Time to Open

Submitted by Petko

I wish to preface this by stating in no way am I affiliated with or have any financial interest in the tourism or travel industry, as I know what I write below will have people stating I have only written to push a personal financial agenda.

The time for Barbados to open her borders completely is now. By this I mean in particular the 2nd test and hotel quarantine policy of tourists and returning Barbadians has to be terminated. As well the mandatory Harrison Point isolation of any person testing positive for Sars-Cov2 virus should also be scrapped.

The coronavirus is endemic in Barbados, no wordsmithing such as clusters or West Coast or North Coast spread can deny this fact. In addition, I put forth that it has been endemic since March. Only a naïve person can believe that the virus has not been constantly circulating since it was first tested for in March. Barbados opened her borders in mid June and did not institute the second test of incoming persons until mid-October. If people have been found positive on the second test since October, it is only logical to surmise the same percentage of people were positive from June to October that were landing here. Hence the virus has always been here and circulating. The only thing that happened during this Christmas season is that a local Bajan was tested with the virus being detected. This was followed by the mass testing to find the 500+ positives we have now. It is common knowledge that from May to now the local population has barely been tested, there were days in June with 15 tests reported – from a population of 285,000 people. Testing only reached 60-120 per day when the testing of incoming passengers began.

Based on the above we can extrapolate that with a circulating virus the health care system at no time was over-whelmed. The fact is when you don’t test for the coronavirus you don’t find the coronavirus as 98% of people who “catch” it suffer at most a common cold and thus you wouldn’t even know it existed. Currently we see that from the 560+ current cases not a single person is in serious condition. From 200 positive prisoners we see that 95% are asymptomatic. We have 1 year of data, we know that people over the age of 80 are vulnerable to this as they are to a flu – these people need protection and caution, but the 30 year old Sea-doo operator is at zero risk to Sars-Cov2.

The argument some have of shutting the borders is to be polite, pure nonsense. I find it quite hypocritical when people accuse incoming persons of bringing and spreading the “dreaded” virus. Consequently, these same people are quite happy to receive the hard currency these people bring, the pharmaceutical supplies, the TV’s and laptops and the Toyota Hilux’s that a modern society requires. We have always lived in a globalized world which trades in goods, knowledge and disease – this is the human condition.

There is no finger pointing here, the fact is with all the protocols on incoming passengers, the coronavirus is here and has been here. Even if 100% of humanity was vaccinated for this virus it will still exist as the vaccines are not eliminating the virus but making its care manageable. Manageable is the key word here. Barbados needs to manage the situation in a rational way that considers the positives and negatives of every action.

Tourism is the lifeblood of the nation; it will be the lifeblood in 100 years. Barbados nor any country in the Caribbean is going to start manufacturing pickup trucks or OLED TV’s – the core competency is the tourism product which arose from the glorious weather that this region is blessed with. We should be championing it rather than disparaging it, as some do. Currently Barbados is the only country in the region which requires the 2nd test in-country with the threat of going into isolation. What has this resulted in?

Well, the coronavirus is here and is not going anywhere, even post-vaccine. Thus, a ZERO Covid policy is sheer folly and unscientific. Next it has resulted in a drop of 95% to the tourism product resulting in up to 40% unemployment as well as a government stressed to its financial borrowing limits. Currently Barbados is receiving 350 incoming passengers per day on 4 major international flights. A quick look at our neighbours shows a different picture.

Montego Bay is handling 33 flights per day, Aruba has 19 flights daily, Cancun has 100 and Nassau 16. These locations require either no test of any kind or a negative PCR test 3-5 days old and nothing else. Yes, these countries have “cases” but so does Barbados. The difference is these countries are managing the situation and keeping their economy and tourism lifeblood functional. Travellers will put up with bringing a negative PCR test (for now – in 2 months when the entire USA has immunity do not expect Americans choosing destinations requiring tests) and they are showing it with their travel to these destinations. There is also the threat that once a long-time visitor to Barbados has tried out another destination such as Aruba, they may never come back here.

