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Editorial

Covid-19 vulnerability

It is astonishing that cricketer Jofra Archer would be so irresponsible to break the English team’s bio-secure protocols, and thereby, through possible exposure to Covid-19, endanger not only his colleagues, but our touring West Indian players as well.

Archer was fined, and received an official written warning from the England and Wales Cricket Board after admitting he violated his team’s bio-secure bubble.

It must be noted there were calls earlier for West Indies’ coach, Phil Simmons, to be fired after he left the bio-secure bubble to attend a funeral. Like Archer, he too was isolated for five days, but was neither reprimanded, nor fined.

Archer was also withdrawn from the just completed second Test; predictably, he expressed contrition, saying: “I am extremely sorry for what I have done. I have put, not only myself, but the whole team and management in danger.”

Archer’s offence is not a one-off occurrence by a lone offender since Simmons’ temporary exit from the bio-secure bubble is another instance of violation of the sheltering envelope. It should also be noted their actions are part of a wider, global pattern of persons not practising safe behaviour for themselves, and others, as determined by hard and verifiable science.

The fact is the bio-secure bubble now sheltering the players in England in our time of infective precarity is a microcosm of the larger, global safe house we have all retreated into following Covid-19 effortlessly scaling our unprepared defences, and attacking us in our homes.

Understandably, such an invasion into our lives, with our relationships, mobility, and livelihoods impacted on by a genetic “parasite”, has inserted corollary tensions into our construct as social beings vis-à-vis our affinity as reluctant hosts. For some, it is hard to grasp that our physical bodies are nothing more than organic repositories for the Covid-19 pathogen.

Thus, there are tens of millions of us worldwide who refuse to recognise the pathology driving Covid-19 as being one of the most basic narratives of pandemic endangerment now threatening us as a species. That we are nothing less than biological vessels, hosts in a food-chain relationship with a predatory invader genetically programmed to exponentially self-replicate at the cellular level; and that for the most vulnerable among us, collateral damage to our interconnected biological systems means a death sentence.

It is an unfortunate development that in their frontal battle with the marauding Covid-19, a few leaders are refusing to take the initiative in these precarious times to not only lead and unify nationals while being global exemplars, but are instead fomenting tensions and divisiveness.

Until we have a vaccine, we can only meet the inexorable march of Covid-19 with our inherent biological predispositions safeguarded via physical distancing, sanitising practices, and face mask shielding; that constructed, individualist notions of exceptionalism, invulnerability, and self-centred behaviours like Archer’s, are dangerous social responses that offer no immunity to a relentless pathogen.

It is imperative that we not be misled by dystopic, nationalist leadership focused on political and economical ascendancy, rather than on preserving the lives of hundreds of thousands of nationals.

Sadly, the US continues to see distressing milestones, this nation surpassing its own daily record of total new coronavirus cases at least nine times so far in July. On July 16, it reported a single-day record of 77,255 new cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data; the next day, it reported 71,558 cases; and on July 18, 63,698 new infections. Similar, escalating numbers are also evident in India and Brazil.

Here in Canada, concerns continue to mount across provinces, with the numbers last week indicating Alberta had roughly doubled its infection rate to Ontario on a per capita basis. The solicitude is the embers in Alberta could spread out and flare up as a new Canadian hotspot.

At this time, our community and diaspora are in precarity. It means being safe is deploying the inherent science in physical distancing, effective sanitising practices, and wearing face masks.