‘Nothing short of lunacy’ to open economy

| 15/04/2020 | 338 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin at Wednesday’s press briefing

(CNS): Demands from the business community to open up the economy continue regardless of the government’s aim to prioritise saving lives over economic concerns. At Wednesday’s press briefing Premier Alden McLaughlin stated yet again that this is not going to happen until the coronavirus has been contained. He said, “It would be nothing short of lunacy to contemplate re-opening the economy until we… believe the virus has been contained,” and they are only now in a position to start the mass testing part of the strategy.

McLaughlin said it is only in places that have been able to “test, test, test” and then trace contacts, in combination with strict ‘shelter in place’ orders, where the virus has been contained. Until that happens here, it will not be safe to re-open the economy. He warned that if Cayman opens up now, we would look like a mini New York or Italy or Spain, as “the virus will fly through this community” and hundreds of people will die.

The worst case scenario for the Cayman Islands if no interventions had been made, according to Public Health England, was almost 1,000 deaths, the premier said.

He said the experience of other countries indicates that if you open up and let the virus spread there will be mass tragedy, and warned that we would be watching funerals streaming online from the funeral homes.

“I know I have earned my title as the grim reaper,” he said, as he hammered home the message about the sacrifice required to suppress the virus before we could open the community and economy again.

The premier said he hears all the pleas for access to everything again. But for the time being, we all need to make sacrifices to stop the virus from getting into sustained community transmission. If that happened it would require a near complete lockdown, he warned.

McLaughlin said the measures were not to make people’s lives difficult but to tackle the virus. He said there was no evidence of real sustained community transmission yet and tracing was working well, but there were still concerns that people were not taking things seriously, which poses the main threat to the virus taking hold in the community.

But that said the premier said he believed we could still “snuff out the virus” as he begged people to stay home.

See the full press briefing on CIGTV below, set to start at the premier’s remarks, immediately following his “grim reaper” world stats on the coronavirus:


Share your vote!


How do you feel after reading this?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Health, Medical

Comments (338)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Elvis says:

    Just watch trump open America then blame the governors for the hundreds of thousands if not millions of deaths.
    A man in denial.

    Thank you Alden your doing a great job keep it going.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Either we do it right, or not at all. Given that there has been no significant testing on island, and that we are just selling off our tests for profit , I m guessing that our ever moving target will never be met. The goal seams to be keeping CIG payed, nothing less, nothing more.

    7
    1
  3. Anonymous says:

    we need access to our pension fund so we can survive here for time being….

    3
    2
  4. JTB says:

    Even if the government strategy to suppress community spread works, what next. Do we keep the border shut indefinitely? This virus will *always* be there, and any vaccine is realistically at least a year away, if at all. At some point we have to rejoin the world

    10
    1
    • Anonymous says:

      Just yesterday, it was announced that a therapeutic drug showed great promise in treating COVID-19 in a legitimate study. Agreed that the virus might always be here (though it appears, based on the research in India, that it has already mutated, making a vaccine problematic) but if a viable treatment can be found to limit it’s deadliness, we can all go back to life with less risk. The endgame doesn’t have to be eradicating the disease in this case, it can also be in effectively treating it. This lockdown all over the world has bought invaluable time in finding that effective treatment(s). All that said, I imagine that the border will be closed for a good while yet, given the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the US, and particularly the East Coast, from where we get most of our visitors.) Even when they do open up, I think it will take a long time before people have the courage and discretionary income to travel here again, at least in large numbers.

    • Anonymous says:

      We rejoin the world when we are vaccinated. Until then people can come and go through a quarantine facility. That way everyone here is kept safe.

      4
      7
  5. Anonymous says:

    The premier says “He warned that if Cayman opens up now, we would look like a mini New York or Italy or Spain, as “the virus will fly through this community” and hundreds of people will die. ”

    Let us analyze this in detail by comparing with Italy, with supporting references.

    Italy has approximately 60 million people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Italy

    The number of people over 65 in Italy is approximately 20% of the total, or 12 million people.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Italy#/media/File:Italypop.svg

    The number of deaths from Covid-19 in Italy are 22,000 as of April 17 2020.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

    The average age of death from Covid-19 in Italy is 80, and more than 95% are over 65.

    https://www.epicentro.iss.it/en/coronavirus/bollettino/Report-COVID-2019_13_april_2020.pdf

    Therefore (95%*22000)/12 million = 20,900/12,000,000 = 1/574. So approximately one in 574 people over 65 died in Italy.

    There are approximately 65,000 people in Cayman, of which 9% or 3907 are over 65.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_Cayman_Islands

    3907/574 = 6.8 people that might die of the coronavirus.

    This is to be compared with the vital statistics of 154 deaths over age 60 in Cayman in 2018.

    https://www.eso.ky/UserFiles/right_page_docums/files/uploads/chapter_2_vital_statistics-8.xlsx

    12
    1
    • Anonymous says:

      Facts have nothing to do with fear. This is more about destroying the economy for non Caymanians. It’s working. Nothing left for you here. Leave your homes and stuff here for us and take what you can carry and go home. You are here for work? No work unless you work for Government. You’re here because of your house, cars,stuff? You have to leave them here for the looters. Waiting for them to open up? Right after you leave. Please put the keys under you door mat. Thank you.

