Barbados Post COVID -19

 

[We’re] not having a Budget or anything soon because it is just too fluid [blogmaster’s emphasis] . . . The budget was not intended to have any new taxes and therefore there is no reason for an immediate budget and we therefore will wait and see,” Mottley told media managers during a meeting yesterday at Government Headquarters.

Source: Mottley: No budget, we’ll wait and see

Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced this week the cancellation of the Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals  (budget). Some will agree with Mottley that government’s economic policy is heavily influenced by BERT and relieving the country from the annual talk shop starring MPs and Senators is welcomed.

The use of the word ‘fluid’ by the prime minister is interesting against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are fixated on the public health requirement. Policymakers must also think about positioning the country to recover quickly from the crisis.

The blogmaster hopes the reason offered by the prime minster for cancelling the ‘budget’ is the usual political flummery. Barbados finds itself in a tenuous position after many years of economic decline. Two years into BERT the COVID-19 pandemic could not have reared its head at a worse time. It exposes what we have always known – Barbados like other countries in the region are most vulnerable to shocks (exogenous). It defines an open economy.

It is the observation of this blogmaster that commenters in this forum and elsewhere experience difficulty walking and chewing gum when discussing the issues.  Of course public health safety is the priority but it cannot be the only priority.

Discuss for 25 marks how we must use another global crisis to reorder the way Barbadians do business at the household and national level.

What we have to worry about is that the virus DOES NOT force us to reorder how we manage our affairs at a national and household level. If we reorder how we manage our affairs then we would have nothing to worry about. If we continue to be lacking in vision, planning, willpower, effective leadership, active citizenship and energy we will soon regret it.

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures – William Shakespeare

This is an OPPORTUNE time to pause and reflect. This pain need not be in vain!

Donna – BU Commenter

 

 

 

 

532 comments

  • @ Hal March 20, 2020 2:10 PM

    On the Daily mail, UK FB I said that there is a lack of leadership on Boris’ part. He should have closed all the bars long ago. He is supposed to do so tonight. With Italy, Salvini would have had things under control. Imagine he is being charged with kidnapping illegal migrants, because he stopped them from entering Italy.. Italy is going to leave the EU after this episode.

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  • @ Hal March 20, 2020 2:14 PM

    Most likely it has mutated in Italy. All microbes that multiply rapidly also exhibit high rates of mutation. This is especially so if humans are encountering the pathogenic organism for the first. The pathogen is free to run amok, If it has mutated, the protocols for treatment have to be modified. It has been reported that mortality rates are higher for males. Of those who have died in Italy, more than two-thirds are males. Same happened in China. Can’t be definite for now, more data have to be collected from else where. it is surmised that because males’ immune systems are less hardy than female, that that maybe the reason. The problem with democracies, is that it takes a high of a long time to get the citizenry to obey directives. Boris will have to order a state of emergency and put the twenty-thousand troops on the street to enforce very strict fines and jail terms. Trump has apparently now enforced the war’s power act. In countries like Russia young people have to conform or the penalties are very severe.

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  • Thanks Hants. One redeeming characteristic of the Mottley government is that she has been visible with all public speeches accessible online.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Robert

    It looks as if Boris is playing the usual Brit game of softly, softly. By this time next week people will be ordered off the streets, institutions closed and people will need special permission to be outside.
    This looks like a battle for human survival.

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  • Everything just got VERY real.

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  • It was inevitable

    The coronavirus threat has hit home hard for a family who discovered they have been exposed to one of the five people who tested positive here.

    Starcom Network News spoke to a lady whose husband attended a party with a man who had returned from a trip to the USA and subsequently tested positive but only knew about his status after he had been in close contact with a number of people at a social gathering. Starcom Network is withholding her name and disguising her voice at her request.

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  • RE Everything just got VERY real.

    IT AINT GET REAL YET CHILE

    WAIT TILL THE SCENARIOS DESCRIBED IN REVELATION SIX START TO UNFOLD

    IT IS THEN THAT IT WILL REALLY GET REAL

    UNFORTUNATELY, I WONT BE AROUND TO PISS IN DAVID’S POCKET AS I WAS ORDERED EARLIER IN THE DAY

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  • The Caribbean is in real trouble. We are currently witnessing in Europe a virus that appears to be testing the integrity of its incomparable health system. A system that is the envy of the world and a system that is heavily subsidised by the tax payer.

    And yet! The news from Europe is grim and foreboding. When this virus takes a grip in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean we could witness an unleashing of a holocaust. Who will come to the region’s assistance? We in Europe can barely cope.

    The Caribbean will be left to its own devices to survive. And I fear the worse.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-travel-restrictions-border-shutdowns-country-200318091505922.html

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  • My message to Mia is clear and simple. With Covid-19 on the scene you have a golden opportunity to ditch those numerous non-Africans who have been influencing you since you gained power. The arrival of Covid-19 sets a new paradigm for governments the world over. Even the UK Conservative government has been forced to adopt socialist policies to address the new realities.

    When certain non-African voices instruct you to keep our borders open to tourism tell them to go to hell. Use this period to remove the mal influence that this minority has on the direction of our country. Profit from this period and purge them all..

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  • Sage advice to Mia, she is being given an opportunity to release herself from the grip of parasites so the whole island can ultimately benefit, but will she heed advice or eventually crash and burn.

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  • @ Hal March 20, 2020 4:49 PM

    He was depending on the herd factor. Seems like most of Europe was doing so. He must be decisive. If needed a few broken bones will get the message across to all those who refuse to adhere to the law.

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  • It is being said Barbados has 2 new cases,,

    When the army has been called out in US to take over the streets…it is going down

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  • The president is speaking, but so far it is all about how wonderful the government is. Nothing about the economic crisis. She is also dismissive of a runny nose.

