There were 395 people murdered in 2020 down from 539 in 2019. This gives a homicide rate for 2020 of 28 per 100,000. This is still considered an epidemic. According to United Nations, a homicide rate of ten per 100,0000 or above is considered an epidemic.

It seems to me that the Trinbagonian elites value property and wealth more than people. I guarantee you if Trinidad and Tobago had a proper social safety net the homicide rate would decrease significantly. Personally, I do not believe in welfare but in full employment. I suspect greed will not allow my utopian socio-economic system where once a person is alive, he or she must get at least the basics.

I view socialism, capitalism and communism as the same system with slight variation. There is no way government is to be all powerful. Conversely there no way big business should be all powerful. The power must lie with the people but so far, no system has successfully created that reality. My request for a better social safety net is a compromise; the ideal is full employment.

I plead for the marginalised because I could have easily been one of them except for luck and my love of knowledge more than anything else.

Secondly, I do have confidence in the Covid-19 vaccines being produced because they have not been studied for long-term effect and the vaccine company have indemnity.

If they were safe and effective, there would be no need for indemnity. They have all the profit with no risk and that a is recipe for disaster. It is a moral hazard. There is no incentive for the vaccine manufacturer to make sure the vaccine is safe because there is no consequence if they are not. Pfizer expects to sell $15 billion worth of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021, one of the world’s most lucrative drug.

They have not done any animal testing and other traditional safety requirements for any of the Covid-19 vaccines and because of the urgency of the Covid-19 crisis has been given emergency authorisation. No one could scientifically claim it is as safe and effective as previous vaccines which many people have died from or been paralysed; although only a small percentage.

There is only a 0.01 per cent chance of dying from Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago. As of February 4, 2021, there were 653 deaths and 12,044 adverse events in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The vaccine is not without risk. The world’s second oldest person, Sister Andre, a 116-year-old blind and wheelchair bound French nun recovered from Covid-19 on February 10, and said “I didn’t know I had it.”

I understand the Government’s push for vaccination in an attempt to get back to pre-Covid-19 conditions but that is unlikely to happen even if everyone is vaccinated. The vaccine neither gives immunity nor stops the spread of Covid-19 but only lessens the symptoms and decreases the odds of death.

There will still be mask wearing and social distancing and other Covid-19 restrictions that hinder economic activity. This push to vaccinate reminds me of the two weeks to flatten the curve and almost a year later we are still wearing masks, social distancing and having curfew.

I believe it should be like marriage; those who want to take it, take it and it must not be forced. I have scientific issues with the vaccines but I realise that most people do not love science as much as I do, so it will be futile to discuss.

The vaccine is expected to give three months of protection; CDC states a person does not have to quarantine if they ”are within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series”.

Global elites will always move the goal post. Examine 9-11 restrictions, de-risking banking restrictions and now Covid-19 restrictions.

If they do not want people to travel or work without the vaccine, it would not change my mind because I value my life and heath over any material value.

I believe in natural immunity; I exercise, eat right and I am confident I can withstand Covid-19.

Freedom is not what the government gives me. The attempt to reach herd immunity is unfair to those who are not at high risk because if the vaccine works people at high risk can take it and protect themselves. Since the Covid-19 vaccines do not stop transmission what is the point?

Freedom is my choice because it is my life to live. Maybe those at high risk of death can take the vaccine, if they choose?

“We are our choices.”

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Dear Police Commissioner Griffith,

1. Pathologist Prof Hubert Daisley, in his autopsy report, concluded:

“Injuries to the skull which Andrew S Morris sustained are also fatal. He would have promptly gone into unconsciousness, aspirated and died. He could not have survived for more than 20 minutes with these multiple injuries.”

A double-edged sword.

That is the effect of the Leader of the Opposition calling for Covid-19 vaccines from India, via their Serum Institute of India.

There are benefits to this call, as T&T is on the path to austerity. With revenues barely being able to cover expenditure, including servicing debt, we are genuinely now running on fumes. Import cover at around six months with our US foreign reserves and imminent drawdowns of the HSF—why would we deny ourselves free vaccines?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is an ethnically-biased academic institution of teaching and learning.

For three days every year in the multi-ethnic society, the Faculty of Humanities and Education at The UWI in Trinidad has been organising a symposium on Carnival, but not even a half-day annual seminar on the Amerindian Santa Rosa Festival, Hosay, Phagwa, Divali or Ramleela, although Ramleela was proclaimed by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity in 2005.

The world of “high finance”, especially as practised by ministers of finance, continues to baffle me.

How come borrowing money to service your debts a good thing? Aren’t you going to sink deeper into the quicksand? Doesn’t that increase your debt-servicing requirements? Apparently, that’s what smart ministers of finance do.

On the issue of Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s letter to the Indian prime minister for Covid vaccines, I don’t know what the big fuss is about. The two ministers are making a mountain out of a mole hill.