The BLP unfortunately painted itself into a corner with an unrealistic goal and message of Zero Covid. They now have the opportunity to exit this strategy and embrace that of managing the disease as well as the tourism product. I have no doubt that both can be done at an exceptional level in Barbados. Time is of the essence and the 2021 Winter tourist season is not done yet. February and March provide the traditional breaks in the source markets of the UK, USA and Canada. Literally tens of thousands of people are ready to travel to the Caribbean and if Barbados keeps its onerous and unproductive 2nd test none of these people will grace our shores. Thousands could be put back into employment, the economy would begin its rebound and we would be moving forward.

Pursuing the 2nd test strategy will only result in Barbados staying in its current sclerotic state. PM Mottley has been adamant in Barbadians should embrace change, well the BLP and herself needs to now do the same. The old policy did not and could not work, pivot and manage and let Barbados get back on her feet in 2021.

236 comments

  • @John
    who is Eugene Estwick?

    Like

  • While the financial aspect is understandable, there are other realities to consider. The jump in cases recently, with people ill, shows that no, the virus was not endemic in Barbados. While the logic used seems reasonable, the stats do not support it.

    Opening up without quarantine and testing would be recklessly putting strain on the healthcare system. Healthcare systems with far more resources are being stressed beyond capacity.

    If the writer, the government and people are willing to accept a proportion of deaths, from those who are ill, then so be it. The care thus far has done exceptionally well to keep the cumulative total to seven deaths. But that is merely kudos to excellent medical care, working within the limits of its resources.

    Barbados has seen what stress has done to test results, now imagine that same stress on the healthcare system. Doctors and nurses are not machines, able to escalate care tenfold at asking.

    Comparing with Jamaica, who have 13,915 positive cases to date and 322 deaths to date, population adjusted that would approximate (divided by nine), to 1546 positives and 35 deaths. Barbados currently has approx 1000 cases and 7 deaths.

    Consider however, that with a population 9 times that of Barbados, their healthcare system is inherently larger and thus able to cope with more cases, while reallocating their resources from other medical uses. This is such as delay of elective surgeries etc.

    So there are factors beyond the straight numbers to consider.

    Then, add that Jamaica is geographically significantly larger than Barbados, so the population density is split, especially with tourist spots being separated from the main population, the comparison is again, skewed.

    What the writer is basically saying is that the economy must be salvaged, with the accompanying cost.

    Bluntly, are the additional lives, because there will be, worth it?

    Then too, I would exercise opening a pandora’s box, that cannot be closed.

    While another consideration is Barbados’s high rate of NCD’s, for comparison purposes, I will not go further into that, as Jamaica also has a similar high rate.

    The recent surge in cases and need to open more Covid clinics should indicate the potential issues should the island be opened fully. There is no doubt in my mind that this would, if such a direction were taken, require the onboarding of additional doctors, nurses and lab facilities, possibly in addition to more medical equipment.

    If Barbados does go in that direction, my advice would be to put the medical resources in place, before the actual open date.

    Finally, based on international events and the reported experiences of healthcare systems in major countries, I would suggest that people not take the virus lightly.

    But that is only my opinion. Minds much better than my simple one probably have much better ideas.

    https://jis.gov.jm/covid-19-update-for-wednesday-january-13-2021/

    Liked by 1 person

  • Addendum:

    Further to the above. One thing I do accept, is that Barbados does not have the luxury of remaining closed indefinitely.

    As noted, due to the increase in cases recently, I think what is being seen is a recent surge due to the November and December period and the clinical manifestation of that. This may correlate with the occurrence of the UK variant, that is fast spreading.

    What is clear to me and moreso, with suggestions such as that of the writer, is that clinical resources and lab resources need to be urgently, efficiently and capably expanded, not just to deal with a spike such as the December spike. But to use that as a base level, in preparation for opening somewhat, such that the medical resources are ready to deal with case escalation in both numbers and severity.

    What do the doctors and nurses, those who have to deal with increased case numbers and severity, have to say?

    Because if borders are opened and economic activity opened fully, without their readiness, not only will there be increased cases, there will be unnecessary deaths.

    This is why the opposing view would be to wait until Barbados can get the WHO authorised vaccine.