      9
      15
      • Anonymous says:

        Fact: Most of the rest of the world is implementing strict stay-at-home orders, tet you want the Cayman government to do differently. And if they followed your strategy and hundreds die, you’d probably blame the government for not doing what everyone else did. Armchair quarterbacks are a dime a dozen and thankfully, most people don’t listen to them.

        16
        5
        • Anonymous says:

          More than just government workers are working in the rest of the world.
          More than just government workers are getting paid to stay home in the rest of the world.
          More than just walk around outside your house for exercise is allowed in the rest of the world.
          Less than 100 deaths per million in the US. which means about 50 in Cayman which has about 36 deaths a year for everything else. These are also facts. Please don’t listen to me. Especially if your getting paid by the government.

          4
          1
    • Anonymous says:

      Again… just about the whole world has the approach all wrong – except you. Oh what oh what would we do without you, oh wise one?

      7
      5
      • Anonymous says:

        The whole world charges income taxes – except you.

        Think about that for a second before you are so automatically dismissive of someone suggesting that the government is not automatically always correct or that it’s not always smart to follow “conventional wisdom”

        4
        4
        • Anonymous says:

          10:30am

          Direct (income taxes) versus Indirect (consumption taxes).

          Shoot!

          I will just give up – you just can’t learn can’t you?

          2
          1
          • Anonymous says:

            Probably a good idea to give up. In your effort to correct me you reinforced my point which i will try to make more plainly so you get it:

            Someone made an argument that the rest of the world does something one way (i.e. their approach to dealing with covid19) and so we would be crazy to do something different.

            My point is that unlike most of the rest of the world we don’t have a direct taxation system. Instead we have a mix of indirect taxes and duties and make our money from company fees.

            So we already do something against “conventional wisdom” which allows us a very high standard of living. It’s an example of how doing what everyone else is doing isn’t automatically the right thing for us.

            You may not agree but do you get the point now?

      • Anonymous says:

        Just about the whole world is fckd with a few exceptions in Asia that did not lock down and kept their economies going. Stay quiet and stay home sheep, we’ll let you know when it’s safe to come outside.

        5
        3
      • Anonymous says:

        What would you do if the government was not paying you to stay home?

        • Anonymous says:

          LOL – I don’t work for the government and even if I did, it would be utter folly for CIG to take an approach different from most of the rest of the work, including the UK.

          1
          2
      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately for your argument, one country has it right – Sweden. As much as the rest of the world would like Sweden to disappear into a black hole to validate their “lockdown” measures, Sweden provides a counterfactual.

        There has not be a lockdown in Sweden, and from the following graph we can see that the deaths are already on the decline.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/api/rest_v1/page/graph/png/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Sweden/0/0f06b9835371bf0f9985b9a3877298902b1e94f6.png

        Furthermore, Sweden has approximately ten million people, and has had 1400 deaths. This is rather a contrast to the claim that in Cayman with a population of 65,000 there would have been 910 deaths.

    • Anonymous says:

      Here is an analysis of New York by David Stockman (Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan):

      http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/april/17/the-cnncuomo-brothers-inquisition-covidgate-and-the-folly-of-lockdown-nation/

  6. Anonymous says:

    Banks are open but the service is down, down, down. We need to open more banks and offer to pay people their salaries straight to their acct. That will save a lot of lining up for hours. Why can’t we open the 2 branches in west bay and savanna? The main branch in gt can be open. All banks that have branches should be open.
    Why not allow shops that have a security person outside monitoring the customers’ temp. then they can allow a certain amount of people to shop inside. We need to seriously solve the banks customer service problem.

    5
    3
  7. Anonymous says:

    I’ve taken the time to read most of the comments on this matter.

    What I will say is that you can’t please everyone as is evidence by these comments. The Govt of ANY country has an obligation to protect their citizens in a crisis such as this and I’m almost certain if our Premier hadn’t made the decisions that he and the entire Govt has made, then you’d be hearing about that as well.

    I can relate to times being difficult for alot of us but the Govt is also trying it’s best to ease alot of the monthly expenses that will become due ie mortgage, electricity and water bills as well as allow m individuals in the private sector who have lost their jobs, to access funds from their Pension. We all must work together during this most difficult time to ensure that we keep our cases of COVID-19 to a minimum. I can recall after Ivan the hardships many faced without water, electricity etc. The faster we follow guidelines, use our common sense and stay home, (unless it’s absolutely necessary), the faster our domestic economy will be able to reopen.

    I know I’ll probably get 1,000 thumbs down for my comment, but so be it.

    13
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      Obey a lunatic leading people to a cliff?

      4
      11
    • Anonymous says:

      I’m totally with you and frankly glad there are sane, humane people out there who understand the short- (and even medium-) term pain for the long-term gain. This island is full of entitled people who haven’t the foggiest idea what true hardship is. As difficult as it was after Ivan, it pales in comparison to what people in Haiti, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and other places have experienced after natural disasters. Or what the people of Syria are going through now. Or what the people in many parts of Africa live through their whole lives. Luckily, the Cayman government is putting human values over money. It hasn’t always done that, but it is now and that’s what counts.

      12
      1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.