Column: Two Bermudas, Covid, Vaccine & More

June 24, 2021 | 17 Comments

Senator Lindsay Simmons Bermuda Dec 2020 3[Column written by PLP Senator Lindsay Simmons]

The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. The Delta variant is raging around the world and the unvaccinated are at particular risk. This new mutated variant is highly contagious and is already leading to more hospitalizations, including for younger people.

Delta is now the dominant Covid spreading in the UK, one of our key source markets. This highly contagious and dangerous variant is now here in Bermuda.

Whether we want to admit it or not, around the world, millions of people continue to get seriously ill and are dying and we want to continue to protect Bermuda from having the same fate .

Thanks to our strict guidelines and shared sacrifice, Bermuda can now say it has Covid-19 under control. In Phase 4, we have largely reopened and most restrictions have been lifted. There is no curfew and groups of up to 100 people are now permitted to gather.

We must protect our population, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, from the spread of variants from other countries. Closing the borders is not an option, the best way to secure our borders is through hotel quarantine. We tried home quarantine. It didn’t work. People violated the quarantine, we saw a massive spike of Covid-19 UK variant and Bermudians died.

Let’s talk about two Bermudas because that analogy is apt when it comes to this policy. The two Bermudas concept is rooted in the idea of structural disadvantage that privileges one group of people over another due to historic racism and lack of equal opportunity.

When it comes to vaccines, there is an equal opportunity for everyone to take them free of charge. Access is not an issue as transportation is provided to those who need it, so there are no structural barriers.

The two Bermudas is one of choice, not one of structural inequality. That choice is one that we acknowledge and respect. The reality is we also have to protect others who chose to take the vaccine.

What some are asking for is the government to condone putting the community at risk because of their personal choice – not because of a structural inequality. Thirty three people have died in our community from Covid-19. The Government has been forced to make tough decisions for the betterment of all of Bermuda, including ourselves.

We live and operate under the same laws and restrictions as everyone. The reality is, mandatory quarantine of unvaccinated persons will protect us from spreading this dangerous, contagious variant and more deaths. As such, these new restrictions, one of which is mandatory quarantine in a government approved facility, are necessary to keep the community safe.

We understand this isn’t easy. But we are working to protect the entire community, not just some.

- Senator Lindsay Simmons

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Comments (17)

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  1. 2 Bermuda's - 2 Injections says:

    Flipping the infamous 2 Bermuda’s analogy on its head to encourage people to get vaccinated is truly novel, this wins the internet for today.

    Dismantling the 2 COVID Bermuda’s with 2 Injections, classic! Great value for money here Senator, we value your stellar contribution to public debate, good job.

    If only the promises to dismantle the 2 Bermuda’s had been achieved from 1998 – 2012 and 2017 – 2021, with 2 injections we would not have a staggering public debt of $4,000,000,000.

  2. Question says:

    What “shared sacrifice”, exactly?
    While most of us sat at home in isolation, government ministers and the Premier were out there having parties.
    While many of us lost income and livelihoods, government employees sat at home doing nothing, complaining about vaccines, while collecting full pay.
    The only sacrifices were, as always, made by the private sector. The people who ultimately pay for this nonsense.
    The fact that half the population is un-vaccinated is a failure of leadership. It’s unforgivable.

  3. Vortex says:

    Good article, sensible and well argued.

  4. LOL (original) says:

    ” The reality is we also have to protect others who chose to take the vaccine.”

    Why aren’t they protected and full immunized and can get back to life as usual?

    LOL

  5. Shake Myhead says:

    The vaccine is supposed to stop you from getting sick and dying from the virus

    So why is the government forcing restrictions on ALL Bermuda residents?

    If you choose not to get vaccinated, you know the risks, so essentially this Government are protecting the un-vaccinated and making EVERYONE suffer from all the restrictions

  6. Arlene says:

    Ms. Simmons
    Let’s first clarify that the 33 deaths included one confirmed as having the vax against protocols therefore contributing to the death. Very sad and unnecessary.
    The UK variant was prevalent when the vax was not available to under 65 year olds – and the first recipients just reaching full immunity. Since then, we have seen almost 56% of the eligible population become immunized with the vax and climbing; not to mention the naturally immunized through COVID-19 recovery. It is a very different picture today than March/April of this year.