    I am not advocating for opening up, but stating that in preparation for that eventuality, even with the vaccine, the medical resources need to be in place. While there is no doubt that the doctors and nurses have done an excellent job thus far, the issue is not their capability, the issue is one of volume and severity. Because with increased volume, you will, as a matter of statistics, have an increased load of severe cases. That means resources, both staffing and equipment.

    Even if a few take the view that there will be deaths and they accept that, the healthcare system will still be significantly stressed by those who are less severe.

    In summary, while the writers view is basically one of economic salvage, it must be accepted, without being bureaucratic, that the issue is more complex than the article would suggest.

    Liked by 2 people

  • @Crusoe

    What the author seems to be suggesting is that the prevalence of the virus was detected after a decision to do mass testing after a trigger event.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David, Possible but while that may have captured a wider group, the other side that needs to be considered is those are sick and presenting with symptoms that need treatment. There appears to be a corresponding spike there too.

    If so, the presumption is incorrect. Maybe, just maybe he is right.

    But the data needs to be more definitive.

    Like

  • @Crusoe

    Agreed but some have posted a view that public stats have been obscured therefore making it impossible to make good assumptions.

    Like

  • DavidJanuary 15, 2021 5:50 AM

    Government will have the stats. They can make the determination. Bear in mind, there is a difference between removing lockdowns and curfews and opening the borders.

    These are two separate issues, although opening the borders then has a knock on effect on the local lockdowns and curfews.

    One thing that we did not mention, is that the cases and deaths to fate are with lockdowns and curfews. It is likely that with an open up, if we hypothetically consider it a full open up, these will rise by some factor.

    There is not doubt that we are discussing the proverbial rock and a hard place. That is not rhetoric, it is literal.

    One the one hand, the average worker needs to eat, to put food on the table.

    On the other, we may be looking at a health service crippled by Covid cases, which is likely but unknown, under an open up and also, for sure, additional deaths, as a result.

    When I think of this, what comes strongly is that we cannot separate the macroeconomic and capital structure, from the microeconomic and sociological implications of the events.

    Because without the assistance of the capital element, an open up is most surely coming, if only so that labour can put food on the table.

    With that open up, there will be implications, that which we will have to live with. Do I think that capital (using the term to describe those in custodianship and control of such), is shortsighted? I most certainly do.

    Perhaps that is the most frustrating thing to me, of this whole thing. That there has not been enough cooperation internationally between capital, governments and labour. All are going merrily along, as if a major crisis does not exist. You may think that view absurd. But what are you seeing daily on the news?

    Stock market, Trump, pandemic figures for individual countries. Which country is banning travellers.

    But where is the cooperation? Where are the comments and commitments from international conglomerate leaders?

    As far as I am concerned, these are not leaders. Far from it. Because leaders come forward in a crisis. These are the usual rubber stampers and boardroom smilers, who, in some cases, do not know their foot from their elbow.

    If they were leaders, they would already have come forward. The world suffers from a lack of true leadership.

    The leaders who are standing out include the New Zealand PM and at the risk of annoying a few select persons here, yes, Barbados PM Mottley.

    It is fine to criticise her, but she is working with limited resources. Yes, she may play a few political games as they all do, but on the whole, she has done a good job thus far.

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Crusue

    How can you separate lockdowns/curfews from open borders? One is to curtail activity facilitate contact tracing etc triggered by increased rate of infection from outside the country?

    Your main point is taken, it is a balancing act weighing the economic needs of households with health concerns. The virus will be with out for a couple years all things remaining equal.

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  • Only the virus can dictate when we reopen.

    Any arbitrary attempt to impose on the virus when we open will be another disaster on top of a triple disaster.

    Barbados has to built immunity amongst 70 to 80 percent of the population first. There are a few ways of doing this and mass vaccination seems the preferred option.

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  • The leaders who are standing out include the New Zealand PM and at the risk of annoying a few select persons here, yes, Barbados PM Mottley.

    It is fine to criticise her, but she is working with limited resources. Yes, she may play a few political games as they all do, but on the whole, she has done a good job thus far.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    WOW, SHOWING YOUR TRUE TRUE COLOURS.

    2 x 3 ISLAND WITH OVER A THOUSAND CASES AND MIA IS A HERO.

