‘Lockdown’ time again


‘Lockdown’ time again

Coronavirus Mr. COVID

Whoever thought that Mr. Covid would be with us for Christmas?

The learned experts have been warning us that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic would  be  worst than the first.

But optimistic souls in our Caribbean community were willing to bet that after the virus had killed so many over so many months this year, the pandemic would be over by this time.

Well, the bets are off.

At 12.01 a.m. on Monday, Toronto and Peel Region, hotspots of the deadly virus. moved into an official “lockdown.”

And according to the authorities at Queen’s Park, this “lockdown” will last of minimum of 28 days. That is equivalent to two incubation periods for the coronovirus.

Our readers in Toronto, Peel and other areas in Ontario would recall the “lockdown” which was declared earlier this year and the daily inconveniences which it brought upon us.

Now we’re back to square one to face a series of restrictions again imposed upon us in the name  of public safety.

We are told by the authorities to stay at home.

But despite the ” lockdown,” with its restrictions on our day to day activities, how safe are we in the Caribbean community? How safe are our Indigenous brothers and sister ?How safe are ethnic minorities in  general ?

Some people have described COVID-19 with its global impact as a ” great equalizer.”

Well, clearly it is not.

Kwame McKenzie

As Kwame McKenzie, CEO of the Wellesley Institute and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, explained in a recent CBC interview,  the pandemic  has magnified existing issues in marginalized communities.

“COVID-19 is not a great equalizer — it discriminates,”  declared McKenzie.

A  recent Statistics Canada report  points out that communities with the most visible minorities had the highest mortality rates during the first wave of the novel coronavirus.

And the authors of the report note that the pandemic is disproportionately affecting visible minorities, who are more likely to live in overcrowded housing and work in jobs that put them more at risk of exposure to COVID-19.

The report also refers to other studies which have shown that visible minorities are more likely to suffer from conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which are considered to make an individual at higher risk for serious illness or death from COVID-19.

It also notes that in the four biggest provinces — which account for 99 per cent of the deaths from COVID-19 between March and July — death rates from COVID-19 were twice as high in communities where more than one in four people identify as a visible minority, compared with communities where less than one per cent of residents did.

Noting the greater risk to people in our own  community in the current pandemic,we are appealing to all our readers to observe all the restrictions during the “lockdown..”

And let us hope that we will soon say good riddance Mr. Covid.

Stay safe.