Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2021. 12:41 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: This week, Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) President, Stewart Krohn, interviewed by Channel 7 News, issued the clearest statement yet on the importance of getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control for the tourism industry.
His comments have been endorsed by former BTIA president, Senator for non-governmental organizations and tourism operator Osmany Salas, who deemed them “the truth.”
Krohn noted that the U.S.’ Level 4 travel warning to Belize is “a little bit ironic, it’s a little bit like the pot calling the kettle black. They are far worse off and have handled COVID 19 far worse than Belize or almost any other country on the planet.”
He cites statistics of over 40 million cases and more than 653 thousand dead, with average cases in the hundreds of thousands and rising deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would almost certainly rate itself unsafe for travel if it looked objectively at the data, Krohn opined.
And on the anti-vaxers and vaccination hesitancy, Krohn called vaccination for this disease “the most patriotic thing you can do for your country, for the country’s economy, for the people who are going to lose their jobs if there’s no tourism for the winter season. It’s that simple…”
He added that in this case it is not as simple as ‘my body, my choice’ as unvaccinated persons exposed to COVID, even if they show no symptoms, risk the health of others and when they inevitably catch the disease and go to hospital, they take up beds reserved for urgent emergency cases.
Krohn concluded, “So the whole conversation about vaccination has gotten twisted, this is not about personal choice, this is about saving hundreds if not thousands of Belizean lives, and the Belizean economy. It’s too serious for people to be selfish.”
Senator Salas adds simply, “Belizeans, don’t hesitate, vaccinate!”