EYEWITNESS: National concerns…

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…on vendors and COVID-19

Yesterday, your Eyewitness noted – en passant – that while the established businesses in Georgetown are being monitored, and even fined, for not observing the COVID-19 protocols, the vendors, who continue to occupy the pavements in front of those businesses cheek by jowl, have been left to “do their thing”.

That “thing” being to absolutely guarantee that no one who’s forced to sidle past them can maintain a foot’s social distance, much less the required 3 to 6 feet. Not to mention pushing their goods in your face to get your attention (and the money). Who checks to make sure they aren’t carriers of the virus? Does anyone check their temperatures or sanitisation of their hands?

At long last, the authorities are BEGINNING to appreciate the enormity of this COVID-19 threat – probably only because the infections are now increasing quantitatively and qualitatively.

From 218 deaths in the first year – from ground zero, March 25 with our first (imported) death, to March 25 2021, we had 218 fatalities. Which works out to .6/daily deaths. But from then to April 8 – a mere 14 days – our deaths increased by 34. Giving us a death rate of 2.4/daily: an increase of almost FOUR TIMES in just two weeks!! Not surprisingly, the infection rate has also increased commensurately!

Qualitatively, young people are now dying…we had one 26-year-old fatality, if your Eyewitness’s memory serves him right. This is the most worrying development. Not that we shouldn’t worry about oldsters passing on, but they at least have lived long enough to fulfill their potential (of whatever quantum!)! But what about these young’uns? The ones we’re hoping to develop our nation? Can we afford to have them culled?

Well, we know there are no silver bullets against COVID- 19, not even the vaccines and the “herd immunity” we’re hearing about, because of the mutations that the virus is undergoing all the time! So, it means we have to cast our net of weapons as far and as widely as possible. And this is where we call upon the authorities to include the vendors in their list of possible vectors of the virus.

Now, your Eyewitness is very sympathetic to the needs of the vendors and the services they provide to a poverty-stricken populace. But THIS COVID-19 noose is drawing tighter and tighter every day. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and these are certainly the most desperate of times.

Isn’t this the time to relocate our vendors? How about to the $1.6 billion Jubilee Park? There, the vending can be regulated health-wise and otherwise. And they’ll be large enough to attract their own clientele looking for bargains.

Meaning most of Guyana!

…on public servants’ funds

The PNC’s been protesting quite vehemently that those of its appointees to various public bodies, who’ve been subsequently charged by the Government for various and sundry alleged illegal actions, shouldn’t be dismissed. Innocent until proven guilty and all that! But it would seem that Patrick Yard, President of the GPSU – one of the foundation pillars of the PNC on account of its 14,000 members in the 22,000 strong Public Service – hasn’t gotten the message.

Yarde’s insisting that Trevor Benn (of GL&SC fame) step aside as Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the GPSU Credit Union, ahead of its AGM on April 11.

Why? Well, he was charged for some alleged hanky-panky at the GL&SC!! So, is Yarde confronting the PNC, which has backed Benn to the hilt on his charges? Well, it was the PNC who’d placed Benn in the IMC over the GPSUCU – because of suspected hanky-panky there by Yarde and his minions!

Oh, what a tangled web…

…on ‘it takes a village’

Remember when “it took a village to raise a child”? Well, it might be returning. Seems that in Kaneville EBD, villagers soundly trashed a village teenager who robbed another youth. He had to receive medical attention.