Curfew ends Thursday

That is the headline in the Gibraltar Chronicle today 23 March 2021. As Gibraltarians we can pat ourselves on the back with what we have endured to get to this point. As a nation there will be people using words like “proud” “suffered” and “pulling together” all of which is voiced to make us feel good at getting to a point where we have had no further covid deaths for the last 4 days. This is pure politics. Politics designed to make us feel good and why not.

The thing we should be proud of are the fact that our inoculation program will mean we are probably the first nation if not in the world, in Europe, to have all residents vaccinated. A massive achievement by our medical staff and management in the GHA, as well as those in Government that procured the vaccine and those beyond our shore that brought it to us from the UK. As one of the 96% I cannot be the only one sitting here thinking where would we be if we’d stayed in the EU right now?

Well here is one report:

European Union solidarity is breaking down amid a vaccine debacle that analysts say may have long-lasting repercussions for the future of European political integration.

Member states are divided over the wisdom of imposing a vaccine export ban threatened by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The ban is mainly focused on Britain, a bid to secure more vaccines for the EU, but critics warn it could backfire on the bloc and tarnish its much vaunted commitment to free trade and internationalism.”

The EU are literally breaking rank in terms of trying to procure their own and briefing against Von der Leyen and her handling including her threat to block exports of the Astra Zeneca outside the EU. This crisis is demonstrating quite clearly that the EU ideal of one Nation is doomed whereas a family of nations like the UK and Gibraltar can succeed.

Politicians are rarely trusted and we all have our stories BUT it is in my opinion without doubt that the way the virus has been managed here was successful because we are a close community. Our politicians are part of our community in a way you don’t get in larger nations or populations. If anyone makes an error within hours it is out there on the grapevine and this keeps our governments of all sides to account.

It is only in Gibraltar when the rest of the world tried to scare their nations into lockdown by announcing infections are rising instead of deaths we with the truth understood what was needed. We may disagree with the path we took but it was consensual and as a family we moved forward. There are already talks in other countries like the US and the UK of a third wave what next a fourth. The UK is certainly at the point that another lockdown would be rallied against as is the US. Sweden is already there having been vilified they have strict rules over the protection of personal freedom and did not go into a severe national lockdown. They slowly extended some measure isolating the elderly for example then limiting gatherings to 50 etc. There was some severe criticism so they made tweaks but in the end the advice was for social distancing and those over 70 not to go outside where possible. The world cannot lockdown forever, Sweden are . It was said in the beginning that what was needed was herd immunity but that was scrapped amid panic from other nations but it is a fact that like then flu this virus could be here to stay. Are we to hide at home forever and end up dead from something else clutching our mask and a headstone stating “He didn’t Die of Covid”?

I wrote a blog months ago saying what is now becoming clear. All we need to do is protect the elderly and vulnerable of any age. Stay away from care homes, no matter how good you think you are you could be carrying and infect those there. By all means vist your grandparents etc they need to see you too but please “look but don’t touch.” Of course care homes are not jails but places to protect our elderly with the ability for them to exercise their rights to touch if they want to, it is their right to decide and risk the consequences. Now we wait for the next wave of rhetoric because we know it won’t go away but we also know we do not want to go into lockdown every few months it is beyond stupid to do it twice a third time would be literally mental. But we must conform or be ostracised. Hopefully our Government will listen to us more on personal freedoms, continue to source what we need as it is doing already and make sure our care homes are well vaccinated and staffed.