How will the pandemic end?

On Dec 22nd, we learned that: Effective December 27th, 2021, residents from the USA and Canada traveling to Aruba will need to complete a PCR test two days prior to departure date and will not have the option to test upon arrival.

Then in early January the CDC upgraded us to level 4, which was expected, due to the rising number of cases.

These two factors were the Kiss-of-Death to the winter season in Aruba, cancellations poured in, and Sales and Marketing executives threatened to throw themselves off balconies, in despair, having worked very hard to secure a good winter for the island, only to see it fall apart in 24-hours.

Now, there is an effort to reverse the situation, with a new policy effective today, January 18th, in order to vacation here you now need a negative PCR test up to 2 days prior to travel or a negative Antigen test 1 day prior, and the time period needed after a positive result to enter Aruba has also been shortened.

This will make it much easier for visitors to comply with our entry requirements, and we can only applaud the antigen test that went from totally banned to officially welcome, in the span of two weeks, undergoing a miraculous rehabilitation.

But that is not what the industry needs. Tourism will be better served with a PCR test 72 hours before travel, and designate the Antigen to self-testing, it is not suitable for entry requirement.

PCR test, 72 hours prior. That’s what we need, and that is also realistic in the US.

In Monday’s press conference GOA discussed our Pandemic Exit Strategies, including some calculated risk taking.

AHATA reported on a few decisions: Start discussions on declaring the virus endemic; Expand ICU capacity; Eliminate required COVID insurance and replace it with a healthcare levy at entry; Focus on vaccine and booster shots — children 5+ will be eligible this week; Reinforce DVG; Eliminate all restricting measures; Change testing policy to monitor virus.

We are talking about the end of the pandemic. One day we will all wake up in the morning and realize it’s over, without dancing girls, parades, or fireworks — it just dissipated, and slowly, over time, went away.

It seems that things will get better from now on, and the virus will mutate to become less and less threatening. The responsibility to remain healthy is now 100% on us.

When it started two years ago, we did not think it would last so long.

But the vaccines really helped.

This last wave, the fifth, was the fiercest but less lethal.

All we know is that the virus is smart, it wants to survive, it cannot afford killing us all because then it will go extinct, so it modified its strategy, to allow itself to survive. It doesn’t kill us, the hosts, that frequently anymore.

But mid-pandemic, it was difficult to see the forest for the trees.

What else did we learn? That we should have been less selfish and vaccinated Africa and South America with the same enthusiasm, because Omicron hailed from South Africa, thanks to the low vaccination rate.

To protect ourselves, we must also protect the world.

Smallpox is a good example. The viral disease was completely eradicated thanks to a GLOBAL effort to vaccinate people everywhere. All over the globe. In the 80s every single country got behind the idea to eradicate the virus. And together they defeated the scrooge.


So that is a lesson, we must think globally, vaccinate the masses, and send the vaccine to countries that can’t afford it. Because more vaccinated, less mutations.

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January 18, 2022
Rona Coster