By Prior Beharry
IT takes less time to potty train a toddler than to get a new behviour installed in one’s brain.
This was the comment of epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds speaking at the virtual media conference of the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.
He was responding to a question from AZPNews.com that what seems to be a lower number of reported cases of Covid-19 may give members of the population a sense of comfort.
Dr Hinds said Covid-19 protocols must still be adhered to.
He said, “A year down the road, new behaviours should really have been fairly well entrenched in your behaviour set.
“It takes less time to potty train a toddler, I think, than to get a new behaviour installed in your brain between last year to this year.”
Dr Hinds noted that there will be divergences, but the ministry will always insist that people follow rules such as social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
County Medical Officer of Health for County Caroni Dr Jeanine St Bernard called on members of the population not to drop their guard in the fight against the pandemic.
She said she has observed employees taking off their masks while working in the presence of other employees.
Dr St Bernard said if an employee was fed-up of wearing a mask he can go to the bathroom, outside of the building or in his car and take it off.
She said once a person was in an office he could take off his mask once the door is closed but must put it one while someone comes in.
Dr St Bernard said the ministry may look at no mask-wearing in the workplace where the employee’s space was surrounded with a shield so his saliva would come into contact with anyone.
Dr Hinds also warned about having a mask off in an air-conditioned environment.
He said, “The issue of indoor air circulation and its recirculation of infected droplets in the indoor, air-conditioned closed, no windows space is one of the factors that has been repeatedly noted in the medical journals as an increase risk factor for the transmission of Covid-19.”
Dr Hinds added, “So whether it’s indoor in an office, indoor in an air-conditioned church or a bar setting, the whole point is the indoor air circulation with infected droplets is one of the factors that has continued to spawn clusters of cases and the mask wearing is one of the things that helps to reduce that risk by trapping the majority of those droplets as they leave your respiratory system.”
He said mask wearing was important even in an environment where people were comfortable. It has to become part of the new normal, the e epidemiologist said.