Slider
Slider

|

Slider

OPINION | Education over lockdowns

Editorials & Columns
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

HAGÅTÑA — There have been numerous articles, talk show renditions, group public demonstrations and news stories regarding these continued government lockdowns, small business closures, beach closures combined with outright threats against our freedoms coming from our local government regarding their personal desires as they relate to the virus that causes Covid-19.

There has been a near-total lack of community health education and support, which is very disheartening.

Hundred of millions of dollars in federal funding — and God only knows how many local tax dollars — have been devoted to dealing with it in an attempt to curb this problem, yet little to no funds have been spent on any viable public education programs.

Again, Dr. Tom Shieh and his simple three "W's" hit the nail on the head when it comes to dealing with this virus. "Wear your mask, Watch your distance and Wash your hands" needs to be drummed into the minds of everyone on Guam.

What is needed is community engagement and buy-in with business, church and other community leaders to allow them to enforce proper guidelines within the community.

Friday morning, I was at one of our island hospitals getting some semiannual lab work done and I watched as two staff members, who were wearing masks, hugged each other in the hallway as they were setting up tables for a display of some sort. I literally scratched my head and wondered what was wrong with these people.

Here they are, working in a hospital and still exhibiting behavior they have been told to avoid. Speechless and disgusted could best describe my feelings. If it were on my property they would have been asked to leave.

After all of my reading and discussions with local and mainland physicians, it is apparent to me that the primary mode of infection for this virus is airborne. As such, distancing and proper mask-wearing are really the two key components of Dr. Shieh's triad. The hand-washing seems to fit more into the realm of basic hygiene and better yet when people working together share items or work spaces.

That said, it continues to baffle me why the local government —  and the federal government — haven't spent more money on mass education for the population on personal hygiene and proper behaviors for dealing with the virus, rather than these destructive lockdowns that accomplish little more than temporarily dropping the infection numbers.

Without the ongoing personal hygiene and support from all local residents, these repeated lockdowns only serve to further damage the local economy, driving smaller and larger businesses into the ground.

Coupled with that are the continued growing lines of the unemployed as well as the lack of future jobs being available because of the numerous business closures. This is further complicated by the future reduced revenue pictures caused by the decline in overall sales for the companies that do survive.

You don't have to be a chef to know if the food tastes bad, and you don't have to be a doctor or a nurse to know when the government's handling of this virus has run amok.

Esta.

Lee P. Webber is a former president and publisher of media organizations on Guam and Hawaii, former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia, and a longtime business and civic leader on Guam.

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider