Commentary: 2023 Could Turn into 2020

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By Alicia Chamely

LET me begin by apologising for the missing words ramble of last week. Last year had been a particularly rough year for me and I was washing it away with copious amounts of rum punch, which I have learned makes me feel bulletproof until it doesn’t, I’ll spare you the details.

With that out of the way let us reflect on the first week of 2023.

Hey murders, see you guys are still pumping! Wanna take a little break? No/yes/maybe?

PoPo y’all there? Guy and gals in heavy wool uniforms and breezing through traffic. Would be nice if you were all a bit more visible and active, think of it as a New Year’s resolution.

Our mighty Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley gave his annual year-end interview with the Express Newspaper and was super warm and cuddly as always. Express Political Editor Ria Taitt straight up asked him where he was when half the country was underwater a few weeks ago. Mr Sunshine and Giggles said he had no desire to partake in “flood politics” and be photographed being pulled through six inches of flood water on a canoe sad and grinning, with his arms outstretched like some side alley discount Mother Theresa. Rowley said he was busy working and coordinating from the dry comfort of his home and office and people should know that… and did he work hard.

Homeslice, in times of crisis would it kill you to dismount the high horse? Nobody was asking you to do an Anne Lebovitz editorial photoshoot, but making an appearance, being seen by the people you swore to represent, goes a long way. Even if it was for a couple of minutes, even if you had to take some abuse, you needed to be there.

But I guess our PM is banking on our nation’s seven-minute memory and getting caught up in CAARRR-NEEE-VVAALL!

Yes! It’s back! After two long years, we will once again be free to party like animals and pretend like we live in a paradise. Carnival, the two days every year, Trinis get along for the most part and the only time we don’t threaten to boycott anyone over price increases. Five thousand dollars for a strip of butt floss, two nipple sequins and a feather… best deal ever!

Everyone seems to be slowly getting into the mood with fete season rapidly approaching. There appeared to be some drama with fete promoters feeling left out and getting the runaround, the usual mishaps of doing anything in T&T. The only person who seems to have all the green flags and the “go get em son” approvals is Machel, who this year is having his 190th retirement celebration.

You know, I love him. That man went from Mr Fete, to Monk, to the Groom, to all peaceful spiritual Yogi, to the Chocolate King. You must admire someone who just does what ever he wants without fear of looking like a looney toon.

Oh, speaking of fear and looney toons, guess what’s bubbling back up and stressing Uncle Terry out? Covid-19 baby! Reports coming out of the US have identified a new variant which they have called, “the most transmissible yet!”

Once again, we have the “close the borders, cancel carnival” posse that clearly forgot that this same last year they were screaming, “open the borders, open the country, all yuh starving people, yuh too wicked!”

Pretty certain that new Covid strain is probably already here, also certain there will be an influx of cases prior to Carnival as we all did a lot of liming this Christmas and ole years, maskless and fear-free.

Hopefully, we move a little smarter this time around. Get vaccinated, yes you will still get sick, but your body will be better equipped to fight it versus had you not been vaccinated. Don’t be a fool, if you aren’t feeling well, stay home.

And hopefully, our Ministry of Health will be a bit smarter. Increase access to testing and home testing, put things in place now… red alert y’all… because there will be hospitalisations. Create a proper work-from-home policy for public servants so that if things do get dodgy you can rotate your workforce, 50% in office, 50% remote, to reduce employee exposure.

The reality is we cannot, I repeat, cannot go back into a situation of lockdown. Our economy cannot sustain it, nor can the emotional well-being of society. Let’s not forget how hard our criminal enterprises had to work last year to make up for being shut indoors for so long, bandits have hearts too… jokes, jokes… but shutting them away again wouldn’t be the worse thing.

If they close schools again with no proper educational plan, I am for sure making jail, because this mad woman will run riot.

Let’s not be dummies this year. Let’s not hide away from the people who need us, let’s not do crime, let’s wild out on Carnival responsibly, and let’s take the precautions we need to take so this does turn into a repeat of 2020.


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