Public Service Announcement

The Pandemic is not Over Yet.
The Pandemic is not Over Yet.

In fact, the community is more vulnerable than ever – the last few days having proven the most deadly just using the official record.

Masks remain a necessary part of daily life and we continue to get creative while staying safe. Mask art by Edison Liburd.

A release from Mount St. John Medical Centre in the early part of February noted, ‘the hospital is under more pressure from COVID-19 than at any time since the start of the pandemic. “This is worrisome”, said (MSJMC medical director) Dr. (Albert) Duncan. “This is what will put everything – all healthcare – related to COVID-19 or not – at risk if the infection rate does not slow down.”’

The hospital issued the following (still applicable) general reminders:

“Mount St. John’s Medical Centre is reminding the public of the continuing importance of COVID-19 precautions. For persons who believe they may have COVID-19, they are asked to take these steps:

Stay away from other people to avoid spreading the virus – and contact your doctor, especially if you have a high-risk underlying health condition.
Call the COVID Hotline at 46-COVID (462-6843) for guidance. If they determine you need to be tested, they will coordinate with the appropriate public health officials to determine next steps.
Call 911If you are having a medical emergency, such as difficulty breathing. Notify the 911 operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19.

Please keep in mind the important safety measures that have been scientifically-proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

Wearing a mask
Practicing social distancing
Avoiding large gatherings
Practicing good hand hygiene”

As a person moving around Antigua and Barbuda, I will say we need to do better in terms of proper mask wearing – See popular entertainment and media personality, Ibis/Steve Freeland, below.

Let’s keep it real, we want to go back to normal life, we want to save life, but we don’t want to take the vaccine and we can’t be bothered to wear the mask properly or at all? Make it make sense. If we care about human survival at all, can we pick a struggle. Wearing the mask properly, let’s start with that as the bare minimum if we have to venture out or if people not of our household venture in to our space.

Space is another we need to do better issue – something that can cancel Carnival in the Caribbean is serious. No Carnival means no parties, no get togethers except where absolutely necessary (e.g. funerals within the number limitations) and, yes, your birthday dinner with just a few friends counts. That’s just what it is right now. The beaches are still ours though, though spread out.

We seem to be doing good on the wash your hands and sanitizing. So, that’s good.

One last thing, stay informed on the vaccines and try to avoid the conspiracy theory rabbit holes. There is reason to be scared and uncertain especially for us (Black, developing world – there’s a history there) but listen to the provable science, verifiable information sources, the reputable media sources, and let’s do what needs to be done for personal and community safety. This is a public health issue – it’s taking people out – it’s not just about us.

As with all content on, except otherwise noted, this is researched and/or written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, DancingNude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure and its Spanish language edition). All Rights Reserved. If you share this list, give credit; if you appreciate the service, help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to this and my author site to keep up with future updates. Thanks and Good Luck.

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