The New Today

Commentary

Poor and vulnerable

A man in the West African country of Guinea has died after contracting the Marburg virus, which causes internal bleeding and organ failure. The World Health Organisation on Monday confirmed the man’s death and said the “highly infectious disease” could “spread far and wide.”

WHO said the virus could pass to people from fruit bats and is transmitted from one person to another through surfaces and bodily fluids.

The organisation said the illness tended to begin with an abrupt and sudden onset of high fever and headaches, with severe internal bleeding occurring within seven days. WHO said the virus had death rates of 24% to 88% in past outbreaks.

As of Monday, Guinea had reported 27,112 COVID-19 cases and 263 deaths, with 150 new cases a day reported on average over the past week. Only 2.67% of Guinea’s population have been fully vaccinated.

This is a portion of a story published about an occurrence of Monday, August 9, 2021.

I have included this story for several reasons to demonstrate that:

(1). our response to national disaster issues need to be much more measured, balanced and proportionate;

(2). we need a plan going forward as a nation to deal with health issues and other challenges;

(3). our rush and panic to impose and implement mandatory Covid vaccinations in Grenada is unmerited;

(4). the persons most affected by our decisions are the majority among us who are poor and dependent on collective policies.

If we want to grow and thrive as a young nation our priorities must be objective and proper ones which are not swayed here and there by populist political statements that are simply meant to impress the majority, without any real intention of implementation.

With all the talk over the last 10 years by this NNP administration about health care and the implementation of some program to improve the accessibility of health care for our masses, the reality is that this is only hot air coming from the mouth of a deceiver; as we say in Grenada, a brambler.

When our main hospital still struggles to have basic essentials as oxygen, pain killers and other basic medicine, where will we get the more sophisticated and expensive drugs from? With all the money that Khief boasts that we have gotten from selling passports, we still did not have reagents to test for Covid in Grenada and still do not have a proper government laboratory to do general testing and research.

In this we are far behind even our fellow OECS island of Dominica. Now the simple man has to find hundreds of dollars to have a Covid test done or take an experimental jab. In fact, one has to pay more at the hospital in Grenada for a Covid test than the same Covid test in other neighbouring islands. What a shame!

When the Prime Minister will descend to crass lies about the failure to have basic supplies, saying without offering a shred of proof, that doctors, nurses and other workers have stolen the medical supplies, we are going nowhere and are simply “treading water”. Sadly, but truly, it’s the poor who are the most vulnerable and easiest affected in any crisis.

When there are no medical supplies in the hospital, Khief and his gang can simply fly out of Grenada for treatment. “Spaceman”, a former leading NNP politician and parliamentarian was brought back from the brink with expensive medical intervention in Cuba. The rich and affluent can afford to pay for medical treatment and, in any case, they all have medical insurance.

Never forget this! As soon as the Covid crisis hit, this NNP government banned gatherings and caused thousands of pounds of produce from the poor farmers to be wasted on their hands. The fishermen were banned from going out to fish in our waters. However, the big businessmen who own the grocery stores were allowed to remain open for business to drain the pockets of the poor even further, while this NNP government prevented the same poor people from putting money in their pockets.

In the height of the State of Emergency, our Prime Minister could have been seen eating and drinking in private settings in True Blue while we were hunkered down at our homes, banned from meeting up together as ordinary people.

It is a medical fact that the stress caused by this Covid lockdown leads to heavy depression among people, especially among the young people who are brimming over with energy and hormones.

But this NNP government cares little about that at all. With no community spread at all over the entire encounter in Grenada with this virus and with all our case being imported, all of Grenada is under a State of Emergency with a curfew while visitors are free to enter and leave our country.

Does that make any sense at all? Police are hunting down, charging and making criminals of ordinary people for just going to visit their partners at night or for just meeting with friends. I was taught in the social studies classes at GBSS that man is by nature a gregarious animal, that is, we naturally desire to gather together!