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  • The reality has not even began to get real yet
    For those who supported Mia nonsensical policies to keep borders open for such a length of time
    Would in time see the astronomical cost of the virus resulting from Mia stubbornness and arrogance trying to appease the tourist sector
    I would dare say that in the coming months especially around flu season barbados would experience a season they never dreamed of
    Recklessness and greed would be the underscoring point to be made against this govt

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  • The reality has not even began to get real yet
    For those who supported Mia nonsensical policies to keep borders open for such a length of time
    Would in time see the astronomical cost of the virus resulting from Mia stubbornness and arrogance trying to appease the tourist sector
    I would dare say that in the coming months especially around flu season barbados would experience a season they never dreamed of
    Recklessness and greed would be the underscoring point to be made against this govt

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  • @Hal

    The Prime Minister is addressing the nation on the economic consequences of the viral outbreak. I have the radio tuned out. I do not need her to tell me that things are going to be very bad. I will share this story with you as related to me by my brother. He said that he was in a conversation with a worker of the Sanitation Service Authority, who confessed that the real reason behind the walk out by workers last week was prompted by the fact that the workers wanted more money to drive the newly acquired trucks. All I could say when I heard that story was that robotics could t come fast enough. This sense of entitlement pervades all sectors of this country. This virus should be a reality check for all and sundry.

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  • Who is funding the sick people on the cruise liners. 4 tested positive, they will need care if they become too ill and have to be hospitalized, will the island be reimbursed.

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  • @ Robert

    I do not think she realises the seriousness of the situation; she is talking waffle. As to Bajan greed, it is part of the Bajan Condition. We are all in it together. I have said before do not just blame the lawyers, the entire nation is predatory.
    The Estimates should have been redrafted.

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  • Well, the airlines are being pulled so the ports will only be open to food and medicine in Barbados and the Caribbean going forward….the airports are obviously one of the breeding grounds.

    This virus cares about no one. it as said over ten priests and possibly 18 in Italy died form the virus.

    “U.S. Embassy Bridgetown
    2 hrs ·
    #Barbados: American Airlines will cease flights to and from Barbados effective March 23. and JetBlue will cease flights effective March 22.”

    “A third Transportation Security Administration officer conducting screenings at JFK Airport has been diagnosed with the coronavirus as federal officials prepare to close down and consolidate security checkpoints at area airports, authorities said Friday.

    A Federal Aviation Administration technician also tested positive for the coronavirus, causing a thorough cleaning of tower facilities, officials said Friday.”

    U.S. citizens considering returning to the US are urged to work with their airlines while flights are still available”

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  • Robotics couldn’t come fast enough
    Lucas are u for real
    As a man knowledgeable in the science of microbiology one would think u would understand the economics driven by health cause for sanitation workers to receive a decent wage above and beyond and inspite of what request they made for increase in salary which in reality money could not compensate for the level and type of work they do daily which is unhealthy
    Furthermore when other sectors in corporate long out hand govt does not think too long and hard to deliver
    E.g the cruise ships docked have asked govt for some breaks on fees govt quickly obliged
    Also the test along with decreasing docking fees for the cruise liner govt obliged without in as much as taking a vote in parliament
    Mind u all at taxpayers cost
    Therefore why is it that when the meek and lowly govt worker already receiving the shitty end of the stick ask for a few pennies increase their is always a long hue and cry and longing out of mouth with grabbled responses as to asking”who do these govt workers think they are”

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  • It is clear the president does not understand the crisis. She is now talking about using the so-called fiscal space to spend on polyclinics and the QEH. Does she understand what is going on?
    If we are now buying beds for the pandemic, it means we do not have them now. So we are unprepared? A Bds$20m household survival programme; I hope the 1500 most vulnerable families does not include squatters. They get $600 a month each.

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  • NO SHORE LEAVE FOR CRUISE WORKERS

    by Shamkoe Pilé | Mar 20, 2020

    Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has given strict instructions that no shore leave will be granted to persons on board cruise ships that are homeporting in Barbados.

    She made this disclosure during a press briefing held at Ilaro Court today, when she revealed an additional three persons had tested positive for COVID-19, including a crew member in his 30s. This brings the total cases on the island to five.

    Prime Minister Mottley explained that the individual had never been to Barbados and noted his vessel had requested the test.

    The crew member is now in isolation on the ship. She added that Barbados had denied another ship’s request to test approximately six cases last week.

    “We refused them because we did not believe that we had the capacity because we had not yet stood up our Defence Force Field Hospital. We only had the limited beds at Enmore at the time, and we believe that it was too many for us to take at once,’ she said.

    Ms. Mottley stressed that the island must continue to meet its obligations as a homeporting destination, pointing out that numerous crew members on ships docked in the Bridgetown Port were due to disembark and return home via air.

    She explained: “We will continue to facilitate the persons who are disembarking the ships to go to the Grantley Adams International Airport only, in order to be able to take their flights. I’ve been advised by the port that the last flight for those persons will leave on Sunday (March 22), and with respect to the rest who remain as crew, there will be no shore leave. We have an obligation to these ships. These ships call Barbados home; there is a legal, contractual, moral, ethical and humanitarian obligation that we have.”

    In addition to facilitating crew members returning to their homelands, she outlined that many of the ships were also in Barbados for provisioning and fuel.

    “They have to be able to feed their crew; they have to be able to provide fuel, and they have to be able to provide water …. I know that this is difficult for some people to hear, but you can’t have the benefits and not also the responsibility. And the reality is that we have had the benefits of homeporting now for in excess of 15 years; and regrettably, this is now the obligation that we have to carry out, with respect to the provisioning. None of us would feel good if the ship runs out of fuel or water mid-ocean in circumstances where we had an obligation to them because of being a homeport,” Ms. Mottley underscored.