  7. Vigilante says:

    Excellent article! I would add fuel to the facts here by noting that the unfortunate deaths from COVID mentioned by Senator Simmons were mostly unvaccinated individuals, with one or two who had so recently been vaccinated that it had not become effective. Vaccination would therefore seem to be the best course of action to prevent further illness and deaths…seems simple, right?

  8. Unbelievable says:

    I get the “2 Bermudas” concept. I know it exists. I’m glad it is acknowledged. I don’t see the connection between the Covid vaccine and inequality but whatever.

    But here’s my question….what on Earth is the PLP doing about the “2 Bermudas” huh? The PLP has been banging on about this for YEARS and still talks about it like it’s a far away spooky thing.

    Hey PLP, you only missed 4.5 years of power since you got the Govt 23 years ago. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE THEN? Why haven’t you made these 2 Bermudas into One Bermuda? Why haven’t you enacted your 2017 Election platform? Why is it that all you do is respond to whatever is happening in the moment? And since we are in this moment, you’re never going to fix the debt you created. No Premier will.

    I am sorry but I can not take any member of this Govt who moans about “2 Bermudas” and yet does absolutely nothing about it.

  9. Bongy99 says:

    “After being vaccinated, your personal risk is lower but you can still be a carrier and spread the virus to others.” Everyone should be quarantined until successive negative tests and/or for the full 14 day period, regardless of vaccination status.

  10. Ringmaster says:

    The PLP needs to concentrate on getting the economy moving again. Covid will be around for many years, but you can’t continue to think you can control it with quarantines. Unfortunately with a Premier determined to save Bermuda from Covid while also being the Minister of Tourism and determined not to encourage tourists, people will continue to suffer more from the economic fallout. Stop the electioneering and start Governing, something the PLP are totally incapable of doing.

  11. AJ says:

    Dear Senator Simmons,

    Your article touches the right notes but there are lot of Government policy inconsistencies across the COVID-19 regulations.

    For example in your article, “Delta is now the dominant Covid spreading in the UK, one of our key source markets. This highly contagious and dangerous variant is now here in Bermuda.”

    You have mentioned Delta variant is dominant in UK. So why travelers from UK are not subject to same requirements as travelers from India – where Delta variant was first found.

    Thanks

  12. wahoo says:

    The analogy of “two Bermuda’s” can be applied whenever and where ever one group disagrees with the other. Seems that the PLP love the analogy when it applies to race but not when it comes to vax/no vax how about SSM? We have two Bermuda’s everywhere, for example one Bermuda looks in the rear view mirror and see’s two Bermuda seething to overtake them, we have one Bermuda saying the debt is going to be the end of us but two Bermuda says “what debt?”

  13. Bill says:

    Are you serious…. People are seeing the double standards that the PLP are doing to help their elite while others are struggling. You allow supermarkets to open but not allow vendors (fishermen and farmers) to sell on the road. You allow a hotel construction site to go on while preventing small contractors from working. You allow certain parties and events(Blue, St Regis and Revolve) to happen but people cant even have a wedding. You are making people have to pay $75 per person (travel authorisation) to enter their own contry coming home and if they dont they get a fine. The mandatory quarantine for locals traveling who arent sick but havent had the vaccine. Who is benifiting and getting paid??? Sounds like 2 Bermudas to me.

  14. Marcusbmco says:

    Lindsay, do us all a favor and just resign. Your party is finished. Delta varient?? Sorry, you can’t scare us. Clearly the word “enlightened” is not in yor vocabulary.

  15. Stephanie Hollis says:

    Well said Ms. Simmons!

  16. Looking glass says:

    Vaccines do not prevent you from spreading any virus. Anyone telling you they do is a liar and endangering people. Also, 5% of fully vaccinated people can still get Covid. That is equal to 1,500 Bermudians who can still catch and spread it while vaccinated. Also the vaccines currently do not prevent all mutations of Covid, as they were not designed when those mutations exist.

  17. Red Pill says:

    Senator please stop with the disinformation!

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