Does the PM Truly Care about The Health of St. Lucians?

COVID-19 Face-Mask Protocols

During the ongoing COVID-19 battle, the PM has asked all St. Lucians to follow all the protocols outlined by the Ministry of Health and mandated in law by the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Act. The COVID-19 Wardens will soon be tasked with enforcing the law with the powers of arrest including Section 21 — Wearing of masks and physical distancing which states “In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a person shall a) wear a mask of suitable covering over his or her nose and mouth when in public”. The law indicates that the use of the mask is mandated but also grants the CMO the exclusive right to determine what other “suitable covering” is acceptable. Note that the CMO could even give approval for “no covering” if she considers this a suitable covering similar to the parable The Emperor Has No Clothes.

The PM has constantly reminded the public of strict adherence to the protocols as recently as a few days earlier on a recent radio programme. Earlier the PM indicated the followingFor a period of time, we have to stop the socializing, we have to stop the virus from being able to circulate, the only way we can save lives, save livelihoods, wear your mask, that is what we all have to do. If we’re not going to have the discipline in us to do it and calling upon each individual person in this country to do their part, if that is not working, then sadly the government will have to resort to more stringent protocols in order to enforce that even to a greater extent. The only way we’re going to solve this problem is not by shutting down this problem but by causing persons to practice and follow the protocols,” said the prime minister.

Face Shield !=Face-Mask

In recent public engagements such as at St. Jude’s Building Site and the Dennery Drag Racing Site, the PM has decided to wear only a face-shield with no face-mask. He is attending events with numerous members of the public and the attendees are not socially distant at all times. CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for masks because of a lack of evidence of their effectiveness for source control. Clear masks that cover the nose and wrap securely around the face can be used. Furthermore, a face mask can be used in addition to the face-shield.

The key reason why face-shields are not recommended is that the primary beneficiary of the face-shield is the wearer and not others. “They found that while face shields did block the initial forward motion of a simulated cough or a sneeze, the expelled droplets were still able to move around the visor and spread out over a large area in an environment. This is why she says that face shields are a good supplement to face coverings, but should not be used in their place. Cloth face coverings protect others,” she said (Dr. Joy Henningsen, clinical assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine)

The altruism you show by wearing one is a kindness to others, and that kindness is returned when someone wears their mask for you. That’s when the real magic happens, when both parties are wearing them. My mask protects you; your mask protects me.” This is further discussed hereMasks are really about protecting others — that data is really strong,” Perencevich says. “Face shields are about protecting the wearer. If you have to be in the community, any kind of cotton mask or medical mask and a face shield is really ideal protection.Wearing of a face-shield without wearing a face-mask demonstrates to everyone that you believe that your life is more important than all others around.

Health of St. Lucian Citizens

However, if you believe that your life and health is more important than everyone else around you then the face-shield is perfect for you as it protects you at the expense of others. Perhaps our Prime Minister is not aware of the science regarding the effectiveness of face shields vs face masks and we should excuse his lack of knowledge or perhaps it yet again another very Trumpian trait from our Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly shown the health and welfare of the average St. Lucia is not his priority and this is yet again further evidence of his philosophy. Maybe that explains why after 4.5 years as Prime Minister and insisting that he will ensure that St. Jude’s Hospital will operational shortly, we are still only privy to photo-ops at the “St Jude’s Hospital” building site or we have a respiratory hospital where mold is present but not considered an issue.

Is the health of the St. Lucian public relevant to this Prime Minister?

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The St. Lucian Analyzer

The St. Lucian Analyzer

Critical data-driven research analysis of challenges facing Saint Lucia.

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