By Dr. Zulfikar Bux
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt Medical Centre
Although a year has passed and we understand more about COVID-19, the world is still battling the worst phase of the pandemic with more deaths and infections than ever before. It is amazing that more than 151 million persons have already been infected and close to 3.2 million people have died from this devastation thus far. What’s even more alarming is the fact that many more will be infected and die because of our behavioural choices. While we have been fortunate so far and have not been hit as hard as other countries, our case numbers are at its highest and if we are not careful, we can suffer similar devastation to what’s occurring around the world.
Grim situation around the world
Currently, the new, deadlier strains of the coronavirus are responsible for the surge in deaths and infections around the world. What’s even worse is the fact that scientists are concerned that more strains are evolving that can be more deadly and vaccine resistant because of the current rapid spread. This can only mean more devastation similar to what is currently occurring in developed countries such as Brazil and India. Patients are dying because of unavailability of hospital space for them to be treated. Hospitals do not have sufficient oxygen to help save lives of so many that needs it to take another breath. This is leading to deaths that could have been avoided if these health systems were not overwhelmed.
The irresponsible behaviour in Guyana
If someone had told me two years ago that there would be so many deaths and devastation and yet many would be insensitive to the situation, I would not have believed. This is the stark reality of the situation in Guyana. Our people continue to be irresponsible and behave reckless although they are aware of the risks they pose to themselves and others. Sacrificing desires and comfort to save lives is too much to ask these days. People prefer to gather and party and have a good time even after knowing they are risking their lives and the lives of others with such events. But when they get infected, they expect miracles and everything to go their way although it is not realistic given what we are going through.
Health workers are fatigued
While most health workers have adjusted to working with COVID-19, it is still a daily challenge to keep up with the demands of the pandemic. It’s still difficult to digest the risks we are exposing ourselves and our close ones to every time we have to go to work. Then there are some who are traumatised from being infected or from the suffering their patients have gone through before dying. We have pushed ourselves beyond norms daily for so long and after a while it begins to take a toll especially when the expectations of some are impossible. The constant pressure and abuse from society because they expect care as per normal just add to the fatigue. If the capacity of our health system is breached, I fear that it will also break the will of some health workers and this will only make the situation worse for everyone. We need our people to help us by being responsible and that should give us the impetus that we need to continue to strive for the preservation of their lives.
Take responsibility and stop blaming others
We all know that this virus thrives in our weak moments and when we do not follow prevention guidelines. We are all humans and are bound to have moments of weakness. However, repeating those moments and consistently throwing caution to the wind is where recklessness and irresponsibility lies. So far, there have been many people in Guyana who have been irresponsible and reckless in their behaviour. However, they expect frontline workers to be perfect in an imperfect system and are often the first to cry foul when things do not go their way. We need to understand that we are still in the middle of a pandemic and norms have been stretched beyond what any of us would have previously expected in our lifetime. If we continue to be irresponsible, these norms will be pushed to abnormalities similar to what’s occurring in other parts of the world. We will not have space for the sick and will be unable to give oxygen to help prevent them from suffocating. The fault will lie with each and every one of us who were either reckless, irresponsible, or allowed others to be like this and not taking a stance. We should all therefore take a stance and help stamp out irresponsible and reckless behaviour so that everyone can continue to breathe freely in Guyana.
May 10, 2021Kaieteur News – Recently, Jamie McDonald; owner of Guyanas leading gym equipment and supplement supplier, Fitness Express, presented a sponsorship cheque to President of the Guyana...
May 10, 2021
May 10, 2021
May 09, 2021
May 09, 2021
May 09, 2021
Kaieteur News – APNU/WPA politician, Tacuma Ogunseye, published a letter on race relations in the Stabroek News of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]