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OPINION: Honestly, have you taken two lateral flow tests this week?

OPINION: Honestly, have you taken two lateral flow tests this week?

Thursday 11 November 2021

OPINION: Honestly, have you taken two lateral flow tests this week?


Covid cases are starting to climb. We always knew they would, but Bailiwick Express's Senior Reporter, Matthew Leach, would suggest that this is probably because not enough people are wearing masks, despite them being “strongly recommended” just over a month ago.

"I expect even fewer people are taking two lateral flow tests a week.

"At this vague ‘living with covid’ time can they be blamed? Call me cynical but I think people are starting to forget that covid even exists. If it wasn’t for the odd person I see in B&Q matching me in my mask, I’d probably forget too."

Pictured: The States are consistently reminding people to wear a mask in places where there is poor ventilation or where they can't socially distance but compliance is relatively low. 

"The States' decision to pull covid figures from social media could be to blame, but the States had an unenviable choice trying to balance between too much information and too little. “Stop telling us” or “what are you hiding?”

"I’m rarely envious of the States' Communication Team. But I might actually step out on a limb and say that so far they’ve done a pretty amazing job on covid, juggling the will of divided public opinion, constantly evolving messages from Public Health and a few unpredictable outbursts from politicians.

"But 108 cases of covid were discovered last weekend and 38 more in the update provided since then. We now have 328 known cases in the island. But only two people in hospital, which might mean the vaccine actually works. You don’t say.

"The figures are climbing and I, like so many of us, know people with covid right now. Multiple people from all corners of the island. People are getting covid and contact traced and pulled out of work. Call me neurotic, but I don’t want to be one of them.

"I have family members who are immune suppressed who I wouldn’t want to get a cold, let alone a highly transmissible life-altering respiratory infection.

"I have a mortgage to pay, Christmas presents to buy and a broken toilet that needs to be re-plumbed. I don’t want to be contact traced; I don’t want my fiancé to be contact traced. I don’t want to work at home from the kitchen table paying for an even higher heating bill.

"I don’t want the States to have to take much more serious action, again. I don’t want them to re-introduce border restrictions and see the plans of thousands of islanders affected. In December, I’m meant to be seeing family who I haven’t seen since 2019, but I might not, if you think hand sanitizer is too much to ask. 

"The States' media briefings have been reduced to fortnightly updates. I worry this has contributed to allowing some people to forget just how much of a pain covid is and the scale of the disruption it could yet cause. I’m not blaming anyone. I’m just asking nicely. 

"Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stick a cotton bud up your nose and test negative. 

"Even if you don’t think covid is a big deal anymore, it makes life a lot more difficult for everyone else if you don’t do these things. 

"Which is – may I suggest, respectfully – a bit selfish."

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