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This lock down and curfew goes against the very nature of man and yet our ignorant and stubborn leaders will not understand that they are destroying the very fabric of our country by their insane laws.

While there is currently a raging debate about this experimental vaccine on several fronts, this unimaginative and copycat regime in Grenada continues to push for mandatory vaccinations using the same experimental vaccines.

God bless the sensible Prime Minister of Jamaica who, having an almost identical legal framework and constitution as ours has declared openly this week that there is no legal basis for the imposition of a mandatory vaccine program in Jamaica where, after the most recent count there have been over 55,456 confirmed cases and over 1,200 deaths.

In his budget-cutting exercise to satisfy the World Bank and IMF, our short-sighted Prime Minister got rid of many crucial medical posts and I doubt that we even have a specialist post of an Epidemiologist, much more to have a post for a Virologist in our country.

It is the Virologist, and the very experienced one at that, who may be in a position to render proper expertise in this crisis. So where does the so-called expertise in the area in Grenada come from? Simply from a set of general practitioners in Grenada who try to accommodate the NNP program by using borrowed ideas and opinions of overseas experts who have no local knowledge and who are not familiar with our local norms.

Now the CDC in the USA is advising fully vaccinated persons to wear masks because it has been proven beyond doubt that fully vaccinated people can still contract the Covid virus and can still infect other people with the virus. This is the obvious reason why several cases have been recently discovered in Grenada.

This is just a huge ball of confusion! We have a Prime Minister who said publicly and ignorantly in early 2020 that he would keep the State of Emergency until there was a vaccine available to be used for the Covid. Now that he has his vaccine available he is now apparently showing by his conduct that he will keep the State of Emergency until a high enough percentage of Grenadians agree to receive the full vaccine doses.

It is all about what he, the Czar, the Chief, the Lord, the Dictator thinks. Nothing about science or common sense. Nothing about how it affects the poor and vulnerable who can only get debushing work for a pittance. But Grenadians, PLEASE NOTE AS A FACT that the current vaccines that are being offered in Grenada were only meant to handle the original Covid strain and not the variants that are now emerging! The vaccines that khief and company are offering will do little to protect you!

The Christian Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died for our sins to save us from eternal death and destruction which will be our fate if we do not repent but, even in the face of such a fate, our repentance is voluntary. Khief wants to force us to take an experimental treatment to “save” our lives, a treatment which comes with no guarantees!

Worst yet, there is no system in Grenada to track the effects of this experimental treatment on Grenadians. Furthermore, the statistics about the effects of the treatment on ordinary people are being covered up and not being exposed. This is actually reckless criminal irresponsibility by this NNP regime!

I have a cousin who spent several weeks in the hospital due to blood clots which he suffered after taking the vaccine shots. Has anyone followed up on this? Is anyone making a study of this? There have been several reports of persons in Grenada who have died shortly after receiving the Covid vaccines. Has anyone followed up on this? Is anyone making a study of this?

Khief and his regime is simply marching on with their plans with seemingly no care at all about the poor and vulnerable members of our country. Khief has unprofessional doctors going around and telling people that it is only a few persons in a million who take the vaccines and get seriously sick and we don’t even have a million people in Grenada.

What a sick, unprofessional, unscientific, unethical and callous way of treating people! Are we just things and statistics? Well, our Prime Minister has a doctorate in statistics and that is precisely how he treats the poor and vulnerable in Grenada; they are simply numbers in a regime that is based on statistics.

Yes, whether we believe it or not, there are new challenges on the horizons, new viruses are showing up, new economic strategies are needed but we do not have a Prime Minister or government with sufficient forethought, or that are adaptable or capable enough to deal with those eventualities.

Grenada, please let us move on from Khief and his NNP if we want to survive and prosper.

Cajeton Hood is an attorney-at-law who served as Attorney General during the 2013-18 period in government of the New National Party of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell