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Why blame Sandals?

For the past few days the people of Grenada have been inundated with startling news of a sudden COVID outbreak and suddenly everyone is scampering to cover their backsides with the scapegoat being Sandals Grenada.

I find it truly amazing how the Ministry of Health, CMO and government have ‘concluded’ that the source is Sandals while an investigation is ongoing, and why is it we are hearing so very little about the other ‘hotel’ that is supposed to have a positive case.

Aside from half-truths, innuendoes and certain reporter’s quoting ‘sources’, there really is yet to be presented to the public any clear and definitive proof linking the outbreak to the hotel, or any evidence aside from hearsay that the protocols were not being followed.

I really hope we can bring some rationale thought at a time when that seems to be a scarce commodity.

This so-called ‘cluster’ was picked up not because people were calling in sick, but because of a random test. The instance of the housekeeper is related to 13 members of her household also positive, how do we know for a fact that it was not one of them who infected her?

So are you trying to say to me that if not for this ‘random’ test no one would know? And if that is the case then you need to random test every hotel, restaurant or business establishment because if that is the only way the government can get a grip on this the truth is we don’t know what the situation is in the communities.

Another key question which I would have loved to hear our journalists ask is this – what is the status of public testing? Are people being tested? How many tests are being done on a daily basis? Do we truly know what the situation is on the ground? Are tourists the only ones coming into the country? If other persons are coming in where are they going? Are they being quarantined or are they interacting with the public, going to parties, or out in the streets shopping among us?

The government cannot sit on a high horse and seek to make Sandals a sacrificial lamb when it has been a willing participant in the reopening of the tourism sector. Entry protocols are determined by the government, and therefore this talk of guests coming in without a COVID test is either a blatant untruth or a failure of the government system.

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So is the government going to hold itself accountable for allowing such a breach if it exists? Whose head is going to roll? And if it doesn’t, why is the CMO and the government not correcting that allegation?

I find a sudden overnight discovery of 30 cases truly phenomenal, particularly when you have only one person reportedly showing symptoms. How secure were the tests that were administered? Are these tests valid? Were they expired?

Most of those deemed positive have shown no symptoms. Are they really sick?

I don’t know and that is simply to drive home the point that our politicians, our media and our social media bloggers are creating a monster based on a whole lot of unverified information, and has anyone stopped for a moment to think of the damage being done, not just to the hotels, but to Grenada as a destination?

The CMO and the Ministry of Health have just painted a bullseye on our island, and have pressed a panic button while an investigation is pending and not yet complete.

This situation is very curious. Grenada is not the only country where Sandals has reopened, and aside from the usual allegations without fact, the other hotels seem to have been doing a good job. So what happened in Grenada?

Let us not forget the protocols are implemented by people, and these people, the staff, are mainly Grenadians. Are we saying that while people in the other islands have been able to make the protocols work there, it was only Grenadians who let it fall apart?

Are we saying that while governments in other islands have been monitoring the protocols effectively it is only the CMO in Grenada and the Ministry of Health in Grenada that have failed to properly enforce the protocols? Who will be held accountable for that?

I don’t know if we have thought of all the implications of what is going on but I will tell you this, for all of those pointing fingers, there are four more pointing right back at you.

F. Solomon

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