    WHICH BLP MINISTER, PROPAGANDIST OR LACKEY ARE YOU?

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  • KEEPING PEOPLE LOCKED AWAY WAITING FOR A TEST FOR 2 WEEKS IS BREACHING THEIR RIGHTS AND THIS IS LEADERSHIP?

    NO WONDER PEOPLE ARE BREAKING “QUARANTINE”

    ONLY ON THE 2 x 3 ISLAND CAN SOMEONE SPOUT SUCH RAW SEWAGE.
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    More rage over test delays

    Desperation is setting in for some trapped in quarantine because of the long wait for their COVID-19 results, and no response from hotlines and emergency emails.
    Some Barbadians and visitors say they have been stewing in quarantine for almost two weeks as they watch others even diagnosed with the illness leave isolation.
    The situation has affected an in transit visitor, led to complications for a diabetic, and resulted in money and food woes for others trapped in confinement.
    British national David Holder revealed that some tourists broke quarantine to go to the beach because they had been waiting for almost two weeks and got no results, as multiple calls to the COVID-19 hotline numbers went unanswered.
    “I don’t know what to do. It appears as if the Government is sacrificing the tourists. The newspapers in England have been talking to people here and they’re going to make it a big story. Barbados is destroying its tourist industry.
    “A Canadian couple who were isolated for 11 days, they basically broke the quarantine. They said this is ridiculous and they went to the beach. People all over the country are going to start doing it because of the Government’s failure,” Holder told the DAILY NATION.
    He is staying at a facility on the South Coast, and he was one of several people, including Barbadians, who reached out yesterday to complain about how not knowing their status was affecting their finances as well as physical and mental health.
    Holder, a diabetic, said that because he had been sequestered and unable to get adequate exercise, he developed neuropathy, an ailment that could injure nerves throughout the body.
    “We haven’t broken quarantine because we want to be good citizens, but if it takes much longer we will, because it’s just ridiculous. The hotline is permanently engaged and we’ve spoken to other people on their balconies and they are all going through the same thing. People are leaving to go to the beach because they’ve been here that long; it’s ridiculous.
    “The Government is going to end up with a worse problem if any of these people are positive, because they are not doing what they should do. I don’t know if the Government has realised, but [it is] shooting itself in the foot because of this delay,” he added.
    An in transit tourist was stuck in quarantine because the tests received for entry expired and the visitor needed another test to board a flight to St Kitts, but had not received the results.
    A Barbadian returning home said her mother used her pension to pay for the stay at a guest house, believing it would have been for a few days from January 2, but now after more than a week, relatives were forced to bring food.
    “I am eating things as if I was in jail with visits and looking out the window knowing my family is in the same island as me, but I can’t see them, [which] is driving me mad. Even the arm bands that they give you getting to me,” the woman said.
    She said that the hotline and email addresses were useless, as no one answered.
    “The next torture, is even when you done here, who is going to pay the bill? I don’t want the police to come for me breaking quarantine and owing a hotel bill too,” she said.
    Another visitor, “Denis”, said he arrived on January 4 but had to relocate to a more affordable facility after his money started to run low.
    A 63-year-old woman said she came into contact with a COVID-19-positive patient late last year. She got tested and has been quarantining at home for about two weeks, with no information from officials. The infected person has since been cleared.
    “My issue is that when they wanted me to let me know to get tested, they found me. But now I want them, I can’t get through to anybody. The body that had COVID-19 went in and come out clean, but I’m still here and I don’t know what to do because they are not answering. I just feel like going out,” she said.

    https://www.nationnews.com/2021/01/14/rage-test-delays/

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  • The backlog was explained and is being rectified.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Baje We all know what it is like to go to a bank on the island , long waits ,doesnt look like anyone in a hurry. So how does anyone expect that systematic work ethic all of a sudden to switch to urgency, it wont happen. You can talk a good game, but unless the people under you have the training and inclination to exceed expectations there will always be a disconnect between timely expectations and reality. The govt should offshore the covid lines to an indian call center, they will answer and wont hang up when you get mad and tell them to piss off. Let emergency services look after planning they can handle pressure people respect, listen and believe them unlike politicians . This isnt a race to be won its a race not to lose. Nobody has to panic as long as everyone is being fed you can wait it out

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  • The backlog was explained and is being rectified.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    THIS IS CONFIRMED BY THE BLP GOVERNMENT YOU SEEM TO HAVE AN ALLEGIANCE TO
    OR BY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING THE ACTUAL SUFFERING DAILY ON THE 2 x 3 ISLAND.

