Playing with fire

Playing with fire

Phase one of the coronavirus pandemic de-escalation from today, Monday (see related story) may be considered the beginning of the end of this terrible unprecedented nightmare. Several previously-closed types of businesses have been allowed to operate again under varying circumstances, pre-schooling can resume, shopping is now permitted all five weekdays and the movement zones separated by Cole Bay Hill were eliminated.

These are some careful but significant first steps to relax COVID-19 measures in comparison to the lockdown that began a month and a half ago. Important is also to know that a four-phase staggered reopening is to be completed by the end of June, with the hope of again receiving visitors who drive the local tourism economy in July.

Not everyone will agree with the approach and choices made as to which activities are allowed and the different conditions for such. However, Prime Minister and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Chairperson Silveria Jacobs clearly stated that while the current week was pretty much set in the new national decree, adjustments could still be made going forward.

It is imperative that all entities concerned strictly comply with applicable hygiene, sanitising and social distancing requirements. Persons entering any establishment must wear a facemask for the time being.

Respecting these rules is not only essential to reduce the health risk to themselves and others, but to prevent any new outbreak that could easily lead to reversing the loosening of restrictions. That would be nothing short of disastrous and would make the already-dire socioeconomic situation on the island even worse.

Those who might not want to listen had better realise they are playing with fire.