As the number of deaths from Covid rise, let us see if we can do TWO things at the same time:
ONE, let us acknowledge the extreme gravity of the situation, partly due to the slowness of the Government to finally close schools from Thursday and to finally tighten up restrictions only from today, when deaths have been rising so fast, and then let us all act so as to prevent the spread of Covid – most importantly, let us encourage the 90,000 of those not yet vaccinated to go ahead and get vaccinated; let all of us eligible take up the booster doses offered, so we spread the virus less; and let us encourage everyone to wear masks, keep distance from others, avoid crowds, and actually STAY HOME as much as possible for this one month, starting today. And TWO, at one and the same time, let us keep our collective calm by relativizing the situation concerning COVID death rates so far in Mauritius compared with in other countries, bearing in mind that our total success in the first wave, and relative success in the second are due only to ONE THING – so many of us respecting public health guidelines because we believe in them, and because we have a tradition of relying on them.
Then, when we put together these TWO things, we get a THIRD one: if we do not watch out, we will end up in dire straits like all the countries so much worse affected in terms of death rates from Covid than us. There is, if we do not continue to heed public health policies carefully, much worse ahead for us than we have, until now, known. It all depends on our individual and collective strict adherence to public health measures.
We have taken the two countries with the highest number of reported Covid deaths per million population, Peru and the European union country Bulgaria; then the two lowest Tonga and Micronesia with 1 death per million; and then other countries that Mauritians often make comparisons with; this way, we can see how Mauritius is placed in this “world” reality (figures taken from Worldometers, 10 Nov 2021 when we took the figures). We note that Philippe Forget has done a similar exercise in his editorial of 10 November. We do this in order to ENCOURAGE people to follow all public health advice as strictly as humanly possible, including staying home as much as possible.
Bulgaria (EU) 3,716
South Africa 1,482
Reunion ** 416
Mauritius 188 (based on 240 Covid-caused deaths)*
South Korea 59
New Zealand 6
Mauritius is today in 141st place out of a total 244 countries or territories. There are 140 countries with worse figures than Mauritius for death per million people. But there are also 103 countries that have done better.
So, here is the mo-dord:
- All go get all vaccinations as soon as possible.
- All wear masks whenever meeting others.
- All keep distance as much as possible.
- All keep our hands and faces to ourselves (until further notice).
- Wash hands regularly.
- Keep weddings and funerals to a strict minimum number of people.
- Never meet others if you have a fever or any other symptom.
- Do shopping and other chores for neighbours and friends in self-isolation.
- Ask by telephone for news on those self-isolating, and if they need any item from the outside world.
- Go out minimum necessary.
In LALIT, we have put all our meetings – fortnightly 12-member central committee and fortnightly 16-or-so member “program meetings” over to Zoom, fortnightly branch meetings on Zoom or WhatsApp, we have postponed the last Cadre School session until after the “health alert”. We will hold our Editorial Board meetings for REVI LALIT on Zoom, too. We hear that the Muvman Liberasyon Fam weekly meeting is now on Zoom, too. So, that gives an idea of how we proceed as a party. We have also, in LALIT, co-ordinated, as you may have read on our site or Facebook, a Common Declaration of support for Health Care Workers, in particular calling for everyone to get vaccinated or fully vaccinated, to wear masks, and for the Authorities to at once recruit hundreds of new health care workers. Its delay in doing this has been criminal. The MSM-led government did not lack funds or ideas when it came to recruiting 4,000 new police officers. How come it did not recruit a single new, permanent nurse or attendant? Well, it is not too late.
* For those who “know” the Mauritian Government is under-estimating the death statistics, and the other countries’ Governments are not doing so, by excluding those people dying of other causes – mainly cancer, kidney failure but also road accidents – and who happen to be Covid positive, and use the total of 354, the per million figure will be 278 Mauritian Covid deaths instead of 188. This does not change the position of Mauritius amongst the countries we selected.
** Although not “a country”, but a colony – because it is often used for comparison