    The Prime Minister also stated that from Sunday, March 22, persons arriving from the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Europe would be quarantined for 14 days.

    This is in addition to travellers who would have been to Iran, China, South Korea and Italy, which were already on the quarantine list.

    Barbadian residents will be placed in self-quarantine if they are deemed by health authorities to be at low-risk for COVID-19, while all others will be quarantined at a facility.

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  • The president has just made a brilliant announcement. She has instructed the oil company to hedge oil prices for the next two years. We should have been using the derivatives markets years ago.
    She should not extend that to other importations, including food and other commodities. Welcome to the real world. That alone will reduce our import bill.

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  • @WURA-War-on-U March 20, 2020 3:11 AM “…always in ya garden from sun up to sundown.”

    True.

    Planted some okra today. There was a little rain already tonight. The first fruits should be ready by May 1.

    If Donna hasn’t started yet she should do so soon.

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  • Barbados has six coronavirus cases.

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  • Many people are talking about vitamin C, but I do the outdoor work for the vitamin D as well since it seems to be an immune system boost. The good thing about it is that it is free

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/
    “It is now clear that vitamin D has important roles in addition to its classic effects on calcium and bone homeostasis. As the vitamin D receptor is expressed on immune cells (B cells, T cells and antigen presenting cells) and these immunologic cells are all are capable of synthesizing the active vitamin D metabolite, vitamin D has the capability of acting in an autocrine manner in a local immunologic milieu. Vitamin D can modulate the innate and adaptive immune responses. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection.”

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  • 4 on cruise ship docked in Barbados text positive for the virus. That should not be the island’s responibility, those numbers will keep rising and they are not prepared nor have adequate resources to deal with a sudden large outbreak, not even locally.

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  • WURA-War-on-U
    March 20, 2020 7:31 PM

    Who is funding the sick people on the cruise liners. 4 tested positive, they will need care if they become too ill and have to be hospitalized, will the island be reimbursed.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Remember Dr. Sparman and the British tourist who had to seek medical treatment locally.

    The patient paid probably through insurance.

    Cruise Ships with cases on board get quarantined.

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  • Hal Austin
    March 20, 2020 7:08 PM

    The president is speaking, but so far it is all about how wonderful the government is. Nothing about the economic crisis. She is also dismissive of a runny nose.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    She should not fool around with her health.

    She is over 50 and a smoker.

    https://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/92825/mia-warns-youth-about-smoking

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  • John…frightening scenario…those cruise ships taking on provisions and other supplies should have left days ago. why are they still hanging around. The airlines are shutting down and many of the crew will be stuck if they can’t get out.

    She was warned about allowing thousands of cruise passengers to wander around the town and refused to listen, no one knows when an outbreak will start because of that recklessness.

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  • Barbados is home port for many cruise ships and has a legal responsibility to deliver medical care to crew et al.

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  • MARI BIRD BRAIN POSA

    When corporate CLICO and SANDALS ask DEM for an ease, they give way everything that was asked of them
    Yet when the men that holding the shitty end of the stick plus the BWA ones that had to be constantly mopping up the shit from the streets on the south coast asked for a raise how many pennies did the DLP government give to them?
    or how much toffees?

    not even a toffee paper to lick duh get.

    so hush you donkey.

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  • ur not u

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @Hal. I agree. That oil hedging for two years is a good move. By the way, how many barrels are we contracting for? I hope it’s for the full 100%. Barbados consumed around ~ max 15000 barrels per day.

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  • @ Mariposa March 20, 2020 8:03 PM

    Be realistic. There are shortages of the testing kits. Why should they get more for driving the new trucks? if you had read correctly my post, you would have seen that, the individual in no way alluded to any concerns about the virus. You would also have noticed the following also: ” This sense of entitlement pervades all sectors of this country.” I do not know what you understood the latter statement to mean.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @john. The denominator in italy is shorely known. And going by that ratio, their death rate is hovering around 9%. Unless italy is an outlier, this mortality rate ain’t no joke.

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  • Barbados is home port for many cruise ships and has a legal responsibility to deliver medical care to crew et al.(Quote)

    Wrong. Home port is a commercial relations more for the convenience of the ship and the money-making for the port than any legal obligation. The legal obligation is on the home jurisdiction of the ship ie the flag it is flying. If it is flying a Barbadian trident, then yes, if not no. Ships do not fly flags just for fun.

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  • Go and tell the Prime Minister she is wrong, Barbados has obligations to the crew of ships calling the Barbados Port home. This is what she said yesterday. She is a lawyer and should . As usual you know evuhting.

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  • The Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory in Barbados became one of the first in the Caribbean to acquire test kits and reagents for COVID – 19 detection in the Caribbean …

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  • The flag of a ship has, from earliest days, provided an indication of that vessel’s nationality – the country under which it derived its legal status and whose laws applied to its operations. It was, in practical terms, necessary to fly a flag which was a visible indication of the state under whose protection that ship operated, backed up with the papers which would be carried by the Master. And as international trade developed in the Middle Ages, protection was important as warring nations and city states built naval forces to establish their writ at sea and control seas they claimed as their own….

