Archives

#BVISTRONG

This tag is associated with 2 posts

#BVILove, #Coronavirus Delayed, not “beaten.” (One small country’s COVID-19 story)

Here in the small Nation of the British Virgin Islands, we’ve delayed, but we haven’t “beaten,” or completely avoided, the disease caused by the novel, or new, Coronavirus, COVID-19. Everyone who hasn’t yet been infected is still at risk. A lot of us will eventually catch the virus if and when we once again interact with the world at all.

If you want to learn about the current state of the science, this video is excellent by a fantastic teacher.

The Nation has done an excellent job of blunting the effect of the disease, beginning with closing all ports of entry to everyone except residents, back in March, followed by a 6 day “lockdown” with an in-home curfew at night and limitedbusiness and shopping.

Beginning about April 2, Government began enforcing a 24 hour in-home curfew, shutting business and forbidding residents from leaving our homes.

There have been 5 people with positive tests. 4 of them caught the disease in other countries and one person may have caught the disease from the last of those 4. The first 3 had mild cases and appear to be recovering.

Unfortunately, that last case was a woman whose disease was only discovered when she became very sick and had to be admitted to the hospital. She died the next day. One of her contacts has tested positive, but has mild symptoms. Unfortunately, not all of the people she might have interacted with have been identified and tested.

Hopefully, over the last 6 weeks, the BVI health department has had time to plan and prepare for multiple sick patients.

Even more: I hope that researchers around the world will come up with good treatments and discover why some patients get so sick so fast.

If there’s ever a vaccine, it’s years away There haven’t been any successful vaccines for other human strains of coronavirus.

It appears from some recent random testing in the US, that about 25% – 30% of an exposed population contracts the disease. Most either have no symptoms or mild symptoms. A small minority gets sick enough to be hospitalized, and a fraction of those end up in the ICU.

You may have heard about the high “case fatality rate,” reported anywhere from 0.01 to 10. Remember that this statistic only counts those who have been tested, predominantly those sick enough to be admitted to the hospital.

There is good news in addition to the fact that most infected people have mild or no symptoms: evidence that we have immunity after recovery comes from one of the treatments undergoing research: serum containing antibodies from the blood of recovered patients helps other people get well.

The scary part of the story is that the virus is very contagious, largely because people without symptoms can spread the disease. Medical personnel have been surprised by what appears to be the unprecedented, rapidity of the onset of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) in some patients, usually about day 12 to 14 of the symptoms. In a matter of a few hours, patients become very short of breath, requiring intubation. 80%- 90% of those intubated have died in the ICU.

The virus can also cause the body to produce proteins causing increased coagulation (the tendency for blood to clot). It also can directly infect the heart muscle and brain.

As our country opens up, and goes back to (relatively) more normal interaction, it’s important to remember that infected people may not have symptoms, but are still able to share the virus and spread the disease. They don’t know they have it and you certainly can’t tell by looking at them.

We will probably see our neighbors continue “social distancing” and wearing face masks when we leave our homes. And yes, inevitably, some of us will get sick.

Disappointed by BVI Immigration 

A month ago, one week after Irma I came into Beef Island as volunteer doctor with a small medical relief group on a charter plane.   I was only given a visa for 30 days, even though I explained that I have a Non-Belonger Land Holder License (NBLHL), but didn’t have it with me when I canceled the rest of our vacation in Europe. 

Today I went to the government offices in Spanish Town with my NBLHL and was refused a visa extension until I could produce a return ticket. The officer informed me that the NBLHL only allowed me 6 months “per annum” and proceeded to examine my passport, as though to check how long I had been present in the Country this year. 

(I had to go up to Flow to get a good signal in order to buy the ticket online. I returned to find the officer leaving for lunch 15 minutes before noon.)

When I came in on September 14, there was no demand for a return ticket. At the timethere was a perceived shortage of doctors and we believed I would need to be self-sufficient for food and water as I wouldn’t have access to power or running water. The prisoners and looters were still at large. 

Thank goodness, nothing was quite as bad as we feared:  The British military had arrived by then; the wonderful people at Nanny Cay took great care of me and the rest of the group and we arrived the first day that Nanny Cay was able to turn on their desalination plant /water maker for a few hours.  


The medical need on Tortola was already improving enough that I was able to come to Virgin Gorda just 4 days later. Although they don’t need me either, I’ve been working at the clinic in Spanish Town at least two days a week ever since. I don’t want a job and don’t need the experience, but feel that I made a contract that I must keep. I also want the docs, nurses, and staff to know me if one of the feared medical crises does arise. 


BTW, That NBLHL I mentioned “authorizes”  immigration “to grant leave to land for a period not exceeding six months…” Not “per annum,” and there is no mention of a return ticket six months in advance. 


Larry and I have also applied for a “permit to reside”  which required the same documentation that we submitted –  and resubmitted after it was lost – for our NBLHL:  letters from law enforcement and character references, and financial statements. We were required to leave the Country while it was processed, but have been informed that it  languished in the Immigration department without action from 5 July to September 4 –  2 months before Hurricane Irma – and that it is most likely lost and will need to be resubmitted. 


If you saw my post last week, you’ll recall that when Larry was finally able to come to the BVI 3 weeks after I did, he was required to pay duty or produce receipts at Beef Island Customs on the 

(I had to go up to Flow to get a good signal in order to buy the ticket online. I returned to find Ms. Smith leaving for lunch 15 minutes before noon.)

When I came in on September 14, there was no demand for a return ticket. At the time, there was a perceived shortage of doctors and we believed I would need to be self-sufficient for food and water as I wouldn’t have access to power or running water. The prisoners and looters were still at large.

Thank goodness, nothing was quite as bad as we feared: The British military had arrived by then; the wonderful people at Nanny Cay took great care of me and the rest of the group and we arrived the first day that Nanny Cay was able to turn on their desalination plant /water maker for a few hours.

The medical need on Tortola was already improving enough that I was able to come to Virgin Gorda just 4 days later. Although they don’t need me either, I’ve been working at the clinic in Spanish Town at least two days a week ever since. I don’t want a job and don’t need the experience, but feel that I made a contract that I must keep. I also want the docs, nurses, and staff to know me if one of the feared medical crises does arise.

BTW, That NBLHL I mentioned “authorizes” immigration “to grant leave to land for a period not exceeding six months…” Not “per annum,” and there is no mention of a return ticket six months in advance.

Larry and I have also applied for a “permit to reside” which required the same documentation that we submitted – and resubmitted after it was lost – for our NBLHL: letters from law enforcement and character references, and financial statements. We were required to leave the Country while it was processed, but have been informed that it languished in the Immigration department without action from 5 July to September 4 – 2 months before Hurricane Irma – and that it is most likely lost and will need to be resubmitted.

If you saw my post last week, you’ll recall that when Larry was finally able to come to the BVI 3 weeks after I did, he was required to pay duty or produce receipts at Beef Island Customs on the items (water filters, etc.) he brought, in spite of the moratorium.

Beyond investing in our home at Nail Bay on Virgin Gorda, Larry and I have done what we could to assist physically and financially in the BVI recovery after Irma. I’m not as enthusiastic about residency as I was in June or even a month ago, and do not feel at all welcomed by the BVI.

@bnuckols tweets

Click here to get your “Choose Life” license plate

Rick Perry RickPAC

Yes, I'm still for Governor Perry!

RickPAC

What to read around here

Archives

SiteMeter