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  • @crusoe I have no doubt that coronavirus has been amongst us since January let alone March. An international island with visitors from UK Italy and China makes it not likely but sure. Regarding the unseen spike in mortality. Well the statistics don’t lie, under the age of 40 there is a statistical chance of 0% you will die of covid. In fact with 42 murders and 4 missing persons last year I would say death by lead bullets is much more likely to anyone under 40 than Covid. When it comes to the aged, well the Nation newspaper Sunday obituary is full of the 75+ year olds dying week in Barbados from cancers, dementia and general old age. These are the people dying WITH Covid and again the big difference in Barbados is no one was testing an 85 year old with terminal cancer for Covid at the QEH. Germany provides a great analogy. The First documented Covid death was a gentleman with terminal throat cancer whom the authorities “swabbed” post mortem. They swabbed a dead man who had terminal cancer and found he had Covid, as you can see this is pure ridiculousness as this person died of their cancer not some respiratory cough. Thus there has not been and will not be a mass dying event and has not been in Barbados with Covid. As you state comparing Barbados to Jamaica the per capita deaths with Covid would be 35 vs the 7 so far documented. As we see in the rest of the world with 95% of people dying over 75 with co-morbidities nobody here would notice these deaths as there would be no blip in the statistics. The government has built an 80 hospital bed infirmary at Harrison’s point, the fact is this is more than enough to handle any feared spike in Covid cases if the 2nd test was removed.

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  • I wonder if the writer is a Trump Republican, relaying the same treatment and fate to another country.

    Liked by 1 person

  • BAJE,

    The stats confirm my position. Look at the comparison above of Barbados vs Jamaica.

    That is documented data.

    Where is your data to rebut, other than insult and ranting?

    On that line, which ex DLP Minister or lackey are you?

    And no, we will not accept that you are independent, as you most surely do not give that benefit to anyone else.

    So stats and comparison please, put up or shut up.

    Like

  • I never touched upon the fact that Barbados has also chosen to sacrifice the education of its children to the zero covid strategy. There are now hundreds of reports and studies outlining the serious detrimental effects that online schooling or no schooling has had on all children 18 and under. There is no such thing as effective online schooling, to be frank it is garbage compared to face to face schooling.
    To sacrifice the education of 15,000 Bajan children in the misguided notion this will save some lives lost to Covid is first of all wrong morally and statistically.
    Let’s just be a covid hysteric and claim that 25 lives have been saved by keeping schools essentially shut since March (even the head of the teachers union is calling for a full re-do of a year of school in blatant admission the hybrid model has been a disaster). Therefore 25 people all of whom would be 75+ years old have been saved and can live 1-3 years longer. Meanwhile 15,000 kids have had essentially NO education. What kind of a moral tradeoff is this? In my eyes it is sickening. To extend the life of a handful of people at the sacrifice of 15,000 young people who are the future of the nation is a wrong decision!
    Now statistically as per my other post, not even 25 are saved because a terminally ill cancer patient who catches Covid does not die from covid, they die from cancer. Thus on both counts, moral and science the knee-jerk reaction to closing schools is blatantly wrong. Schools should open on January 18th with alacrity.

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  • BAJE,

    The stats confirm my position. Look at the comparison above of Barbados vs Jamaica.

    That is documented data.

    Where is your data to rebut, other than insult and ranting?

    On that line, which ex DLP Minister or lackey are you?

    And no, we will not accept that you are independent, as you most surely do not give that benefit to anyone else.

    So stats and comparison please, put up or shut up.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    IF SPEAKING THE TRUTH IS NOW DEFINED AS RANTING THEN I PLEAD GUILTY.

