True faith: let go and let God
April 13, 2021
Divine Mercy –important part of salvation history
April 13, 2021

Dial down on social contacts

By Lara Pickford-Gordon

His appointment was at 2.40 p.m. and by 2.49 p.m. Archbishop Jason Gordon had received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. He was among the persons with scheduled appointments for the vaccine at the Diego Martin Health Centre, Wendy Fitzwilliam Boulevard, Diego Martin.

Prior to the vaccine being administered, Archbishop Gordon was screened—persons are required to provide information on their health status, any allergies, whether they tested positive for COVID in the past six months, etc— and his blood pressure taken by a member of the T&T Defence Force (TTDF). TTDF medical personnel were assisting with screening and ushering.

The vaccine coincidentally was given by nurse Sr Deborah Ramdhanie OP who joked with His Grace about displaying his muscled arms. In the blink of an eye, the procedure was over. “If you only blink you gone…no, she will not do it again for you,” Archbishop Gordon joked to photographers present. “That’s right,” Sr Ramdhanie agreed. Archbishop Gordon had to wait 20 minutes in the lobby, “observation area” before he could leave.

Also receiving the vaccine were a few members of religious sisters. Sr Therese Dookeran OP said she was glad she got vaccinated. She was concerned with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, saying it was “very sad”.

Several persons turned up at the Health Centre trying to get vaccinated although they had no appointment. NWRHA Customer Service representatives patiently informed them that appointments were the priority for vaccines, but this did not deter, and they insisted on waiting. Their names were taken.

In an interview Archbishop Gordon said, “receiving the vaccine right now is a privilege but I am a frontline person. I am in touch with so many people on a daily basis, weekly basis, on a monthly basis and that is why I have been allowed to have the vaccine.”

Other public figures who received the vaccine in the past two weeks include the President, Chief Justice, and the Health Minister. Archbishop Gordon stressed that having the vaccine is important not only for his own sake but saving other people also. However, it could only work when everyone received it.

Asked if he was one of those Trinis who did not like needles, he replied, “nobody likes a needle; everybody want to run from a needle. There are plenty things in life you want to run from that are good. Your mother taught you when you are a child the greens good for you, eat it…there is a cough syrup that says it don’t taste good, but it works”. He added, “You can’t run from what is difficult when it could cause you and everyone else problems…. you have to be willing to sacrifice for everybody’s welfare.”

Responding to the closure of churches in Belmont, Penal, St Augustine and Curepe he said the country was in community spread and unlike months ago when the numbers were very low and located in places far and wide, cases were now getting closer. He said if people were to ask themselves if they knew someone with COVID-19, “once that number is two or three you know how close it is”.

He urged the public to be extremely careful and to “dial down on social contacts”, wear masks at all times and wash their hands. Archbishop Gordon said every precaution must be taken.

On Monday, Archbishop Gordon told Catholic News that he felt a “bit woozy” on Sunday but was able to perform pastoral duties, which included Holy Mass 8 a.m. at Living Water Chapel, and speak at a virtual Divine Mercy celebration.