The publicly expressed opinion of Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Cameron Wilkinson – that a safe carnival is possible this year (with the involvement of those who are vaccinated) is a sign that if we all do what the scientific experts are telling us to do, our lives could return to some semblance of normalcy.

Dr Wilkinson explained that from a health perspective there is no reason why there cannot be a carnival, but the activities can only be enjoyed by those who have chosen to act responsibly, the conscious among us.

“I am pretty certain that at the end of the day, we should be able to have a number of events, specifically events that are in a closed setting, with vaccinated persons safely. We believe we can have a significant number of persons who are vaccinated coming together, and because there will be a lower risk of viral transmission, they will not threaten our health care system.”

For the record, this year is the 50th anniversary of National Carnival, and we as a nation would be glad to maintain the celebratory activity that highlights our oneness and ability to collectively entertain, but extreme caution must be exercised.

Case in point: The serious nature of what we are facing globally can be encapsulated in recent action in the Dominican Republic, where there have been individualized measures in force as from last Monday (October 18). Among them, those over 12 years of age must present an identity document and their vaccination card with at least two doses of vaccines against Covid-19 – both originals or legible physical or digital copies – to the public or private authority, to gain entry to different places.

Among these places are work centres with enclosed spaces and collective use; study centres of all levels, whether public or private; to use any means of public transportation, whether urban or interurban, and to enter restaurants, bars, nightclubs, clubs, shopping malls, stores, casinos, gyms, sports centres, and any other amusement centre.

In case of not having been vaccinated with at least two doses, then persons over 18 years of age will have to present a recurrent PCR test, in original, with a negative result, performed a maximum of seven days before by the Ministry of Public Health or an authorized laboratory. Public Health may grant special permission to persons who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.