India should be a cautionary tale for Guyana on the COVID-19 front. Just a few months ago, she was doing so well – compared with the developed countries that had stereotyped her for centuries as poor and helpless. Even though she has such a humungous population of 1.3 billion – beyond what we can possibly conceive! – some of her politicians became a bit too confident. They sent vaccines across the world, but, today, with the tsunami caused by a variant of the virus sweeping everything in its path, they just don’t have enough to inoculate their own people.
So, once again, India’s in the position the West had “orientalised” her into.
Supplies of oxygen are being flown in. Once she didn’t have food, now she doesn’t even have air!! There are not enough cremation grounds and graveyards to dispose of the dead. Never mind that, in the US, bodies were being kept in refrigerated trucks for weeks, and crematoriums were backed up for months. Out of sight was out of our minds. So, Eyewitness asks: what’s the lesson for us?
Let’s not get complacent, that’s what. Please! Did anyone imagine that, in this month alone, we’d suffer an average of two persons dying daily? This mightn’t seem like much, but in proportion to India’s population, our death rate is higher than theirs!! But maybe there’s a silver lining in this dark cloud, because we do detect a quickening in the pace of the official response. The President himself has warned of increased penalties for those violating the COVID protocols – especially in regard to wearing masks.
It’s rather sad that we have to be happy for the Government to increase social controls over us. We can say, “It’s for our own good”, but we’ve all hopefully learnt that governments and their agencies will always take a mile when we give them an inch. From what we know, the best we can do right now is to follow the rules and get vaccinated. As at a couple of days ago, just 124,000 persons had received their first jab, and 2800 had received both. We know there’s enough vaccines for each of the above to receive their second shot, but we still have a long way to go to reach the 600,000 double doses that is projected to give us “herd immunity”.
Our challenge is to get those vaccines to fill the gap. The biggest disappointment has been from WHO-COVAX consortium that had promised us 100,000 AstraZeneca, but then reduced it to 24,000 because the rich countries didn’t step up to the crease. The US had been sitting on 100 million doses of AstraZeneca even though it said it wouldn’t be using them on its populace. It has now said it would be distributing 60 million.
Will we get any?
…or frittering away support
It’s quite clear that even as we do battle with this COVID wave that’s now a tsunami, the PNC’s not going to offer us any respite on the political front. It’s very common that, during wartime, opposition political parties in democracies stop opposing for opposing sake to make common cause with the government against the common enemy.
We know that the PNC – with Harmon running the COVID Task Force – used the COVID threat to stymie the recount. But things weren’t so bleak then, and your Eyewitness had hoped that, in light of what we’re facing right now, the PNC would rise to the occasion for the greater good. Yes, dear reader, hope beats eternal in your Eyewitness’s heart! Unfortunately, they’re unwilling to even encourage their supporters to be vaccinated!! How low can they sink to risk the lives of their own people? This is the height of irresponsibility, if not criminality!
But, surely, they’re alienating some right-minded folks from their camp. Not everyone is a lemming.
It’s rather pitiful that some oldsters are insisting that there’s still a WPA. Whatever goodwill was left going into the campaign was dissipated after they supported the blatant rigging after March 3rd.
Please go quietly into the night.