    Flag states are provided with extensive powers of oversight and control of the safety of ships flying their flags, with specific obligations for the inspection of their ships, jurisdiction and administration of the owning entities, the Master and officers and crew of the ship. They are required to provide “their” ships with appropriate certificates that demonstrate that the ship has been inspected and complied with international rules and standards. The SOLAS and MARPOL Conventions are highly detailed documents which do not permit flag states much “wriggle room” for interpretation.
    The flag state is also firmly in control of criminal and disciplinary powers with the duty to enforce penal jurisdiction where there have been breaches of regulations that have led to incidents such as collision, stranding or pollution. In such cases, it is required to respond to reports of violations involving ships flying its flags, institute proceedings and to inform the informing state of its action. Similarly, the Law of the Sea Convention, IMO conventions and ILO instruments all make the flag state responsible for inquiries into the circumstances surrounding casualties, which importantly are obligations and not “options”, that may or may not, be exercised……(Quote)

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  • A reminder of your comment about BERT, It is a matter of record:

    @ John A

    It took a pandemic and a three-hour speech to dump BERT. We have been saying BERT could not work for nearly two years.

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  • Cut and paste nonsense from Google. It is known maritime law governing the seas is old and complicated and consequently has been exploited by ship owners. According to you, the several cruise ships berthed at the Barbados port (home port) should fly suspected crew members to Liberia or some other country where it is flying a flag of convenience.

    http://www.ucs.br/etc/revistas/index.php/rosadosventos/article/download/1968/1194

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  • A reminder of your comment about BERT, It is a matter of record:

    @ John A

    It took a pandemic and a three-hour speech to dump BERT. We have been saying BERT could not work for nearly two years…(Quote)

    ????????????

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  • You may have the last word.

    Four* crew members test positive
    One crew member aboard a vessel off Barbados’ coast, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday (March 18) is now one of four infected crew members.

    It has not been specified if the four confirmed cases sit all on one cruise ship.

    Barbados is the testing site for cruise ships that are homeporting in the Bridgetown Port.

    Under the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2007, Barbados is obligated to render medical care to anyone who becomes ill on board a cruise ship which homeports here.

    https://www.loopnewsbarbados.com/content/covid-19-barbados-has-six-confirmed-cases-island

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  • Barbados has a moral right to treat any sick passengers on ANY ships in its waters/ports.

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  • Under the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2007, Barbados is obligated to render medical care to anyone who becomes ill on board a cruise ship which homeports here. {Quote}

    @ David

    What you are saying was mentioned many times in the press and by Ms Mottley. She even quoted the law to show how Barbados is obligated to provide some sort of medical treatment. The home port is the port where cruise ship passengers board to start their cruise and disembark the cruise ship at the end of their cruise. A cruise ship could be registered in Spain and flies the Spanish flag, but it’s home port could be Barbados.

    You got to remember the silly man is ALWAYS RIGHT and all us of here are beneath him and ALWAYS WRONG. He went and do what he always criticizing people for doing. He GOOGLED and COPY and PASTE something about where a ship is registered and that is totally different from what you said.

    But you know what I does always tell wunnuh? Google only becomes a good source of information when HE use it. When others use it, he says they are Googling and copy and pasting nonsense.

    It looking like he learn by rote, too.

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  • The maritime claim for Barbados is a territorial sea of 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi),

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  • Yes agree that humantarian should be the first order of business when it comes to health
    However underneath that goodwill lies an economic question
    Should taxpayers foot the health cost for these big privately owned conglomerates
    The moral duty does give way to help and support
    But the economic duty should be placed on the big conglomerate to do what is economically right for small island nations in footing the health cost
    Furthermore these cruise liners would have sufficient insurance to pay the health cost
    In addition govt has already lessen some of the cruise industry burden by removing or cutting some docking fees

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  • Barbados has a moral right to treat any sick passengers on ANY ships in its waters/ports.(Quote)

    Correct.

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  • WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR SOMEONE THAN HAS CONTRCTED THE VIRUS and remain on the ship (which will have its own medical staff)?

    what is the treatment of a heart attacked victim that had come on shore (or is shot by one of the local hooligans)

    What are the economical cost of each case?

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  • fortyacresandamule
    March 21, 2020 2:37 AM

    @john. The denominator in italy is shorely known. And going by that ratio, their death rate is hovering around 9%. Unless italy is an outlier, this mortality rate ain’t no joke.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Agree no joke but denominator is unknown, simple fact.

    Mortality rate cannot be determined at this stage!!

    No one knows how many are infected as everyone has not been tested and the situation is fluid.

    America loses up to 80,000 to flu in a bad year.

    In the particular instance of Swine Flu in 2009, approximately 17,000 died from the outbreak and 60 million were infected, mortality rate 0.023%.

    But who knows until the pandemic has run its course.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-h1n1-totally-chill/partly-false-claim-covid-19-and-h1n1-numbers-compared-the-public-was-totally-chill-during-the-h1n1-pandemic-of-2009-2010-while-covid-19-is-causing-mass-hysteria-idUSKBN2172HT

    “Calculating mortality rates during a disease epidemic is difficult, in part because the numbers of deaths and patients constantly change. That’s why World Health Organization (WHO) officials – who said last week that 3.4% of the people worldwide confirmed as having been infected with the new coronavirus had died – were careful not to describe that as a mortality rate or death rate (here). In 2013, Reuters reported (here) that at least one in five people worldwide were infected with swine flu during the first year of the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic, according to an international research group at the time, but the death rate was just 0.02 percent.”

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  • The mortality rate will be determined some time in the future, when the infections (denominator) and deaths (numerator) stop increasing.

    For now, it is a matter of trying to stem the flow by attacking the denominator and numerator separately.

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  • So now that BERT has gone BUST and she has to reorganize, remember that Whitehoax was hired on the premise that they could perform magic with BERT…to the tune eventually of 62 million, hope that is not US and an additional 85,000 US PER MONTH that they have been getting since early May, 2018…this is now 2020….there is no proof that they have produced substantially for those huge payments or delivered anything better than meeting IMF targets……so will there be some kinda refund now that the promised BERT MAGICIANS Whitehoax have not delivered and the shift is to blame Covid-19 for that cockup.

