The Virgin Islands has arrived at a proverbial crossroad in the Covid-19 pandemic.

The territory will have to decide on two choices in the midst of a Commission of Inquiry that is taking up most of the oxygen in the room and a hurricane season as unpredictable as the season when hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc in the land.

The first choice is to lock down, step back into mid-2020, and see the fragile economic recovery destroyed. This is the worst of the options and will see further business bankruptcies and job loss. The territory is already suffering increased poverty as a result of the pandemic.

The second choice is to go on as now, keeping the territory open and managing the pandemic with a ramped-up vaccination program. This second choice, however, also poses significant risks and carries caveats.

Can the VI handle a large Covid-19 outbreak? Given that many residents have significant underlying health conditions, can the territory manage the fallout in terms of illness and death?

 

Vaccinations

The vaccination is meant to solve the preceding danger. Though it will not necessarily prevent infection, the evidence abroad shows that it significantly reduces the risk of infection, illness and death.

Consequently, the solution is a ramped-up vaccination programme, carried out while we all live normally.

The VI could have been close to the place where we need not worry too much about the dangers of Covid-19, had it not been for the conspiracy theories about the vaccine from certain churches and other quarters.

Consequently, residents who have not been vaccinated should do so immediately, unless they are in danger owing to specific underlying medical conditions.

And the government and business community should carry on with economic recovery, using the tool of vaccination to manage the crisis.

 

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