ON the verge of the roll-out to start the new normal re the Covid-19 pandemic our advisers seem stuck in the “wash your hands” mode and the public is none-the-wiser about how to handle a second wave or a new version of the virus.

All efforts are aimed at confining the healthy: lockdown at home, washing hands, social distancing, no hugging, no kissing, no touching and limiting outdoor activities, curtailing the enjoyment of the fresh air and sunshine.

Stop treating us like irresponsible children. Biologists will tell you that we are all walking carriers of viruses. They accompany us like our shadow. However, they do not infect most of the population because the human immune system puts up the perfect defence.

The number one way to suppress the virus is to educate the public about how to boost and keep this natural defence mechanism in pristine condition. Why isn’t this angle given top priority as a treatment? The symbolic gestures mentioned above are all second division support systems. Statistics show that in the majority of Covid-related deaths the deceased had underlying medical conditions related to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma. This information shared with the public will forewarn those affected and hopefully encourage a turnaround in their behaviours.

The containment of the virus is left to the scientists in their search for a vaccine. Has man ever made a remedy to cure one ill and not introduced several negative side-effects? Our actions show that we have been schooled to have very little faith in what was bestowed on us naturally. Our sons of thunder think that by marshalling the goings and comings of the population they can wear down the virus.

Should the roll-out reflect that we have a health or an economic issue? If health, then I do not support giving the green light to the tobacco and cement companies to resume activity. They both contribute to the deterioration of the lungs. Isn’t there a respiratory illness threatening us at the moment?

If the main problem is economics, and we want people to follow the stay at home and observe the social distancing guidelines then all those fast food outlets are part of the problem.

What about all the sole-proprietor businesses where every visit counts? Think again, leaders.

Our leaders are nervous about the rollout, and they should be because they have added insult to injury with this dependency syndrome.

Lennox Francis



Newly-released video of the police involvement in the Beetham protest in which the pregnant Ornella Greaves was killed calls for a serious review of the statement by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith that no officers were around when she was shot.

While the public is yet to see the video on which the Commissioner has based his claim, new video clips being shared on social media show a large number of police officers, with guns drawn, descending on protesters and shooting in the midst of the protesters with their hands up chanting “Don’t shoot”.

My principal but probably vain hope for the general election, to be held on August 10, is that it will not polarise the country further.

Realistically, one cannot hope for more, and it is mamaguy to feed us dreams of unity and overcoming, while our leaders are likely to engage in verbal warfare, way beyond the so-called cut and thrust of political debate.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines “unreality” as “the quality of not being or seeming to be real”.

Will what awaits us after August 10 subdue the unreality that normally pervades a general election campaign in Trinidad and Tobago? Will we be real?

I don’t know why Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar thought it necessary to appeal to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to invite a team of observers from The British Commonwealth and/or Caricom to witness the conduct of the general election that will take place on August 10.

I met Sophia Chote only once, but was enchanted by the intellectual sophistication and emotional maturity of her columns. Her writing reminded me of the quali­ties that one found in the thinkers of the romantic movement of the 19th century: a belief in democracy and republicanism, an appreciation for the sublime and transcendence and, most of all, a belief in the power of imagination.

This letter is addressed to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. Sir, following the recent protests staged by the people of severely challenged communities over the killing of three residents, you have made a masterful response and appointed a committee to undertake an analysis of the situation and make recommendations on the way forward.