Let’s ‘concertina’ the phases and lift lockdown
Freedom within the Bailiwick.
THE management to date of the crisis has been highly effective and Guernsey is now in the enviable position of going beyond flattening the curve. But does this seemingly single-minded drive to eliminate the virus balance the risk against the ongoing damage being done to the community?
With the Bailiwick in lockdown, Gavin St Pier has stated, ‘It affected everyone equally’. This is not true: the same social restrictions were enforced but not the same economic ones.
If everyone had been subjected to the same salary sacrifice for the duration of the disruption, in line with the current business support measures for those unable to work, perhaps there would also be a better appreciation of the economic impacts on the wider community.
On 23 March, Gavin St Pier wrote an open letter to the Bailiwick of Guernsey which included the statement, ‘I dread our first Covid-19-related death, which I know will happen; but right now, I fear that the risk is far greater that it will come from someone taking their own life.’
With no new positives reported since 1 May, the only thing growing is frustration and, for some, fear.
Herm, Alderney and Sark, have, as Gavin St Pier stated, ‘all remained blessedly free of the coronavirus’ and yet ‘have suffered the same privations and impact as Guernsey’. No cases have been reported since lockdown began and yet certain restrictions are still in place. How many days or weeks or months have to pass with no new cases before normality within the Bailiwick can return?
Life is never risk-free. The World Health Organisation has said it is likely that Covid-19 will never be eliminated. We need to ask ourselves what kind of island we want to live on, and to accept that risk, before fear becomes too deeply embedded in our society. Let’s ‘concertina’ phases three, four and five and lift lockdown restrictions within the Bailiwick now. Let’s genuinely be ‘Guernsey Together’, get our economy back on track and concentrate on the very real challenge of how best to mitigate the risk and manage border control, and get on with living our lives.
Editor’s footnote: This letter was received prior to yesterday’s loosening of lockdown announcements.