    What would they still need all these consultants for when very early on Legarde former IMF head said that poor islands should not need consultants, since we always hear the lying politicians always claim they can walk on water and turn bread to wine…she should be answering those questions, if Barbados had a media that was not too yellow belly to ask.

    She also refused to test 6 workers on a ship, i believe, suspected cases that the ship requested, so i guess there is some wiggle room in what she can refuse to do, they should still be responsibility, the shipping company and should have insurance for their employees on the ships.

    Here is a very valid reason why one should never trust anything that UK and their imps and pimps say, i always knew there was more to that story, because of course you are dealing with UK.. They are still denying Caribbean people born under the British flag DUAL UK CITIZENSHIP.

    “Nathaniel moved from the Caribbean to the UK as a citizen, when his birth “country” was still part of the British Empire. Because of this, many people from the Caribbean, including my grandmother, arrived on British passports. Others, like my aunts, arrived later on their parents’ passports. They lived, worked and had families without the need for documents. But new immigration laws in 2014 and 2016 forced individuals to prove their status to access basic public services, rent housing or start a new job.

    Wendy Williams, author of the Lessons Learned review, found that a lack of understanding of this history by Home Office staff and successive governments was a root cause of the Windrush scandal, calling it “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race and the history of the Windrush generation”.

    The comprehensive report shows us how immigration legislation in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s made it harder for people of colour to move to the UK and laid the architecture for the scandal. Commonwealth citizens who moved to the UK before 1973 were entitled to stay and didn’t need to prove it. They had the option to register before 1987 – but the government’s own publicity at the time said there would be “no consequences” if they didn’t.”

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  • Does Barbados pay international airlines to fly in to Barbados? If so, are we still paying?

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  • While we remain steadfastly committed in support of the gallant efforts of regional governments in combatting the COVID-19, we are also aware, that the economies of the various countries may never be the same.

    The question surfacing among progressive voices is whether it is possible to finally rid ourselves of the plantation economy, while we seek to remodel our fiscal approach after the COVID-19 era. It is widely believed that the effects of this malady, will impact for at least another five or ten years. The COVID -19 has taught us that the best of plans can be disrupted by totally unforeseen and unexpected events. As our elders used to drive in our heads: “Trouble don’t set up like rain”.

    While we certainly do not expect the remnants of the plantation economy to simply disappear; we believe that any restructuring of our economies, must involve a decreased dependency on tourism and food imports, if our economies are to ever become sustainably stronger. In recent weeks, we have witnessed leaders throughout the region trying to keep their air and seaports opened, in order to negate the shocks of COVID-19. However, closed or opened, we simply could not expect any tourists to be seeking sun, blue waters and white sands at this time.

    Suddenly, there were voices lamenting the fact, that in most territories, the agricultural industry had taken back seat to tourism. Small farmers had become accustomed to the iron birds depositing smiling foreign faces eager to enjoy the experience of “de islands”. In the meantime, the farmers struggled to keep the agricultural industries afloat.

    The fickle realities of the tourism industry have now been laid bare before our very eyes. We always knew that any global occurrence of the COVID -19 magnitude, will devastate those economies that depended on the iron birds and floating hotels. We are reminded of yet another saying: “The stone that the builder refuse will become the head corner stone”.

    We expect our technocrats to continue their efforts in removing the remnants of the plantation economy, but we can rebuild our agricultural industry because we need look no farther than our own individual back yards and try to grow something. At least we will now be growing it for ourselves and not overlords in England and elsewhere. Having overcome physical slavery, we must now remove economic slavery. We have no doubt that the iron birds and floating hotels will return. They can fly and sail, but we must eat!

    We continue to give full solidarity to our regional leaders, as they continue their gallant efforts in battling the effects of the COVI9-19.

    ( On behalf of the Mahogany Coconut Group).

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  • @William

    how does one become a member of the MCG

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  • Greene
    Just go to our website: http://www.mahoganycoconut.blogspot.com
    and we’ll take it from there.

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  • @ Hal,

    793 fatalities in Italy; whilst in Spain they have breached the 300 mark.

    There seems to be a large number of cruise ships loitering within our waters.

    Like

  • Before this comment provokes the usual subjects, the point has been made repeatedly that Barbados is home port for several cruise ships. Some of them have crew members onboard who will be airlifted from the island if they have not been already.

    Like

  • @TLSN

    We should pull up the shutters on our borders, apart from goods and services. Allowing Barbados to be the home port for cruise ship passengers flying out of Europe, mainly the UK, was a convenience, but the inconvenient truth is that it could be expensive. We should also confined people to their homes and get non-essential traffic off the streets.
    I mentioned some time ago that the cruise industry is a direct rival to our long stay tourism model. Even the taxi firms are pushed out by the local agents hiring their own transport. In fact, it is worse then the exclusive model.
    Did you listen to the president’s three-hour long rambling, nonsensical, incoherent speech. It was badly in need of good editing – an advantage when a speech is written. I wonder if the BGIS is going to transcribe the speech and post it on its site?
    In the meantime, I still want to know if our mathematicians at the UWI have done any epidemiological models on the viral transfer. At a time like this we need sound political leadership. Even Boris has stepped up. What we get in Barbados is waffle.

    Like

  • Wondering why the PRIME MINISTERS’s Speech would have to be transcribed if there is a video readily available.

    Like

  • @ William

    The Mahogany Coconut Group? What is its programme?

