It’s complicated, more than you think.

I know my previous blog made you feel better about life in the time of Corona.

But not all medical professionals see the glass half-full.

For example, a local physician I spoke to has a few more questions about the subject.

He wants to know how come we shut our economy down for 100 patients, and imposed steep fines on TDK violators, yet completely lost control following the opening of the borders.

True, the constellations converged against us: Students finished high-school and partied, some partied on the eve of their departure from Aruba to study in the Netherlands, we’ve had some quarantine breakers, undisciplined bars and clubs – who still refuse to accept responsibility, a general laissez-faire, or apathy or non- challantness, maybe arrogance, that set it: Nothing-could-happen-here, we-handled-it-so-good-so-far!

All that resulted in just over two weeks of Covid-Free fun.

Then the fire at the hospital, though we were reassured all ventilators enjoyed store-room protection, added to the public’s angst.

And the private testing, that should have stayed in public hands, caused a lot of confusion.

The hospital is quite full he reported and we have a very long waiting list for patients who were deferred during the lockdown.

Apropos, it is good to know that, if we borrow data from a previous virus:

In the four days after infection, 67% are more likely to test negative, even if they had the virus.

When the average patient begins displaying symptoms of the virus, the false-negative rate is still 38%.

The test is performed best eight days after infection, on average, three days after symptom onset, but even then it may have a false-negative rate of 20%.

We mostly follow Dutch code in Aruba, my friendly physician explained, with one difference, the Dutch do not believe that facemasks make a difference.

It cannot get more confusing than this, no wonder my head is spinning.

I asked: So, should we have allowed the youngsters to keep our economy going, and just protected those with compromised immune systems?

That’s the million-dollar question, he answered.

Bottom line: Our economy lost 33% and we are the most affected island in the Caribbean not about to recover that fast.

Too bad our parliamentarians are wasting our time, dragging their feet. The latest installment of Aruba’s quest for leniency and free money from the Dutch compared ‘our struggle’ to that of Nelson Mandela’s fight again apartheid. Such ignorance, it’s not even funny.

According to AJUDO NA ARUBA, 40.000 locals signed up with the organization for food aid. The number isn’t vetted, says Annelot Muijers, founder FANA foundation. She believes the number would shrink a bit, after betting, perhaps some families still have a small source of income, but she believes about 70% of that number are in distress.

She knows, she has the hand on the pulse.

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August 17, 2020
Rona Coster