By Raw Philosophy
A few persons have been calling for a lock-down or a curfew to be issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the expectation that such will undoubtedly forestall any community spread of the extant COVID-19 virus.
Let’s take a look at the easily identifiable facts which abound in and around the capital city.
Some businesses have required their customers and clients to queue outside, the rationale for which evades me. For example, GECCU customers are allowed to create a congestion outside the building, supposedly in an effort to reduce any likelihood of employees and customers contracting the virus.
Customers, after inevitably failing to adhere to the recommended social distancing guidelines, given the obvious impracticality of being made to queue outside, eventually make their way inside and then restore the likelihood of contagion. Management, thus far, has neglected to take note of such reality. Certainly, other businesses are culpable for adopting similar positions.
On the point of curfew, I opine that this will be more detrimental to the fight against the spread of COVID-19. It’s unlikely that a curfew will be issued without prior notice to the public. The notice will, without a doubt, cause the average man to rush to, inter alia, supermarkets, banks, pharmacies and bakeries, creating a congestion, which is ideal for the spread of the virus. Thereafter, lines may be be longer and places crowded given that Vincentians will then have a shortened day within which to run their errands.
For the same reason, a lock-down will prove counter-productive, unless its duration is such that will effectively abate the spread of the virus in Hairouna. If not, following the lock-down, many will rush to all sorts of places to run their errands and do all that they were hindered from doing during the lock-down. Social distancing will then, even more so, be rendered impractical.
I leave you with two suggestions over which you may mull:
- Instead of shortening the opening hours, extend them. You will find less persons assembling outside of any business at any given time if they know that they can return at a later hour. People may be inclined to run the risk of being within close social proximity to others when there are no alternative times available.
- Instead of having customers queue up outside supermarkets, let a reasonable number go in, do their shopping and leave. Only a reasonable number of customers who could realistically practise social distancing outside should be allowed to queue. As could be expected, it’s hard to practise social distancing where the protocol is to queue; easier where persons are walking in the streets.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].