Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The volcano on the Caribbean Island of St Vincent has erupted. Cruise liners and Ferries are rushing to the scene to evacuate people caught by the eruption – but people are not allowed to board the cruise liners until they receive a Covid vaccination.
Caribbean’s St Vincent island volcano erupts after 16,000 people evacuated
Posted Yesterday at 1:37am, updated Yesterday at 2:03am
An explosive eruption of the La Soufriere volcano in the Caribbean has rocked the island of St Vincent following mandatory evacuation orders from the local government.
More than 16,000 residents had been evacuated as volcanic activity increased ahead of the eruption, which took place on Friday morning local time.
Evacuees have been given temporary homes on cruise ships and in safer parts of the island.
Evacuees told to get vaccinated
The new eruption followed mandatory evacuation orders issued on Thursday for people who lived near the volcano.
The pandemic could hamper evacuation efforts.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said in a press conference that people had to be vaccinated if they went aboard a cruise ship or were granted temporary refuge on another island.
He said two Royal Caribbean cruise ships were expected to arrive by Friday and a third one in the coming days, as well as two Carnival cruise ships by Friday.
Read more: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-10/caribbean-island-st-vincent-volcano-erupts-16-000-evacuated/100060486
I don’t blame the rescuers – they are doing the right thing, putting their very expensive ships in danger to rescue people. Volcanic ash could easily cause millions of dollars worth of damage just by landing on the ships, or by getting sucked into the engine air intakes. So they deserve recognition for their courage and compassion.
What I blame is the world’s obsession with Covid.
In normal circumstances people are just evacuated from a deadly disaster zones, nobody refuses anyone because they might be sick. Sick people are given medical attention if required.
But because the world has become obsessed with a disease which kills up to 1% of victims, there is a real possibility that people fleeing a natural disaster will be told they have to stay and die, unless they receive an experimental and potentially life threatening medication.
As I said, not the rescuers fault – they are the meat in the sandwich. If they don’t insist on vaccination, their reward for compassion and heroism could be to be stuck in the ocean, nobody willing to take the evacuated islanders.
But the other islands accepting the refugees and insisting on vaccination should have a good hard look in the mirror. By all means keep the rescued people in isolation. But putting rescuers in a position where they feel they have to refuse help to people fleeing a deadly disaster who have not received the Covid jab, even people at high risk of severe complications from the vaccine – in my opinion that is just wrong.
The following is a video from DW.
Credit: Source link