Letters to the Editor: A Merry COVID Christmas – EyeWitness News

Dear Editor,
As a nation, we are coming up on our second official COVID Christmas. I hope that trees are lit and stockings are stuffed. I trust that cups runneth over with eggnog, gullywash, sky juice or any similarly creamy and alcohol-laden concoction. ‘Tis most likely the third COVID Christmas in actuality, as some now agree the virus was in The Bahamas by September of 2019, but at this point in time, it is neither urgent nor helpful to dig up the past.
We should look forward.
This tree (below) costs $400 from a trailer on Soldier Road.
We have suffered two years of lockdowns, excess viral deaths, unemployment, economic damage and rising crime. Children, despite being the cohort least at risk to COVID, have suffered the most. They have missed out on academic progress, as well as emotional and social development in their key years. Toddlers, in this delicate and all-too-important stage of learning, have been forced to wear masks and interact with others wearing masks — obscuring facial recognition and losing out on the ability to discern expression and mood from the subtle contours of the face. We do not know the full cost of these measures. We cannot know and will not know for many years until they turn 18 and we see how these problems manifest in young adulthood, but we do know that we did it to protect them from a virus that posed an infinitesimally small risk.
Nevertheless, we did not know much of this at the time. Governments tend to err on the side of safety, to avoid being sorry. The Free National Movement and Dr Minnis’ administration could be forgiven for their COVID strategy, warts and all. But today, after two (really three) years of data from 195 countries, multiple vaccines spanning two domains of nucleic acid, holistic remedies and enough oral antivirals to sink a ship, continuing with bad policy would truly be unforgiveable.
It is time for us to move forward.
Omicron is here, and it is a godsend. Despite the media’s exuberance in announcing any micro-evolutionary variation large enough to constitute a “novel strain”, omicron really does seem to be different. Different means change, and change can be scary. Omicron, however, is different in a good way.
If we remember delta, which appeared roughly 10 years ago in COVID time, it arrived on the scene with similar lethality, a slightly higher rate of contagion (R0), and much greater vaccine resistance. Delta was negative, fear-inducing and wretched. The news of omicron is on the opposite end of the spectrum — positive, inspiring and downright helpful.
The early data from South Africa, along with the current data from New York and London, tells a story of a virus with roughly the same mortality as the common cold. A virus more contagious than any strain of COVID that has come before it. A virus that, upon infection, provides the host with immunity that protects against all other viral strains. Omicron is more effective and efficacious at preventing COVID than any vaccine Pfizer or Moderna could come up with in their wildest dreams — nor, for that matter, with the $8 billion they received from the US federal government. Omicron is a miracle of nature, here with bells on.
(Editor’s note: The World Health Organization has not confirmed whether omicron offers immunity. Research on this subject is still ongoing globally.)
Where one had to take a booster shot of a vaccine every six months to maintain antibodies that may work against the next COVID strain, omicron seems to grant long-lasting immunity for years. Where the artificial vaccines are extremely specific in design, hard-coded to recognize a segment of the virus’ spiky protein exterior, omicron recognizes the key in its entirety.
The key is COVID.
So, even after a trip to the locksmith’s to recut the key (a viral mutation in the real world), immunity from omicron will still hold (open the door). A very good Christmas gift indeed.
The most important consequence of omicron is its level of contagion. It will infect even the most stubborn anti-vaxxers without impunity. The biggest argument for lockdowns and other restrictive measures from the government has been the population’s collective refusal to become 100 percent vaccinated. As long as ONE Bahamian remains unvaccinated, the medical establishment has seen it fit to advise authoritarianism. After all, we are in year three, on our second administration, and our newest health czar has canceled the Christmas carnival. Indoor gatherings are restricted to a max of 20 persons, and outdoor to 30. Omicron eliminates this argument, defanging the government and offering with it a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.
It will become dominant. We will all get it. Few will die. We will all become immune.
The holy grail of herd immunity is finally within our grasp.
Omicron is the best Christmas present our small island nation, and indeed the world, could hope for. Rather than the lump of coal it has been portrayed to be, it is in fact a diamond we should all be gracious to receive.
I implore you, dear Editor, and all Bahamians, to rejoice in the gift of omicron this COVID Christmas. We should shake off the two years of depression and malaise inflicting our nation, snap out of our COVID funk, crack open a bottle of champagne and dive into 2022 as a nation that is truly serious about its commitment to living a life filled with rum, fun and sun.
Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year.
Alex Holden
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