The Way I See It

A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr

The way I see it, we are living in the scariest of times, but by God’s grace, we will survive.

At the time of my writing, we are just moments away from our borders being reopened and the citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, are facing the significant event with much dread and trepidation.  The medical experts have reassured the general population that the major hospitals within the federation, are ‘PREPARED IF SEVERE COVID-19 CASES DEVELOP.’

However, the fact that the Joseph N France General Hospital, has about 18 designated beds and the capacity to ventilate 30 patients and the Alexandra hospital has 16 designated beds, with an additional eight at a former seniors’ home and eleven available ventilators is hardly a source of comfort if we have a serious spike in the cases.

Well I newa!

So it all boils down to us as individuals.

In recent weeks, many members of our community have become lapse and careless and ‘DON’T KAY.’  The general attitude has been that ‘we have no cases—we are covid free and there is no need for all these stupid protocols!’

As a matter of fact, those of us who have attempted to seriously ensure that persons adhere to the established protocols, have been verbally abused in some quarters and targeted as ‘harassing.’  In some instances, some who have acted carelessly would have indicated that they would not act in that same manner, once the borders are opened.  But trust me: What you practice is what you will preach.  Habits sometimes become permanent traits, mind.

This week, however, in my interactions with persons, as a member of the Compliance task force, I found that persons were more apt to listen to advice.  Some believe that the borders should remain closed. Others agree that they should be reopened, for the economic good of the land, but are in deep fear as to what will transpire next.  As a matter of fact, some persons are treating this thing as if there is a pending hurricane.

I spoke to one individual who has already bought several bags of rice and stocked up on other necessary food items, because she anticipates that the country will eventually go back into lockdown and she won’t be going into any long supermarket lines, any time soon.

Well I newa!

Guess what? She also told me that there are many other persons who are preparing in a similar manner. One storekeeper told me that once the borders are reopened, she will be wearing not one, but two masks!

Sadly, even during this week of final preparations, persons were still seen acting carelessly.

Crispin Fahie of blessed memory, once told me that ‘people will normally offer a reason and then as they speak more, you will discover the REAL REASON for their actions.’

I spoke to a gentleman, who holds a pretty ranking office in Charlestown.  I told him that he should not be walking throughout his establishment and interacting with customers, without wearing his mask.  He told me that he has a breathing problem.

However, later on in the conversation, he exploded: ‘You know honestly, I don’t believe in the wearing of these masks. It’s stupidness—and we don’t have any cases—Ahhh-real reason!

For the persons who have genuine breathing concerns and for those who have suddenly developed such breathing concerns, I pulled up this from my good friend GOOGLE:

“Few people enjoy wearing a cloth face mask, as is recommended by the U.S. Centers Disease Control and Prevention for going out in public places during the coronavirus pandemic. But if you have a chronic respiratory condition such as asthma or COPD, covering your mouth and nose can be especially challenging. The physical barrier of the mask makes it harder to take in air; it also traps some carbon dioxide as you exhale, which means you end up breathing in air that is warmer and moister. Add a compromised respiratory system to the equation and a mask can feel downright suffocating.

Unfortunately, that sensation of having trouble breathing in a mask might get even worse as summer approaches. Many people with chronic lung conditions find it harder to breathe in hot, humid air (though some others fare worse when the weather is cold and dry).

As tempting as it might be to skip the face mask, health experts say that going mask-free if you’re in crowded public places during the coronavirus pandemic is a major no-no.

“I definitely recommend using a face mask for everyone in these times, especially for people with asthma and COPD,” says Neil Schachter, MD, professor of medicine, pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “We need to protect those at risk, in particular those with fragile airways.”

“Question: I have heard about concerns that wearing a mask for a prolonged period of time can cause you to retain or breathe in more carbon dioxide (CO2) or get less oxygen and this can make you sick. I even heard about people who had car accidents they felt were due to this issue. Does mask wearing for a prolonged time cause this?

Answer: Prolonged use of any face mask, including the N95 respirator, has not been shown to cause carbon dioxide toxicity or lack of adequate oxygen in healthy people. For some persons with severe chronic lung disease, wearing a mask may make breathing more difficult, but not because of CO2 retention.

Recall, there are health care workers who routinely wear masks for prolonged periods as part of usual care (such as when performing surgery) and adverse effects from this practice have not been reported.

Cloth masks reduce the number of microorganisms that someone releases into the air. So, the more people wear masks in an area, the fewer potential viral droplets go into space, and the less risk that someone will be exposed to the virus.”

My personal advice to you dear reader is if you have a genuine breathing issue, spend as much time as possible in your own space, without a mask, but as long as you are within range of other persons, PLEASE PUT ON YOUR MASK!

Another issue that I find interesting, is the fact that some persons consider their coworkers as a family and interact with them freely, without the wearing of masks and refusing to observe required distancing protocols.  However, they are forgetting the crucial fact that these coworkers go home to their respective family members, who have interacted with who knows who during the day and would have brought home who knows what and then that family member can take whatever it is, back to the workplace.

You get it?

There is another lady who said this week, that she has a problem wearing the mask because it is hiding her makeup!

I am not here to instill fear, but I am just beseeching my beloved Nevisians and residents to act wisely. Observe the protocols. Treat every single person with whom you interact, as a potential covid case, and do the right things.

Now, those of us who are Christians, of course, we are going to pray but prayer alone won’t do it.  God expects us to do our BEST and then he will do the REST.  Let us not be like the lady who went to St. Kitts and bought one of those huge, three-legged pots, and when she got to the Charlestown pier, she prayed that God will help her to get it home.  So, she left it on the pier after praying and went home, comforted in the thought that she only had two legs and the pot had three, so it will get home, by God’s grace.  Of course, when she went back sometime after, the pot had vanished!

Fellow citizens and residents, let us be wise as we move forward during this tricky period. Let us do right in the sight of God and man.

hat’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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