Bajans Jettison Social Distancing for Cheek by Jowl

One of the saddest days in the few decades this blogmaster has lived in Barbados was yesterday. For close to five months Barbadians from the village to the heights have viewed on smart TVs and cellphone screens the havoc being wreaked on developed countries. Italy, UK, Canada, France, Japan and the USA are listed as G7 countries with significantly greater resources than Barbados. Despite a superior economic status the healthcare and capacity to apply meaningful logistics by these countries continue to be challenged by COVID 19.

On a related note the blogmaster followed a robust conversation making the rounds in Trinidad this week where Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith posted a video of a crowd outside Republic Bank standing cheek by jowl (thanks to Dr. Lucas for reminding of this old expression).  Given the no nonsense approach Gary Griffith has taken to doing his job, there is wide speculation he will use his authority to shutdown businesses not observing established protocols designed to protect the health of the public.

The sights and scenes observed around Barbados yesterday although understandable was disappointing. If we accept the government have made errors, how does one explain the behaviour exhibited by a significant segment of the population BEFORE the decision by government to extend lockdown by not practising social distancing? The colossal ignorance of  a few church leaders stating the church should be included as an essential service? Should the government have continued in a business as usual mode? Given the population density and the opportunity for aggressive community spread of COVID 19 infections it behoves the authorities to make decisions quickly in order to blunt the rate of infections in Barbados.

The urge at this time to engage in political opportunism must be set aside. The time for a post mortem of COVID 19 will come and a price paid if the electorate is so minded. If there is an opportunity to improve decision making, we have been told the government has an open door policy. Leaders of political parties should avail themselves of the offer and resist the urge to accrue cheap political points by retreating to social and traditional media with destructive positions. In case the memo was not received, COVID 19 is a pandemic responsible for the over 1.1. million people infected and 50 thousand dead across the globe at recent count. Is there good reason Barbados boast of being a highly literate country? The cheek by jowl behaviour exhibited yesterday by Barbadians outside supermarkets  has buried that view.

The expectation by government Barbadians would have committed to a behaviour undergirded by self discipline is where it all went wrong. There is a reason why ‘totalitarian’ regimes have been reported to be doing a better job of combatting COVID 19. An assessment of the so called minibus/ZR culture, our propensity to litter, scant regard for road traffic laws, increasing crime etc etc etc supports the blogmaster’s view government was simplistic by expecting some Barbabaians would self quarantine or observe social distancing in the prevailing stressful climate.

Barbadians have to take pause after yesterday to reflect –  assume personal responsibility and if after doing so we are unable to apply good sense to our actions then suffer the consequences.

What are the consequences?

All business owners caught serving the public if there is rowdyism outside the doors, must be told to close with immediate effect for a defined period of time until such time order is established.

If the Police observe same rowdyism, order the business to close for a defined period until such time order is establihed.

All business owners must be responsible for securing and managing crowd traffic to ensure compliance, failing to do so a fine and or a cease and desist order issued.

This is no time to allow ignorance to flourish to endanger the lives of the majority of Barbadians. The time for mollycoddling must come to an end now.

COVID CZAR Richard Carter informed the public yesterday that UWI modelling of the trajectory of the virus projects 100s of deaths if behaviours are not arrested NOW.

Hard ears wunna wont hear, own way wunna gine feel!








242 thoughts on “Bajans Jettison Social Distancing for Cheek by Jowl

  1. @ David.

    We have to find a workable solution and going to online shopping is not going to work either and for the same reason the small shops failed
    And that’s logistics.

    Think about this, let’s say in 1 hour 10 cash stations in a super market can handle 300 customers and each customer has 40 items, that is 12000 items per hour!

    Now imagine trying to have say 10 pickers and packers trying to prepare and deliver just one hours worth of trade from 1 supermarket. How many vans will you need? How many printers and computers would you need? Yet another non solution. If you order you may well get it after the curfew seeing that nothing has been put in place yet other than talk which has been going on since Wednesday last week.

    David logistics again will cause this to fail. MASSY is no Amazon my friend.

  2. A.

    Georgia is to be in a stay in place posture / you suppose to only be out for essential services. I went out to do some work I cannot believe the amount of traffic on the highways.

    not much difference in traffic from last Monday compared to today.

  3. John 2

    Lack of enforcement. If we could of enforced the personal space we wouldn’t of needed the lockdown. Now we can’t enforce the lock down what will we introduce next, that we again would not be able to enforce?

    I was listening to David Ellis today and people were calling in and saying how the Guys were out liming on corners etc like nothing was new. This virus has brought much to light in terms of enforcement and respect for the law sadly.

  4. Dullard April 5, 2020 9:48 AM

    Santiago mentioned the government was working with the supermarkets to put a plan in place for delivery using e-commerce etc.

    Do you know how ridiculous this sounds?
    For goodness sakes man we are talking about getting a few thousand households to purchase the essentials while limiting personal contact. This is not rocket science.

    Next we will have the apparatchiks complaining that there are not enough code developers or there is limited bandwidth or some such nonsense.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.