; Captain's Corner: Clearing the virus of inaction | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Captain's Corner: Clearing the virus of inaction

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood

The whole of 2020, we were fretting at the slow pace of R&D for a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus. At that time, most people were talking as if the vaccine would wipe the virus out and restore the ‘old normal’. Surprisingly, once a whole clutch of vaccines were announced, people seemed reluctant to receive the panacea. In the first quarter, people knowingly second- guessed scientists, saying they would ‘wait and watch' how those who took the jab reacted. Then, once Vaccine X proved efficacious, they waited for Vaccine Y. Once all the vaccines proved reasonably safe, the vaccine- dodgers quoted statistics of how a certain vaccine had caused a dozen deaths in another country. They said that since the COVID-19 vaccine only prevented hospitalisation and reduced mortality, why take it? It was not 100% preventive, was it?

We are now heading into what the authorities are calling the ‘second wave’ with variants and mutants of the original virus leading to a spike in cases. It is also the result of slow uptake of vaccination and an inexplicable lack of care on the part of those already vaccinated, who are throwing caution to the winds and simply stop practising the three key safe steps: mask, maintaining distance and hand hygiene.

In three days, we shall see the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan and there is genuine confusion among many Muslims about whether it would break the strict norms of the Holy Month’s fasting to get their vaccination during daytime hours. Well, strictly speaking, the vaccine is not a nutrient so it does not qualify as food. Secondly, it is administered into the muscle and not intravenously, so it cannot technically be considered as breaking the fasting. However, the government in Bahrain is sure to have evening vaccination hours and I believe it is our duty to take the shot and encourage everybody – family, friends, employees – to do so too.
Let’s do it for Bahrain and for each other! I wish all my readers Ramadan Kareem in advance.

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Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood