We usually don’t associate the number of 11 with any special significance; take for example, the number seven, deemed as the number of completeness and perfection.
But 11 should take on new meaning for all Barbadians.
For another 11 days this nation will be on pause. On Monday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley extended the lockdown which should have ended on Wednesday to February 28.
And while we fear the darkening economic clouds, there’s plenty of justification.
The death toll from COVID-19 is now at 28.
The latest casualties include a nine-year-old child, a 74-year-old woman from a nursing home and an 88-year-old woman with co-morbidities.
Overall, there are now 2,457 confirmed cases – 1,090 females and 1,367 males – and 1,698 people have recovered.
By the level of community spread we currently have underway, it appears that not everyone’s on-board with what needs to be done, and that’s the problem.
We see it or hear it every day. The COVID-19 monitoring unit is forced to shut down parties, and people, not wearing masks are still out and about and not physical distancing
On Monday, Prime Minister Mottley made it clear that authorities will be heightening their surveillance to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
Acknowledging that most Barbadians had been disciplined in their actions, she noted that there were individuals who are failing to comply with the rules.
“And those ranged from as simple as not wearing the mask, to the more regrettable and unfortunate transgressions, which is opening shops and selling, which is literally having … parties or birthday celebrations,” the PM said.
COVID-19 is real. It is not a hoax, and it is not exaggerated. Anyone at any age can contract the virus. So why are we still messing around?
We know that our actions and choices have a great deal of impact on what happens with this virus. So make the right ones.
This message was echoed loud and clear by one who knows and feels it most.
In a six-minute-long video circulating on social media, Dr Kia Lewis of Kairos Medical Clinic and Lifestyle Centre in Arch Hall, St Thomas, who was hurting over the death of the nurse and the overall struggle of frontline workers risking their lives to treat COVID-19 patients and contain the virus, urged members of the public to think before they act.
She said: “There are people working in A&E [Accident and Emergency]. There are people working swabbing in the polyclinics. There are people who are working at Harrison’s Point and the struggle is very real for them. So I am not making this for sympathy. I want you to know that there are real people who are fighting this battle and all over the world those people have suffered and sacrificed their lives and died.”
“And I know it is hard for people who are at home and not making an income. I know it has to be difficult. But you see all of this running to the supermarket for everything, running at people that you don’t need to be at, out in the street congregating, out on the beach on Sunday mornings or whenever you go, laughing and talking up with people like nothing is happening, like there aren’t people who are dying like there aren’t people who are under severe stress trying to keep this country afloat, it has to stop.”
“Every time that you get up to leave home, I don’t care who it is to go to, who it is to see or what justification you have for it, anytime you get up to leave home unnecessary, you are putting somebody’s life at risk and you are a part of the problem. And we are going to be stuck here longer than we need to be. Before you make that next bad decision, and yes, I said it, bad decision, selfish decision, I want you to think.”
Putting an end to this pandemic as quickly as possible is in the best interest of everyone. People are indeed hurting socially, financially and emotionally. More are grieving now than the day before.
But it is up to none but ourselves to free us from this virus’s miserable grip.