The Duty of The Government is to Think the Unthinkable!

Leo Olivero

The Government on the advice of its public health experts have announced a string of measures to effectively lock down a large part of the population. I am certain these measures were not introduced out of impulse, but with the assurance and sensitivity in the face of the many unknowns and a fast-changing situation!

However, there may be arguments about initial responses regarding certain aspects of the whole strategy, more recently, on the confused messaging on the availability swabs. But the overall verdict must be one of high commendation as reported in yesterday’s edition of Panorama.

Repeatedly, it’s been made clear that all COVID-19 Decisions made were taken on the basis of scientific data, taking into account the tragic events taking place with our neighbour Spain and also of the developing situation in the United Kingdom.

The aim of all decisions so far announced must by now be known to all but to be clear, they are and have been all along, ‘to protect the most vulnerable among us from life threatening effects of COVID-19. It is now more than a well-established fact that the disease is most deadly among the elderly, including those with other well publicised conditions.

So far, Gibraltar appears to have been lucky.  As we understand it, the majority of those infected have come from a varied range group, relatively healthy, most have been sent home and others remaining in hospital, though luckily, they are not showing those serious deterio-rating signs we witness daily from the most hit places.

We All Have a Duty to Behave Responsibly

Whether we acknowledge it or not, a form of mid-mild anxiety is already having an impact on lives in the community. Not only on ours, but up and down the length and breadth of the planet.

In many places, the ‘unthinkable has fast become the painful reality’ which is something everyone must now face up to ‘AND WHY’ we all have a duty to behave responsibly!

Though I suspect the feeling is the same all over the world… but just the same:

“The Coronavirus is a challenge to the government and people of Gibraltar like none that has been experienced in in the last 300 years of our existence. It is likely, though I hope I’m wrong, that despite the excellent efforts of all those in Gibraltar’s outstanding public health services, the disease will become much worse before it gets better”.

And why it is the duty of ‘Government to Think the Unthinkable’ and plan for situations that in future could conceivably deteriorate further. Sadly, recent photos of construction work at the cemetery is testament to the latter point. This is not being alarmist, but a very sad and worrying reality of the situation that challenges every one of us!

It is also the duty of government to plan for every contingency, including the very worst.

It is without a doubt, by only preparing plans to deal with the whole range of contingencies imaginable and by deploying all the human and financial resources available to it to combat them at the right time that coordinated and timely steps to mitigate the effects can be taken.

In a health emergency of this magnitude, the public health authorities, doctors, nurses, paramedics and healthcare workers are in the front line. But we all know there also many others who also stand behind to play a major part.