    IF YOU WEREN’T BLINDED BY YOUR BLP LOYALTY YOU WOULD SEE FROM MY MANY COMMENTS I HAVE EQUAL DISGUST FOR BOTH DLP AND BLP SO WHEEL AND COME AGAIN.

    I HAVE NEVER VOTED FOR ANY POLITICAL PARTY ON THE 2 x 3 ISLAND SO THAT MAKES ME A TRUE INDEPENDENT.

    Like

  • The I doan give a puck crowd willing to share some Covid ?

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/covid-flights-travel-non-essential-1.5873947

    Liked by 1 person

  • @hants they can show whatever they want that “cases” are rising. But a case is a positive test for the Sars-Cov2 virus, a virus where 40% of people are asymptomatic and don’t even know they have it and 55% are fine after 3 days. Just look at the prisoners in Dodds, 100% have no symptom of any kind.
    At the end of the day, if you are 80+ and have 2-3 co-morbidities Sars-Cov2 can be bad for you, you still have 95% chance of health outcome, but for 99.9% of population it’s a common cold. We have 1 year of stats proving this.

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  • Baje

    I never voted for any politician or party on the 2×3 so does that not make me an independent (according to you)?

    Why do you keep putting those that do not sing your tune into a box?

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  • In Thursday’s management update Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic said there are 309 confirmed cases of the viral illness at the prison. These include 70 members of staff (45 males and 25 females) as well as 239 male inmates.

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  • I would say the only item the government has dropped the ball on is vaccine procurement. Israel with 10 million people has purchased enough vaccine for its population and administered 25% of it in 4 weeks. They actually went and overpaid by 50-100% for the vaccine, but they got it. It also helped that being a small country the vaccine makers can see how quickly a herd immunity does emerge.
    My hypothesis is Barbados could have done this and probably still can. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine cost $40 USD. Thus if Barbados had approached them and offered $60 and asked for 100,000 doses I am sure they would have said yes. That’s a total cost of 6 million USD, on Jan 4th PM Mottley said the government pulled a tranche of $150 million USD from the IMF credit facility, the 6 million needed for vaccine is a drop in the bucket compared to the money the government has drawn from IMF. I would not be surprised that if the government approached Sandy Lane billionaire owners, Fairmont, Sandals and a number of wealthy Bajans in the private sector they could have received donations for a bulk of these funds. In fact the government sent 5 million to PAHO for the covax facility which will not see a vaccine until April. If Barbados acted fast and overpaid and procured 100,000 doses which is all that is practically needed and would be used (remember under 18 no vax and many people will not take it) we could have inoculated people in a span of 3-4 weeks and been very confident in opening the island rapidly. Again time is not too late. In fact the Astra Seneca vaccine which the UK has approved and can be stored at refrigerator temperature is pre-made in the millions. As well it’s cost is $15 a dose. All it would take is 1 phone call to head office and I am sure they would have a plane loaded with 100k doses in 24 hours and on its way to Barbados. A great political win and cementing of the Barbados and UK relationship and a way to move forward for both parties.

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  • @RICHARD PETKO January 15, 2021 11:29 AM
    I will agree with you on this point. Then again can you plead poverty for debt relief, and then find money for vaccines?

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  • RICHARD PETKOJanuary 15, 2021 11:29 AM On immediate vaccine procurement, I agree with you.

    Oxford one, at 600,000 doses, enough for the total population including expats, x doses. The medical people could sort out when children can actually be given it, not sure on the age.

    The money generated by economic activity would make it worth the initial expense. At USD5 per dose, add premium of $3, the total would be just about Bds$10Million.

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  • Barbados can only reopen its borders after herd immunity through mass vaccination rollouts…BGOV..Get to stepping..

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  • Baje

    I never voted for any politician or party on the 2×3 so does that not make me an independent (according to you)?

    Why do you keep putting those that do not sing your tune into a box?

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    DON’T NEED ANYONE SINGING FROM ANY TUNE UNLESS IT IS THE TRUTH AS IT RELATES TO ISSUES ON THE ISLAND WHICH SOME WOULD LIKE TO TWIST INTO THEIR OWN SENSE OF REALITY.

