letters to the editor

“A golden opportunity may turn into silver if you wait too long to take advantage of it” wrote Matshona Dhiliwayo, the Canadian-based philosopher and author. This is exactly what has occurred owing to the apparent disdain that has been paid to advice by myriad commentators regarding Covid-19 lockdown measures.

This second lockdown is far worse than the previous one because resources are now more strained, almost to breaking point. More businesses have closed down, there are more unemployed persons and people have become more frustrated and thrown caution to the wind. Did closing the borders make a difference?

It seems that the “closed” borders have resulted in greater numbers of Covid-19 cases and more ammunition entering the country!

Seemingly injudicious leadership by the existing Government has unfortunately resulted in a far worse situation than obtained previously. Having tried, unsuccessfully, several times to caution people about wearing masks and social distancing, why weren’t punitive measures enhanced to deter unwelcome behaviour?

Granted that there are pros and cons of punishment but deterring some, especially the younger ones with a possible stain on their character that will make them ineligible for a police character certificate or the more mature ones with a larger fine and or incarceration may go a long way towards more responsible behaviour. Punishment or sanctions must be done extremely quickly to prevent recurrence because it seems as if pleadings by health authorities and the government are falling on deaf ears. What have the psychologists advised?

Of what value are daily statistics regarding where Trinidad and Tobago stands if greater insight, notably demographic analysis of the data is absent?

What is expected to happen after May 23?

More responsible behaviour?

Less active cases?

Less deaths?

A growing economy? More employment?

Opened borders?

What is the Government’s plan for better management of the pandemic?

Unless this Government is truly prepared to listen and devise a plan which includes non-governmental entities the lockdown restrictions recently articulated by the Prime Minister are doomed to fail. The pandemic will not be addressed, the economy will continue to degrade, businesses will continue to close, people’s frustration will continue to increase and the scourge of crime will become unbearable. Already the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago (LATT) has signalled its intention, rightly or wrongly, of challenging “trespass” on private property. This is rather unfortunate. One would have expected concurrence with the restricted measures and recommendations on how to address irresponsible behaviour to ensure the second lockdown bears fruit and revitalises the economy.

Whilst it is unbelievably irresponsible and selfish for a very small minority of the population to turn their noses at the unheralded conscientiousness and hard work of health workers and first responders, together with the Ministry of Health’s briefings and the government’s myriad pleadings to the country to behave more responsibly and appreciatively of the necessary cautions required to address the Covid-19 pandemic, how many are genuine and honestly wish that the pandemic is controlled quickly?

Unfortunately, the utterances of the Opposition leave much to be desired so it behoves the population to turn to the government for guidance. Therefore, isn’t it more than enough time for this administration to be more transparent in its dealings with Trinbagonians?

Why so much secrecy with the pandemic except to provide statistics of little importance?

Or is the expectation that vaccination is the solution to the pandemic its hope?

If this Government is serious about addressing the pandemic it must listen actively! There is no evidence that it does and uttering ill-advised statements and rebuttals of others will not address the situation. Serious and collective action is required, not platitudes and “patting itself on the back” that it is doing a wonderful job!

Otherwise, the statement attributed to the late Albert Einstein that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” will continue to hold true.

Harjoon Heeralal

Carapichaima

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As expected, the Government has responded to the ­explosion in Covid-19 infections and deaths by imposing a state of emergency with a 9 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew effective from midnight last night.

DR ROSHAN Parasram, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), and Dr Avery Hinds, Technical Director—Epidemiology, are trusted persons. I have said so more than once. It is from the facts, truth and science which they respectively deliver that I may raise issues about the Government’s management of the pandemic.

AS THE spike in Covid-related infections and deaths rocketed almost exponentially over the past three weeks or so, leaving many citizens stunned, people who sought guidance and leadership from politicians were assaulted with a cacophony of discordant notes that sounded like the praying of a pack of ancient jackasses.

LAST WEEK, I wrote of “our nation being undone” and the sense of “terminality” now hovering over Trinidad and Tobago. We were heading there before Covid which is hastening our demise. The Government irresponsibly dropped the ball with the pandemic, now spreading like wildfire.

THE SITUATION in our country is dire. What we had feared most during this pandemic, and had viewed as occurring in other countries, is happening in our beloved Trinidad and Tobago.

“We need to solve our problems without causing a civil war that can be a danger to our existence.”

—President Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel

In 1963, Martin Luther King was imprisoned in a Birmingham jail for leading a non-violent demonstration against American segregation.

As he sat in that jail, he responded to the concerns of eight white religious leaders who condemned his participation in that struggle for justice.