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 Covid-19: One Year Later

Covid-19 injection. Azlan Mohammed/ AZP News

Covid-19: One Year Later

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By Alicia Chamely

I used to have reoccurring nightmares where I am driving around the Queen’s Park Savannah.

Around and around, completely unable to get off, get out of what appears to be a never ending loop. Sometimes my car has no brakes, sometimes my car randomly turns into a bicycle, it is weird I know and yes I am aware I have issues.

I’ve begun to believe that these reoccurring nightmares weren’t nightmares at all, but were instead symbolic premonitions of what would be occurring in the Covid-19 pandemic.

That’s right I dreamt the future… sort of.

It has been a year since “normal” life was disrupted. Schools closed, borders closed and a host of restrictions were placed upon us to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. These measures were, for the most part, adhered too. Naturally, there was some resistance, but we tend to be a resistant people. Resilient too, I must add.

We semi-trusted there was some plan; some hope that life would re-gain some sort of normalcy. Hope that our Government had a plan to re-ignite the damaged economy. Hope that when a vaccine became available our little island with numerous resources would be able to get enough, on time, to start reopening the country and kick starting the economy.

Here we are a year later and … erm… this is disappointing. Our first case of Covid-19 was recorded on March 12, 2020.

Somewhere along the line we came to the realisation that maybe those in charge had not quite put much forward thought into things as we would have liked to believe.

We were hit with some semi-ridiculous restrictions, such as having to wear a mask in your personal vehicle when travelling with members of your family… because apparently Covid-19 does not spread in your house just in your car.

Excuses were made about not being able to tell if the car was personal vehicle or a PH taxi and many of us answered with “and das our fault all yuh doh know who pulling bull with their car?” Essentially we had to pay for the failure of those who are meant to up hold the law.

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We discovered the whole “close the borders” plan wasn’t also very well thought out. It became apparent that those in charge had no clue how long they would have to keep them closed, how much people were actually outside of the country and had no streamlined system in place to handle repatriation requests.

This was made crystal clear, when nearly ten months after borders closed, the Ministry of National Security proudly announced they had developed an online system to apply for exemption back into the country. This was something that should have been done at the start yuh pack of geniuses!

Around and around we went; and with each passing month, each new law or restriction, our hope and sanity began to dwindle.

Yay! A vaccine! Whoo! More than one! Yipee! I am sure our health minister has it covered! Brap! Brap! Come on CMO with yuh sweet voice announce the vaccination dates and times!

*crickets*

Never have I ever felt such envy than when my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in Barbados sent a photo of their vaccination cards after having received their first dose of Covishield on February 26, approximately at 9:16 am.

I was salty to say the least and this envy turned in to rage as I saw friends in St Lucia, the UK and the US celebrate their vaccinations.

I looked to my Government for any signal of hope with bated breath…

*crickets*

Well not total silence; there were some excuses about getting half an order, promises of more to come and some bickering with the Opposition.

Aunty Kams saw her chance to be a hero and used some flowery language and a whole lot of “feel sorry for us” in writing to the Prime Minister of India begging for him to kindly give us some vaccinations as he had done with our CARICOM neighbors.

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As journalist and common sense expert Kejan Haynes pointed out while the UNC and PNM fight each other over who asked for vaccines, who offered to pay; the person we should be pissed at the is the Indian High Commissioner Arun Kumar Sahu. The High Commissioner who lives in Trinidad, but has shared all of his diplomatic love to Barbados and the lot with free vaccinations while scorning the nation that hosts him.

Why doesn’t India like us?

Around and around we go.

As for the economy, where is that report from the special road map to recovery committee… has anyone seen it? Cause from where I am standing with closed borders, forex shortages, Covid restrictions and an unstable energy sector, it might be a good idea to look at those suggestions.

Again it is all hope and speculation, but surely our Government realises this is actually an excellent time to diversify and reconstruct our economy in a way that is more sustainable and innovative than what we currently have.

I am not sure when we will ever get off this merry-go-round of misery.

I do have some miniscule shred of hope that maybe schools can partially open come September, that when we finally get vaccinations in order we can maybe open our borders by year end, that maybe our economy can scrape through another few months of starvation and then come back from the dead.

One year later and we are still stuck travelling around in circles.

I am not sure about you, but I am beginning to feel some severe motion sickness.

 

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