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Hal
    The MCG is committed to the emergence of one Caribbean Nation.It’s mission is to enlighten others by commentary on regional and international matters as they affect the region. Over the years MCG has become a voice in the Diaspora.

    Like

  • I went out for a nice walk early this morning.

    I didn’t breath on anybody, and nobody breathed on me.

    Like

  • @ William

    Very positive. I am still waiting for the voice of CARICOM to speak out, the alignment of policies, the sharing of expertise and best practice.
    Instead we are getting more and more waffle – a one note samba.

    Like

  • @ William

    I have replied re CARICOM, but it appears to have been deleted.

    Like

  • Quite frankly, I have no problem with the prime minister’s actions so far. It seems that businesses, including financial institutions, are stepping up as is the beautiful Rihanna. If Barbadians stay alert and informed I remain hopeful that we will come out better on the other side. Of course, I could be totally wrong but this is my position at present.

    As for those who think we should abandon those on the cruise ships I will remind you that Bajans too love a cruise. There is also a saying that wherever you go in the world you are sure to meet a Bajan.

    The prime minister has to juggle many flame throwers whilst walking a flaming tightrope.

    Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” TheO reminded us a few weeks ago.

    This is the greatest test for Mia and I for one pray that she passes with flying colours. I would advise her that this is the ideal time to break the smoking habit she has had from schooldays. If she survives this virus she should be far more healthy in time for the next.

    PS. John is indeed correct that the denominator is yet unknown. After all the panic we may find that this was indeed less alarming than we thought but even if it is so we will be better prepared for the next more lethal disease.

    Since countries that manufacture goods are already signalling that home drum beats first, i think we have an opportunity here to tell the WTO to take many of their small economy killer regulations and stuff them. This may be the dawning of a new day!

    This pain need not be in vain!

    Like

  • Caricom leaders have met and discussed. They are in constant contact. Waffles taste good and samba dancing is a good way to lose weight and enjoy it.

    Like

  • @ David.

    This is one of the times I am sorry to be proven right under the wrong conditions. Lol

    What I will say is the MOF has basically taken a turnaround on policy and I am happy she did not pull a Sinkler, thereby bringing a revised revision of the revised plan! There is nothing wrong with admitting BERT was a failure, especially at a time of crisis. As you know I support no party and ” does cuss dem both.” I would say what the PM released yesterday was a decent stimulus package under our current conditions.

    I still think though she will come back to us and have to tighten the noose around the banks, as in am not sure she went far enough there. Other than that I can’t fault her on her first corona innings.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Hal
    Please check how you responded. I have not seen any comments from you as yet.

    Like

  • @ Donna,

    Bakes and a mango would be my preference.lol

    @ John A,

    The PM and the government doing the best they know how.

    I believe the effects of this crisis COULD last at least 1 or 2 years

    Like

  • @Hal Austin March 20, 2020 12:00 PM “A young teaching assistant has just been mugged for her groceries in West Sussex. The UK is now a jungle.”

    With no request from me a young friend just brought me a couple of hundred dollars worth of food and cleaning supplies. No jungle here, yet.

    Like

  • @Miller March 20, 2020 7:53 AM “Silly Woman You are right on the comparison between you and Bolt. A volte-face of a Lightning turnaround in your early position when you argue that Covid was nothing but another garden variety of the common harmless yearly bug called the flu.”

    I’ve never argued any such thing. What I did say earlier is that after 1492 a series of Pandemics [or hemi-demics] swept through the “Americas” and that those hemi-demics killed 3/4 of the indigenous populations. And that those peoples were also god’s people

    Too many medical people in the family for me to have misunderstood what has been happening since late December.

    Please note that smoking, primarily tobacco, but also likely marijuana smoking kills 5 million people worldwide each year…and it is hard as hell for medical people to get patients to break that deadly addiction.

    I mean why would anybody insert smoke into their lungs/

    Like

  • @WURA-War-on-U March 20, 2020 3:11 AM “…take a taxi and go get a Pricemart card and buy ya necessities in bulk, once a month or even longer to expose yourself again when you do that.”

    My old man was so smart.

    i live within easy walking distance on not 1, not 2, but 3 food and general supply stores.

    I good…for now.

    P.S. For me an easy walk is anything up to 2 miles.

    Like

  • Now the pattern the virus uses makes a little more sense.

    “A new study in The Lancet medical journal published Wednesday found that the novel coronavirus lived in the respiratory tracts of some patients for more than five weeks. Some of the patients received antiviral medications but the drugs did not appear to shorten the virus’s lifespan.

    The 19 doctors who authored the study analyzed the medical records of 191 patients in China (135 from Jinyintan Hospital and 56 from Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital), including the demographic, clinical, treatment and laboratory data of 137 coronavirus patients who were discharged and 54 patients who died in the hospital.

    They found that the virus was present in the bodies of patients with severe disease status for an average of 19 days, and inside the bodies of patients with critical disease status for an average of 24 days. Overall, the virus was detected for an average of 20 days in patients who were eventually discharged from the hospital. In the respiratory tracts of patients who died, coronavirus was detectable until death.”

    Like

  • @ William

    There should be a two-pronged approach to tackling the coronavirus crisis: one at a regional level and one national. At the regional level we should have the scientists and policymakers, meeting daily and updating themselves on best practice. ie the China, South Korean and Singaporean reaction versus the UK and US.
    On the national level should be the application of policy: public health doctors, quarantining, border safety, internal travel restrictions, social distancing, fiscal policy, etc. again meeting daily (by remote) and responding to new developments ie contagion.
    There is also an argument for another time, @William. Note how the advocates of a small state are now silent when the state extends itself to save capitalism. It did the same in 2007/8 by taking private debt off the books of the banks and putting it on the state’s balance sheets. Not a single bank was put out of business for its recklessness.
    Sometimes the state has a function of saver of last resort.

