Sunday Express Editorial

If we had not fully grasped it before, the coronavirus pandemic has brought home in dramatic fashion the interconnectedness of all humanity. At this very minute, the health and possibly survival of each one of us depends on the decisions and actions of people we don’t know, in countries we may never even set foot in. Vice versa. This is the reality of 21st century globalisation.

Panic buying and toilet paper hoarding may be a logical response to fear and the need for control in a time of unknowns, but unless we completely cut off ourselves from everyone prior to infection and stay hunkered down until the risk is eliminated by vaccine or natural death, no amount of money spent or hoarded stocks will protect us from the risk of infection.

Indeed, securing our own advantages at the expense of others could very well increase our own risk if those who lack the means to support and protect themselves decide to engage in riskier behaviour. In a very real sense, therefore, we must be each other’s keeper if we are to get out of this crisis. This is why we condemn all efforts to sow panic and promote division at a time when T&T most needs its people to pull together as one. While we have come to expect such irresponsibility from social media trolls, the last people one would expect such recklessness from are leaders who sit in the exalted seats of our Parliament.

The Facebook post by Opposition Senator Khadijah Ameen, Deputy Leader of the United National Congress, is a glaring example of how T&T is consistently failed by those entrusted with leadership responsibility.

If Ms Ameen has evidence that “there are more cases of COVID-19 in Trinidad than are being published,” we would expect her to present it in a responsible manner. If however she is merely repeating rumour, giving traction to fake information and feeding distrust in the information provided by the medical and scientific professionals of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), she should be denounced in the strongest possible terms and be required to withdraw the post and apologise to all.

The interest of no one, not even Ms Ameen, is served when desperation for political advantage is allowed to undermine public interest and welfare of this country and its people. We wait to see whether the Opposition Leader herself will demonstrate leadership in this matter or simply look the other way. Instead of joining the rumour-mongering, the Opposition should use the significant expertise available to it to play its role in holding the Government to account.

Better yet, it should promote an innovative bipartisanship as the most viable response to this national crisis. There are too many important issues to be dealt with for our leaders to descend into rumour. At this time where successful containment is still a possibility given that both confirmed cases of COVID-19 were imported, the Government should be challenged on its decision to keep the airports open and allow non-essential activities to continue with the risks associated with unnecessary congregation. This is no time for old talk but a time to test real leadership.


World Environment Day 2020 arrives with the news that notwithstanding the dramatic Covid-19-induced reduction in carbon emissions, the level of carbon dioxide in the air is at its highest in recorded history.

Let me restate my point of view that genuine recovery depends on a few key things: 1. Managing the Survival Phase; 2. Restoring Closed Businesses; 3. Recoup and Retrieval for Businesses as they open; 4. A National Recovery Strategy; 5. Immediate Action of Economic Restructuring, 6. Building a New Economy post Covid.

As T&T’s most prominent columnist, I often get bombarded with questions from fans wanting expert advice on complicated subject matters. For example, Kathy, who works at Scotiabank Credit Card Centre, writes: “Dear Darryn, your failure to reply leaves us with no choice but to commence legal proceedings.”

“Every politician who has tasted power, and many who counted for little, has gone to war with the media. If they didn’t, that would signal that journalists were not doing their jobs, that they were too busy prostrating to power to do their duty to country.”

Here in sweet T&T, we have jumped on the US bandwagon and have stood up and expressed our diverse views on the ongoing racial tension in the US, but I ask us to step back and look at our country.

It’s been a bad week in the United States: six nights of protests, huge anger, rioting and looting in 50 cities, hundreds arrested or injured—but only six dead over the police murder of George Floyd. The number may have gone up by the time you read this, but it’s definitely not 1968 again.