The New Today

Commentary

Sense, science and nonsense

I grew up hearing the elders repeating the phrase, “common sense was made before book sense”.

This statement is certainly true, so when I hear persons, especially those in authority, say that they are “following the science” with respect to the current Covid-19 situation, and then I observe them taking steps and making decisions that make no common sense, I have to wonder if there is some other motive than the preservation of the health of the nation.

I am sure that every person will be able, if a clear unbiased mind is used, to pick sense from nonsense. It bears repeating that I support the science behind vaccinations and it is because of my scientific training and the options that are now presented to us, the Grenadian people that I can honestly say that I can be labelled as “vaccine hesitant”.

Even the most ardent and medically trained experts who are supporters of the new experimental vaccines, when responding honestly, admit that enough studies have not been done to safely give assurances about the medium-and long-term effects of these new vaccines.

So, it begs the question of the moral, ethical and legal basis for mandating that type of vaccine in the workplace or at all. With no guarantee regarding the side effects, with no liability assurance, why then is the poor worker pressured and coerced into taking such a treatment?

Benjamin Franklin, a scientist, inventor, politician, philanthropist and businessman, the only one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America who signed all three documents that freed America from Britain is quoted as saying, “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”.

I wonder what his position would have been at this time! This is not a situation where we are giving up our essential rights and freedom, but one where, in the name of autocracy and dictatorship which is masked as democracy, our rulers are forcefully taking our liberties away.

Worse yet is the fact that I have hardly heard a voice in Grenada raised in dissent, such is the obvious little value we place on the rights and liberty that so many of our forefathers have shed their blood to procure for us.

When I reflect on the decisions of Khief, our Prime Minister, I am forced to use a cricket analogy to effectively paint the picture. I use cricket because he always boasts about the fact that he was an off-spin bowler and captain of the Grenada cricket team. Right now, he is the captain of our entire country.

Imagine Khief bowling his off-spin for the last over of a match in which the batting team needs 4 runs for victory and he brings in all the fielders, with no one on the boundary, packs the off-side field and tosses the ball up! You would excuse anyone for accusing him of match fixing.

When persons say that they are following the science it ought to mean that they are committing themselves to following the guidance of the acceptable conclusions that can be comfortably drawn from scientific experimentation. One needs to understand that scientific “facts” are not absolute truths, but rather conclusions drawn from tests or experiments, the observations recorded from the tests and the conclusions that may be drawn from those observations.

If the wrong test is done or the correct test is done incorrectly, or the wrong observations are recorded, then the conclusions would necessarily be wrong. When scientists say that there are “exceptions” or breakthrough cases”, they are admitting that their conclusions need to be further perfected.

When you hear the renowned Dr. Fauci say that he has never seen a virus like this coronavirus in all his decades as an expert virologist, the leading virologist in the United States, we need to take stock and not rush to blindly commit our people, our beloved nation through our panic and fear! Let us truly follow the science! The scientists are still “feeling their way” through this challenge!

There was a time when scientists thought that the earth was flat. There was a time when no one thought that a heavy iron boat could float or that an airplane weighing several tons could fly.

Here are some universally accepted and indisputable facts about the science of the Covid-19 virus.

(1).The virus is most effectively spread by tiny droplets from infected persons when they breathe, talk, sing, cough or take other action to expel air or liquid from their body.

(2). The virus mainly enters the body through the nasal passage and works its way through the lining, into our bloodstream, lungs and other organs.

(3). Washing our hands and not touching our faces helps us to prevent the transmission of the virus from our hands to our noses.

(4). The virus invades the cells of our body and forces the cells to reproduce many copies of the virus within the body, thus overpowering our systems.

(5). Once a sufficient amount of the virus enters our body it is able to overcome our body’s defense mechanism, depending on the strength of the immune system of the individual.

(6). The scientists are unable to determine why they claim that the effect of the virus varies so much from individual to individual; from no symptoms to death.

(7).The only way to get proper information about the level of the Covid virus is to do mass and sample testing throughout the community.

(8). There are several substances that help to boost our immune system against viral attack, vitamins like A, C, D3; substances like garlic, turmeric, fresh fruits and vegetables contain rich supplies of essential vitamins; sunlight gives us lots of vitamin D and salt (sea water) helps us in the fight.

(9). Our bodies are much less resistant to viral and other attacks when we are not under stress, since stress compromises our immune system.

(10). The only masks that appear to give some effective protection against the spread of the virus are the N95 surgical type masks. All of the cloth and fancy designer masks are useless and can only help to limit how far the tiny droplets form our mouths and noses spread.

