just yesterday he advised that Barbadians should be aware that the wearing of masks was always part of the COVID-19 pandemic response protocol and still is.
Lt Col Bostic said: “Protocols like mask-wearing have not been relaxed. I am quite sure that the Prime Minister made a statement in relation to the wearing of masks, especially in public spaces and in circumstances where social distancing may not be possible and that is why you would see that in most places that you go, especially government buildings, and so on, and supermarkets you are still required to wear masks, restaurants even.”
Barbadians ought to wear a mask in public, not because the Government says so but because it’s the right and safe thing to do.
It’s disturbing to see people moving around carefree with seemingly little concern for their own health and that of others.
Masks are uncomfortable. They make us feel hot, they drop off, they fog up our glasses. We get that.
But the experts have told us that while they are not foolproof, they remain one of the best defences against COVID-19 especially with no vaccine on the production horizon.
The US Centres for Disease Control, whose advice dozens of American states ignored to their peril, Tuesday strengthened the argument for masks. The CDC concluded that “consistent and correct use of face coverings, when appropriate, is an important tool for minimizing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 from presymptomatic, asymptomatic, and symptomatic persons”.
COVID-19 is said to spread among humans mainly through breathing in tiny respiratory droplets – aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings.
But the mask acts as a physical barrier that helps filter air before it gets to your nose or mouth. It is even more effective in preventing yourself from infecting others. This makes it far less likely to contract the virus or spread it to loved ones.
The fact remains that some COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic. There could be someone walking around unaware that they have the virus. All the while, they exhale it with a cough or a sneeze. A mask that covers nose and mouth can stop the spread, preventing the virus from reaching others.
American health expert Dr Rachel Lavine says the need to wear masks is as fundamental as the golden rule of doing unto others as you wish they would do unto you.
It’s not complicated, Just mask up.
One Reply to “#BTEditorial – Masks are uncomfortable. Wear them.”
The people of Barbados are very industrious I wonder why no one has taken the lead to start sewing masks and selling them there is money to be made or are you waiting for them to come from china