    @ John A

    The speech was too long and tried to include too many things ie about a golf course, and the price of wall houses and wooden houses etc. There is a time and place fore such references. It should have been solemn as befits the occasion (no sending kisses to Atherley and other silly jokes). Three hours would have sent even a Russian politburo member to sleep.
    As I said, there were two speeches in one: the reaction to the pandemic and the Estimates. They should have been kept separate. The pandemic reaction should have been given on Thursday and the other one postponed for at least a week so as not to conflict. As to rhetoric, it was unimpressive. I have heard better by sixth formers.
    The stimulus should have happened in June 2018. The austerity measures were ill-advised, bad macroeconomics and plunged the nation in to deeper doo-doo. At least we would have saved the money we paid White Oaks. BERT is/was a disaster.
    There was also unintended humour as when she said there was a big international market for Barbados bonds. But there is always a big market for high-paying junk bonds.
    What I am not clear about is if the assets agency is a sovereign wealth fund? Is the list of 1500 most vulnerable families a complete list, and what benefits does being listed entitle them to? Does the list include squatters?
    I am still waiting to see the cascading of the debt to GDP ratio from 176 per cent to 118(?) per cent in less than two years. If this is true it is an economic miracle. How did it happen? Maybe the president or her economic advisers can explain.
    So too are the details of her re-negotiations with the IMF for a restructuring of the payments of the loans, based on a 50 per cent fall in tourism.
    If this 50 per cent assumption has been simulated, then let us here how it would impact the wider economy, and which sectors in particular.
    Then there is the voodoo of Bds$1.5bn in reserves. Is that before or after we have paid our debt, from the foreign creditors to the men and women laid off in 2018 and since? Does the list of the 1500 most vulnerable families include any of those families who the breadwinners lost their jobs?
    I can go on, but to properly analyse the speech we need the full details, including any fiscal impacts.

    Like

  • Review all the data for information.

    “The shortest length of time the virus lived in the respiratory tract of a survivor was eight days. And perhaps most shocking of all, in some cases, the virus persisted for as long as 37 days.

    “This has important implications for both patient isolation decision making and guidance around the length of antiviral treatment,” the authors of the study concluded.

    For weeks, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been advising Americans who traveled to one of the virus’s epicenters or who may have been otherwise exposed to self-quarantine for 14 days. Does this study suggest the risk could persist longer? Well, not necessarily.

    CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus says using this study’s findings to extrapolate how long a person might be contagious is probably taking it a step too far.

    “This is an important study to understand the medical course of patients who have symptomatic cases of Covid-19 infection,” he said in an email. “I would be very cautious to use these data to quantify periods of being infectious. This information has yet to be determined definitively.”

    Like

  • @robert lucas March 20, 2020 1:04 AM “I have no problem with your being nationalistic ( for some one who is opposed to the shedding of blood) you seem ready in this instance to take up arms.”

    Not particularly nationalistic. I pay my taxes, work hard, and do some volunteer work, but i have done that where ever i have lived. Nothing particularly nationalistic about those things.

    Not a fly in any danger from me. i won’t be taking up arms. I won’t be shedding any blood, unless perchance a yard fowl [literal, not political] comes into my yard and i am able to catch her.

    I am more a pacifist than anything else.

    Like

  • @ Hal

    I would agree the speech was long and there was a bit too much politics in there given the seriousness of the situation. Then again if you were the PM and you had as weak an opposition at Atherley, you wouldn’t blow him a kiss too?

    What we need to see now is how the process of Implementation will unfold. This is a situation where time is of the essence. Companies may hold on till month end, but as of April you can bet they will be putting plans in place.

    Like

  • hear…….

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Hal
    I can see relevance in all the comments. However, this is a calamity with which the region has not dealt with in the post independence era on a regional scale. At this time, I am throwing my support behind all regional governments. As we work through this crisis, new strategies will evolve. The most important approach at this time is to do all we can as nationalists to assist our brothers and sisters .A region scarce in resources cannot be expected to respond to such a crisis with immediate answers.
    There is no over night fix for what we are currently confronted.

    Like

  • I did a little gardening this morning. It is nearly 5 now. let me go out into the sunshine and do some more until just after sunset.

    See ya!

    Like

  • HantsMarch 21, 2020 3:02 PM

    @ Donna,

    Bakes and a mango would be my preference.lol

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    To answer an earlier comment, I did teach my son to make bakes. Then the best Food and Nutrition teacher in Barbados (according to us both) taught him a better method. She also taught him to do pumpkin fritters, banana bread and many tasty dishes that use local produce. Best choice he and I ever made with respect to his schooling.

    Along with the bakes and the mango you could also have a Bajan wuk up instead of the samba. But variety is the spice of life so when you get tired of one you could try the other.

    PS. We use Carmeta’s cassava flour for bakes, pancakes and dumplings and sweet potato flour for sweet treats. Got some grated cassava in my freezer for pone and some grated pumpkin for various dishes. All that’s left for us to do is get the garden growing.

    Like

  • @ William

    Don’t follow our leaders down a dark tunnel just for the sake of ‘unity’. However urgent, leaders must explain themselves. Motives are important. I never assume the leaders and I are reading from the same song sheet.

    Like

  • @ William

    Some silly person is playing games with deleting things from certain contributors. If that is their game……it proves my assessment of them.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ Hal
    I just don’t think we can seriously look at this crisis as we have looked at others. I have decided to look at it from this angle because of the nature of the crisis.