The traditional vaccines which we have taken in the past were meant to accelerate our body’s preparation to fight a virus by introducing an inactivated part, or whole of the virus so that our bodies are put on alert and produce antibodies in advance. These vaccines strengthen our natural immunity which is broad-based, and not the narrow immunity that is generated by these experimental “messenger’ vaccines.

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The traditional vaccines provided us with protection for years, some even for our entire lifetime. I repeat, I am all for the traditional method of producing vaccines; this method has been tried and tested for centuries!

Knowing all of the above, instead of trying to stress out people even more by saying that many are going to die, and admitting that we do not have the capacity to deal with this outbreak that has been caused by their own policy, our leaders are in a full state of panic but do not care about the poor struggling Grenadian people.

I grew up hearing the saying that, “when you play with puppies, you get bitten by the fleas”! If you bring a dog into your house you need to treat it for its fleas first or be able to handle the fleas it brings. In other words, when you open up and invite people to Grenada during this pandemic, you need to be sure that you have the capacity to deal with the virus that they bring along with them.

Remember that up to a few weeks ago we were told by Khief and his group that we had no cases of Covid in Grenada! Khief, Nikki and company have had several months to prepare for this virus. God in his mercy allowed us a space of several months to put things in place.

Rather than set an example to all of Grenada, Nikki is posing, in open defiance of the policy that he is promoting as the Minister of Health, with the movie star who was the main actor in the movie “Hard to kill’! I guess that is his message to Grenada.

Khief simply declared a State of Emergency and took away some of our fundamental rights. Any caring leader or government would have used some of the people’s money to prepare for the very emergency that it declared.

Ordinary Grenadians rushed to the grocery stores to gather up food and other essentials for the emergency but what did Khief and company do?

(1). They refused to do mass testing or sample testing all over Grenada.

(2). They prevented the masses from getting tested by making the cost of a test too expensive.

(3). They gave special permission to private facilities to exploit the situation by providing expensive testing facilities.

(4). They failed or refused to mount any serious education campaign about the virus.

(5). They failed or refused to prepare or equip any isolated facility to treat infected persons, even after witnessing the effect of the virus on much more advanced economies than ours.

(6). They failed or refused to even try to monitor persons who were tested on arrival into Grenada and were on “home quarantine”.

(7). They failed or refused to provide frontline workers like the nurses, police and their hand-picked Imanis with proper protective equipment.

(8). During this State of Emergency, they used hundreds of millions to pay WRB and set aside more than $15 million to cut bushes and trees by the road. Now they have no money for this health crisis!

Is there any surprise that there is now a virus outbreak in Grenada? Now that there is a huge outbreak in Grenada here is their “strategy”:

(a). Restrict people from going to the beaches where they can get sunlight and salt, and where they are able to relax and reduce their stress levels.

(b). The buses are still running at full capacity with most people only wearing cloth masks and the bus owners cannot afford sanitising material.

(c). People are testing positive and are told to go home and isolate without any knowledge of how they will travel home, whether they are doing as advised, or what their home situation may be.

(d). For the next 2 weeks workers who mingle with everyone else during the working week must stay locked away with their families over the weekends and return to work on the next Monday morning.

(e). The 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew only ensures that people spend more time in crowded areas with little, if any, fresh air flow, especially among the poor sections of Grenada.

Actually, the free mass testing that should have been done first is now being done in a state of panic. Is this an example of proper leadership? People are now being put in a state of panic and fear, seemingly designed to coerce them into taking the experimental vaccine by misleading references such as the “pandemic of the unvaccinated”.

Bonnie Castillo, Executive Director of National Nurses United, the largest organisation of registered nurses in the United States noted in an article published on September 7, 2021, that:

“However, vaccines alone won’t end Covid-19. They are one important component of a robust infection control program, and we have so many other tools in our toolbox that we must use to end this pandemic.

Those include: universal masking, physical distancing, screening and testing, contact tracing, tracking of breakthrough infections,, ventilation, and for health care workers, optimal protective equipment, safe staffing, proper isolation of patients and more.

…………………..

We’re all in this together, and if there are actions we all – regardless of vaccination status – can be taking to stop the Delta variant from surging in our hospitals and our communities, we must do them.

The public health message about “pandemic of the unvaccinated” plays to the worst aspects of human nature and does not encourage people to practice the behaviours needed to curb the virus.”

As I have said time and again, Khief and his gang have a history of failing us in our times of emergency and true stress. They do it every time that they are tested!

I say to Khief and company, you have shown clearly that you are incapable of leading us when the going gets tough, so please step aside and allow a competent group of our people to lead our country out of this morass that you have put us into.

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