by Dr Neals J Chitan
If we are to successfully see a return to some form of pre-Covid normalcy, we will have to be more intelligent about our approach.
You see, a pandemic is like a category 5 hurricane, delivering a death blow on all in its path, and it will take a target specific intervention to survive it. During a category 5 hurricane, when the winds of destruction and death are blowing at 200 miles per hour, when your roof is vibrating, when trees are falling all around and bodies are strewn around like ragdolls, you do not then engage prevention by going outside and climbing onto your rooftop tightening down screws and boarding up your windows. That should be done before in preparation for the storm.
Prevention has its specific role and timing, and so does intervention, and it would be silly if not stupid, to try to engage them in the wrong order as I see being advocated by so many so-called intelligent folks, while we are under the indiscriminating cold ravaging death grip of the Covid death angel.
Before being judged by the literary court of judges who seem to be only preoccupied with selfishly misreading intentions and lifting out-of-context phrases to malign writers, let me go on record as proclaiming myself as an avid promoter of healthy living. I am a firm believer in healthy eating, exercising, good water consumption and adequate rest. I am a believer in the eating of nuts, grains and vegetables. I am a believer in use of local spices, fruits and herbs which we in the Caribbean are blessed with to enhance and build immunity against diseases. However, these are our prevention approach to healthy and happy living.
Focusing sorely on natural immunity building when Covid deaths are everywhere, is unwise!! The fact of the matter is that building your immunity is a preventive process that takes time, care, and dedication. A good immune system to fight off devastating viruses like Covid-19, is not built overnight!! There are no local natural immune-boosting formulas that can quickly build the resistance you need to defeat the virus. It is a process that takes time and dedication to render you a virus-fighting machine. Like bodybuilding for a fight, you cannot go to the gym 2 days and hope to win a fight against an opponent that is ready to mash you up. It will take time and effort to build a body to resist the punches and jabs from the enemy while delivering your fair share of knock-out punches to win the fight.
And so, within the context of the exponential spreading Covid -19 infections and death, despite the fact that we really do need to continue encouraging the building of our immune systems naturally, the fact remains that folks are getting infected and dying at an uncontrollable rate. This gives evidence that as a people, we may have traded the medicinal taste and value of these immune-building foods for the tantalising tastes of modern refined fast food, but now in panic mode, trying to medicate and over-medicate ourselves with them, hoping for immediate protection against the virus.
However, we are caught in the fury of the pandemic with unprepared immune systems and need quick intervention if we indeed will put up a fight or even win the battle against Covid-19. This is where vaccination becomes necessary!! My friends, we need to mount a target-specific war against the invading virus if we hope to save our people’s lives and return to some form of normalcy for our children. With a rapidly advancing enemy on our heels, taking our friends, families, neighbours, and colleagues, we have to encourage and utilize the vaccine medium of boosting our immune system to quickly as possible outrun the speed of this decimating enemy and subdue it.
The truth is, we can sit back and allow the natural cycle of infection, recovery or death to continue while hoping to build natural herd immunity. However, it will result in the tragic loss of lives, the collapse of our economy, the loss of jobs, and the interruption of our social and religious lives, while paying the ultimate price. I know that the social media qualified doctors all have their opinions and verdicts, but if the empirical statistics be objectively considered, historically, vaccination has saved more lives and eliminated more diseases quicker than any other method.
What is very disconcerting however, is the lack of urgency by religious and civic leaders to recommend vaccination to their followers and members. In the Caribbean, religious leaders are very well respected and have a commanding influence over their members. They boldly convince them to sacrifice and sow a financial seed into the ministry even when folks are unemployed. They boldly convince them to give their hearts to the Lord, to get off their seats and respond to altar calls. They boldly convince them that the end of the world is near, and they should prepare. By the way, all personal decisions are seriously coerced by these men of God. However, suddenly, convincing them to vaccinate and save their lives and their families from Covid-19, is now too personal and the people’s rights to their own decisions are now considered sacred and should not be violated by bold convincing. WOW!!
During a recent televised press conference here in Grenada, it was so sad to hear Christian leaders timidly referencing vaccination as an afterthought to stop the infections and deaths, while hearing the Muslim leader present on the show very assertively and convincingly recommending vaccination to his people and the nation without diminishing the power of God to help us through this crisis.
So, finally, here we are! It’s your choice: *A raging pandemic *Hundreds of lives lost *Employment termination * Economic collapse *Frustration, depression and suicides *No sporting, cultural and religious events *More shut-downs and no-movement days.
Please STOP and THINK and pick for yourself and the greater good of your family, community nation and region! I hope you will think wisely and join me in full vaccination.
Dr Neals Chitan is an International Social Skill Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist who holds a PhD in Social and Behavioural Sciences and currently works in Grenada. He is the President/Founder of Motiv-8 For Change International a Toronto-based Social Skill Agency and can be reached from North America at 647-692-6330 and locally 473-416-8377 or at [email protected]
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