    Like

  • This is so no good, the amount of people exposed to this 40 infected.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2020/03/21/40-covid-19-cases-confirmed-at-camp-balandra-trinidad/

    “There has been a stunning new development in Trinidad and Tobago’s effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

    Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh this morning revealed that health officials had confirmed 40 new cases among the 68 people quarantined at Camp Balandra.

    The 40 were among those who were on the cruise ship docked off Guadeloupe for several days before Government chartered an aircraft to bring all 68 home on Tuesday.

    The cruise ship was denied permission to dock after multiple passengers, not Trinidadians, were confirmed with COVID-19.

    The group were moved from the aircraft, onto buses and taken in a convoy to the secured camp on Trinidad’s north east coast.

    On Thursday, all were swabbed to be tested.

    Before that, several fell ill with fever, cough, and lethargy.

    Several of those there are elderly.

    Between 9p.m and 10p.m. on Thursday, the tests results came back.

    The 40 have been moved to the Couva Hospital, and there is no risk of community Spread.

    The cruise ship passengers have hired senior counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Deyalsingh disclosed. He did not say why.

    Regarding the 28 people at Balandra, that facility was properly sanitised, testing would resume on these people.”

    Like

  • “P.S. For me an easy walk is anything up to 2 miles.”

    glad to hear, no more minivan rides for you..lol

    Like

  • @ William
    @ Hal

    The way I see it is that we will be in a state of low economic activity for at least 9 months and based on the below is why I say this.

    Until infections in our major markets of North America and Europe start to show signs that they have topped out and that they are now steadily falling with no new cases reported, no one will consider travelling. Now once the decline hits a low level and continues to fall with no new cases, I believe we would then have 6 months from that date before we see visitors slowly returning.

    My point is as we are no where near capping out on new cases, farless declines being shown, we are way off the 6 month line of hope we can start counting from. Realistically we therefore need to brace for the long haul. Hopefully by the next winter season we will start to see some light.

    Like

  • @ William

    I agree. Whatever the outcome, it will change our lives forever. That is what I am concerned about, the transformative nature of this pandemic. I look at how the Barbadian authorities respond, and how authorities in the UK respond. Either we are brilliant and got it right, or we are disastrously wrong.
    Streets in London are empty, all mass events cancelled, retired doctors and nurses called back to work, neighbours are keeping a safe distance, local hospitals are running out of beds. We must get it right firs time, there is no re-take.
    The health of ordinary people is my concern, not the reputations of politicians. I say again, last night’s speech was largely three-hours of waffle. Only one or two items were quality stuff.
    If for no other reason, because of the limited talent pool, we need a regional approach. By the way, if you are so inclined, read about the history of public health during the Victorian era. We benefited in Barbados, from a network of public toilets, the widespread use (overuse) of DDT, toilet pits, etc. We became obsessed with public health.
    We MUST get it right.

    Like

  • @William

    What comments are you not seeing?

    Do you mean on your blog Mahogany?

    Like

  • William Skinner

    @ David
    @ Hal
    When I responded to Hal, I did so after I looked at the MCG blog because I thought he had actually responded to an article about CARICOM on Mahogany Coconut.
    I wasn’t referring to BU at all. So to answer your question : Yes, I was referring to Mahogany. Apologies for any confusion.

    Like

  • @ John A

    I do not share your optimism. We are experiencing an unprecedented level of a drop in global output; we are now officially in a glob al recession.
    If GDP drops by 10 per cent in the first half of the year, it is virtually impossible to recover that by the end of the year, with the possible exception of Singapore and Korea. It would be a reversal of economic history.
    Since 1960, there have only been 13 instances in which developed countries declined by 5 per cent; three case of 7 per cent, including Greece and none in which output declined by 10 per cent or more.
    And since 1870, the year before I was born, there have only been 47 instances of an economy declining by 10 percent, and that includes two world wars and a depression. 42 of those occurred between 1914 and 1945, and covered the Spanish Flu.
    Among rich nations with a decline of 5 per cent, it took on average four years to return to the pre-decline levels, and those were nations with large industrial sectors.
    I do not want to bore you with post-war economic history, but we are in new territory. To impose this challenge on a third world country, dependent on tourism, with a population of 280000, with over 41000 over the age of 70, and no industrial sector to talk of, is a big ask.
    Although I admire your optimism, I wonder if it is rooted in reality.
    The government has got to go back to the drawing board, revise its economic programme, inject a massive amount of money in the economy (print as if there is no tomorrow), decouple from the greenback, fix against a basket of currencies and commodities, invest in the futures markets more, then manage asset price inflation. Most of that money must be on job creation and education – not just taking CXC exams and getting PhDs in cultural studies or journalism, but education for a new world of work.

    Like

  • Thanks for the clarification William.

    Like

  • fortyacresandamule

    The cruise industry wasn’t my cup of tea. The marginal benefit accrued to the country wasn’t worth the poaching and courting. On a broader level they should get no assistance from the USA government bailout package. First, they pay next to nothing in corporate taxes, using all kind of tax havens around the world. Most are registered in poor countries to circumvent labor laws and other regulations. Let them all fail.

    Like

  • @ Hal

    When I say see some light I in no way mean a return to the activity we have now. What I mean is the the economy should bottom out by then as tourist hopefully may start to trickle in. I am also in no way saying that the next tourist season Will be anywhere near what we know a winter to be.

    Like

  • Like some i am looking forward to regional unity one that can set the tone with one goal and with a commanilty of having a one single market that can provide for the needs of all in an out of crisis
    The tiger tail has been pulled too many times because of captalist greed
    The time has now come to show the world what is meant by great leadership in the Carribbean basin
    Also was expecting Mia as Head of Caricom to draw upon this crisis and have a news conference which would speak to the entire Caricom nations addressing a need for unity in this time of crisis

    Like

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