The covid 19 death toll has increased exponentially in such a short time especially during end of April and May of this year. We have now seen the true effects of an incompetent and inefficient Ministry of Heath and their handling of the pandemic.
The Prime Minister totally misunderstood the seriousness of the virus and how contagious it really was. Twenty deaths in the first 5 days of May 2021 and a total of 1,281 new cases in the same period was alarming to say the least. It’s now really sinking in that all the propaganda machines and virtual media conferences was just for show — a pappy show to use local lingo — to hoodwink the population into a false sense of security that the Government had done an astounding job to manage to pandemic and the virus spread.
Trinidad and Tobago borders had been closed since March 2020. We have also been in a State of Emergency (SOE) with a curfew from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am every day. Our citizens outside our country have faced so much red tape before they are allowed to come back to their own country, it’s appalling.
The downward spiral of naked politricking and chastising of the opposition by shaming them for their concerns for the population was blatant, to say the least. The PNM use their trolls on social media to hit back with nasty political propaganda which has been focused more on campaigning, rather than the actual health of our citizens.
We had minimal testing for many months in the beginning, and yet the Minister of Health declared we were #1 in the world in treating with covid-19 in T&T, flaunting their perceived handling of the pandemic in the population’s face for everyone to see. However, the truth eventually came out and what we have seen is an eye opener.
What a terrible miscalculation. For many, it has been a heart wrenching reality that our citizens are being infected more quickly and dying at a rate that seems uncontrollable at this point in time. With the large increase in daily cases, the Minister and health officials are actually begging citizens to stay home and stop gathering in large numbers. As people continue to gather at supermarkets and public areas that still offer crucial essential services and with basically a total lockdown, the numbers continue to rise.
There seems to be no end to these upsurges.
The parallel health system is on the brink, always soon to be overwhelmed and collapse. Just look at the attached charts showing a steep rise in cases from April 2021, particularly since the State of Emergency was declared.
Our overall hospital occupancy has been increasing at the same exponential rate and with no proper plan to increase the number of beds, we seem to be at the mercy of a runaway train that has left the station. We are also now seeing increased infections and deaths among younger people with the new Delta variant that has been with us for two months now.
We are seeing more serious conditions of hospitalized patients, deaths abs younger healthy people being affected now. I’m sorry to say this but our Prime Minister’s invitation to come to Tobago for Easter — with a reported 50,000 and more responding to that call — kick started a spread that we have not been able to get control since.
We are seeing the effects of that crucial miscalculation now: the imposition of more stringent rules with the covid restrictions, keeping us in a six-month long State of Emergency since May 15th 2021. This was all due the rise of cases after the Tobago Easter holidays where our PM’s misjudgment has had serous effects on our lives and livelihoods.
After that he has used his propaganda machinery and spin artists in an attempt to down play this very terrible error in judgment when the train is already out of control. This one single act of misjudgment, of open invitation to masses of travellers maybe be single handed trigger of our covid disaster. See for yourself all the empirical data from the charts attached.
Additional to this has been the fiasco of our porous borders and the influx of Venezuelans coming in unchecked, with more infectious variants of the virus coming through the porous beaches. This again may have inadvertently brought in the now most deadly delta variant to our shores.
Both the Police and the Military that fall under the Ministry of National Security seem to be ineffective as thousands of Venezuelans enter our borders with exemption from punishment and consequences. Sadly, we are the ones that have to face the brunt of the lockdown, the loss of jobs, relatives and friends being hospitalized, and closure of businesses.
We have so many questions that we just cannot get a straight or sensible answer on, like the decision to buy one million Sinopharm vaccines when our citizens do not want to take this vaccine. What was the cost of these vaccines and what behind-closed-doors deal was cut to really burden us with these vaccines? What has the Government done to educate the population to get them to take the vaccines? Will you require three doses of vaccines? They are obviously doing something wrong because people prefer the vaccines to expire than take it. Why doesn’t the population trust this administration and this Minister of Health?
Of course the Government would not want us to ask questions on their unilateral decisions taken during this pandemic. They have implied that we are being unfair to Dr Keith Rowley’s Government, being arduous or unpatriotic. God forbid. Our citizens are treated like rebellious children. They are told that these harsh measures are for their own good that it is their life at stake.
PNM propagandists continue their attacks and seem to love the way things are, more than they love their freedom, their democracy, even their own country.
They see no wrong as long as their person is in charge and quite willing to turn a blind eye away from the truth that everyone else so clearly sees. The destruction of our democracy, our freedom, our lives and livelihoods.
It’s important that our people do not give up. We must ask for better performance of our Ministers in their portfolios and at the very least, a proper plan to combat this pandemic head-on along with the will to administer the plan humanely and equitably.
We must not be just like sheep to the slaughter, as it is our lives and the lives of our children we are dealing with, not to mention the future of our twin islands.
*Empirical data and contributions by Karena Bachan was invaluable in putting this together.