Dear Orkney News
In ‘The Orkney News’ daily update of Covid cases, I read the following…… “In the first year of the pandemic on 31st of December 2020 the cumulative total of positive Covid cases recorded in Orkney was 39. Today, 31st December 2021 it is 1,342.”
I was going to comment ……”And what might have caused this difference?”
At the end of each year I go back through my emails, deleting some and keeping some, and I saw the following, which I wrote to ‘Covid19OutbreakManagement@gov.scot’ and to our MSP Liam McArthur last March, and thought that it’s worth reminding folk of a possibility of one of the reasons why Orkney, after doing so well for so long, went very much astray re. dealing with Covid.
“To whom it may concern
I write in response to a front page article in ‘The Orcadian’, telling of Councillor Stockan’s plans to ease Covid restrictions for Orkney as soon as possible – in particular, the suggestion of easing travel restrictions between Orkney and Mainland Scotland.
I first read of this in an article in ‘The Orkney News’ https://theorkneynews.scot/2021/03/24/should-covid-restrictions-be-eased-in-orkney/
As you can see, I added a comment.
I feel so helpless about this. I was angry when I first read of Stockan’s plan. I was, and still am, concerned that The Scottish Government will accept that he speaks for Orkney. A reasonable enough supposition as he is Leader of the Council. But remember – we didn’t vote him into that position.
I filled in the ‘Islands Resilience’ consultation, and sent it off. I hope that a lot of other people did so too, and that a lot of those people also expressed a distrust of Stockan’s approach to opening up Orkney again too soon.
Then, I read the article in the Orcadian, and all the anger and helplessness came back again.
I wondered what can I do about it as well as filling in the consultation, and decided to send this email, direct.
I feel helpless, and tired of making the effort to try to get The Powers That Be to see sense, but I will keep on pegging away with what I believe to be the right thing to do to try to help to keep Orkney safe.
Meanwhile, personally, I will continue to stay at home. My husband will go shopping once a week, wearing his mask and putting sanitizer on his hands when he gets back to the car. No, we’re not paranoid – we just want to stay alive!
And it’s not just about us, it’s about……. everyone. I’m thinking about everyone. And it’s not just about Orkney, it’s about …the world.
Orkney has done so well so far by being very careful, let’s not blow it now.
The ‘economy’ isn’t much use to a person when they are dead, or dealing with on-going health problems caused by Covid.
Easing out of Covid restrictions should be guided by thought, reason, and sound judgement, not by avarice, panic or a need to be ‘popular’.
I hope that this heart-felt message receives some attention. It could be said – do I speak for Orkney? I don’t claim to, but I also don’t have the power or influence to cause harm here, while ill-judgement on the part of the – unelected – Leader the Council, does.
Yours, in hope
Meanwhile, on December the 30th, Reuters reported that the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said people should avoid traveling on cruise ships regardless of their vaccination status, as daily COVID-19 cases in the country climb to record highs due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
And yesterday, we received an email from someone in Malta, telling us that about 10% of the population are now in quarantine. Another island that got it wrong.
What does it take to turn this around?
Yours, Bernie Bell, Orkney