Apr 05, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News – It is rough, very rough, over there in neighbouring Brazil reeling from the ferocious and lethal onslaughts of the COVID-19 virus. Because Brazil is so near to us, there is some reasonable fear here, as to what could be extremely imperiling for us.
When people are under attack, they run and seek for any safe harbour. They don’t remain rooted in place, and resign themselves to whatever fate holds in store for them. Currently, the latest media reports tell of a harrowing reality: Brazilian hospitals are so overwhelmed with huge numbers of patients that they are close to the point of collapse. The Brazilian authorities are doing as much as they can and all they can, but they are falling short. The government knows it and the increasingly frightened population knows that, too. It just doesn’t look grim; the overall situation is most grim. The numbers keep adding up, the known variants are intensifying, the official response – whether structured or developed on the run – are far from enough, do not calm or comfort.
As the impacts of the virus weigh heavily on a population looking for any way out, the Guyanese border takes on an increasingly inviting appearance. It is as good as any of the options available, and with several advantages that stand most temptingly. The border separating Guyana and Brazil is long. It is mostly unpoliced and it possesses many areas and opportunities where those running for their lives, or simply getting an early jump on the exodus of worried fellow citizens, can explore to put some distance between themselves and their families and the always advancing, and alarming, killing machine that is this COVID-19 virus. Both virus and variants seem to elude modern medicine’s wisdoms and efforts to put it in a vice that locks it from spreading further and inflicting more damage.
Because of this, Guyana looks more and more like a safe haven that can neither be ignored nor delayed much longer. Selecting the right time can make the difference between infection and more contamination or the continuation of life in some form and in some other, more soothing place or its conclusion in the high probability of death.
However, the Guyana side of the border, those closer to Brazil, has had more than its share of COVID-19 visitations, with lockdowns and quarantines being a part of the protective efforts put in place a little while ago. Whole communities in the far-off regions were totally shutdown and isolated. Our medical and other human resources managed at the time, but even then, when the surge was not anywhere near what is present in Brazil today, those resources and efforts were stretched very thinly. We cannot absorb more; we cannot cope with more and from so many fronts at the same time.
A careful note of the overall local situation with respect to the virus reveals that there is a steady increase in the number of cases of infections, and of the death rate inching forward. Older Guyanese have been succumbing more frequently than other age groups but there has been a handful from below the pension age segment of citizens. Vaccine distributions are moving along at a rapid clip, but only the first doses have been administered to this point, with a good eight weeks and more before the full dosage (the second) is scheduled to occur. There are vaccines in hand and more arriving, which should put to bed any fears of running out of vaccines in midstream.
In spite of all of these pluses, the nation is still vulnerable and is limited into how much more it can handle. This is speaking from the perspectives of a rush of new infections, the stressed conditions of the medical sector, and the ongoing exposures posed by many of our own citizens (too many of them), who throw caution to the winds and recklessly pay scant attention to what the safety protocols are, and doing the right thing. That would be those things that have been repeated countless times by now, and which go a long way to protect self and others.
With all this in mind, we think of the circumstances in Brazil. We cannot help but wonder what those could possibly mean for us here, and how little we may be in a position to do, should any influx of fleeing Brazilians occur. It would not make much of a difference, whether such an influx is of a steady trickle, or at a furious rush. There is only so much, which we can take, before we ourselves would be overwhelmed beyond the point of being of any help to anyone. That is, for ourselves, or those who come seeking a hand of brotherhood and assistance.
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