surinenglish

THE BOTTOM LINE

Come on, trace me

Tracers are supposed to be the people who go looking for close contacts of a person who has coronavirus to see whether they have given it to anyone else.

Well here it seems that we, the general public, are the ones who have to chase after them and the health authorities to get someone to test us for Covid-19.

First because getting someone to answer the phone at your health centre is nothing short of mission impossible, and sometimes all you can do is turn up in person and wait in a queue, either because you're ill and can't wait one or two weeks for a doctor to call; or because you have symptoms that could be Covid-19, or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, and all this can't wait for days and days.

You almost feel like going to the airport to see if they'll give you one of those rapid PCR tests that the Junta announced last week for the tourists.

Then we wonder why the figures continue to rise even though we are doing as we're told. With all these obstacles in the way of getting a diagnosis, to think that everyone is going to self-isolate at the slightest sign of a symptom, while they wait patiently for someone to contact them, sounds like science fiction. Especially as a lot of people have to work for a living and cannot afford to self-isolate for two weeks just in case.

If we then add in the asymptomatic cases and those who have been with a Covid sufferer but haven't been traced, the curve carries on growing.

And all this within a framework of measures that are a little perplexing; such as limiting family gatherings to six people. There are five of us in my house, for example, and so my parents would have to visit one at a time, according to the recommendation... you can see how this is encouraging us to go out to bars, where ten people can get together.

Incidentally, the biggest killer in Spain is cardiovascular disease, ahead of tumours and respiratory illnesses. The bad news is that Andalucía leads the board in terms of deaths from that cause. Obesity, diabetes and associated socio-economic factors are to blame for our death rate being almost twice that of Madrid. The good news is that it's not contagious and we have a 'vaccine' well within reach: exercise and a healthy diet.

Of course people rarely talk about that because political leaders can't blame each other for it at heated meetings.