    WHETHER THE 2 x 3 ISLAND SINKS OR SWIMS DOES NOT AFFECT ME ONLY FROM THE POINT OF VIEW THAT THE BLACK MASSES HAVE TO CONTINUALLY SUFFER WHILST THE WHITE LANDLORDS HIDDEN IN THE BACKGROUND CONTINUE TO GET ELECTED OFFICIALS IN THIS CASE THE BLP GOVERNMENT WHICH PROMISED SO MUCH TO DO THEIR DIRTY WORK WHILST CREATING WEALTH FOR THEIR WHITE GENERATIONS TO COME AND LOCAL BLACKS CONTINUE TO LIVE LIKE ECONOMIC SLAVES WHERE THEY ARE THE MAJORITY POPULATION BY FAR SAME AS STILL HAPPENING IN SOUTH AFRICA AS A PARALLEL.

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  • @Petko “The BLP unfortunately painted itself into a corner with an unrealistic goal and message of Zero Covid.

    This is a LIE, one of many in this article from an unscientific idiot. At no time did any Barbados government official promise “zero covid”. The government’s position has always been about managing risks. No government anywhere can make absolute promises. The only absolute certainty is that the sun will rise tomorrow.

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  • Johnson & Johnson One Shot Covid-19 Vaccine Delayed

    Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot Covid-19 vaccine reportedly is as much as two months behind original production schedule and won’t catch up until the end of April.

    The tentative cost per J & J vaccine $10 USD vs Pfizer & Moderna $30-$37 USD.

    Good Quality and competitive price is paramount..

    Like

  • The first known cases in Canada of a variant of the coronavirus first reported in the U.K. were discovered only by fluke, and the couple who fell ill are now facing public-health charges, CBC News has learned.

    The woman and man, from Durham Region east of Toronto, had contact with a traveller from the U.K. prior to falling ill, the provincial Health Ministry said last month.

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  • B.C.’s provincial health officer has confirmed the first case of a more infectious coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa.

    Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday that health officials are investigating how the person in B.C. contracted the variant, as they have not travelled or been linked to any travellers.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/covid-19-update-jan-14-1.5873879

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  • Johnson & Johnson

    Johnson & Johnson announced on November 15 that it initiated a second global Phase III trial of its Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. They expect to enroll up to 60,000 volunteers worldwide.

    Whereas all of the other three vaccine candidates require two doses about 28 days apart, the J&J vaccine only requires a single dose. Interim results from its Phase I/IIa trial demonstrated a single dose of the vaccine induced a robust immune response and was generally well-tolerated. The ENSEMBLE 2 study evaluated a two-dose regimen as well.

    The vaccine uses the company’s AdVac technology platform, which it used to develop its approved Ebola vaccine and its Zika, RSV and HIV investigational vaccine candidates. It revolves around the use of an inactivated common cold virus, similar to what the AstraZeneca-University of Oxford program utilizes.

    Type: Adenovirus-based

    Doses: 1

    Likely EUA Date: Possibly March or April 2021

    Price: $10 per dose

    Efficacy: Unknown, expected by end of January 2021

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  • It is amazing how many arm chair epidemiologists and virologists have emerged in the past year.

    It is quite hilarious to observe. File under “G” – Garbage.

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  • Dog Meat Protein???

    1) Disease Detectives”, epidemiologists search for the cause of disease, identify people who are at risk, determine how to control or stop the spread or prevent it from happening again. Physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and other health professionals often train to be “Disease Detectives-File DMP ???

    2) Virology is the study of viruses – submicroscopic, parasitic particles of genetic material contained in a protein coat – and virus-like agent-File DMP ???

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  • Petko;
    Are you the Richard Petko who was associated with Global Pharmacies of Belize?
    What is your interest in Barbados?
    Are you an Epidemiologist?
    Is Covid-19 endemic in Canada?
    What are you views on the lockdowns in Toronto and Montreal?
    What do you think about the Wuhan lockdowns?

    Like

  • The shields look stylish, i look real good in mine. open a manufacturing business and sell shields only…and watch the social partner crooks have a conniption.

    Like

  • Petko;
    Covid-19 is a novel disease. It is arguable that Covid-19 may be now endemic in the USA and Canada or may soon become so but, given the widespread nature of its distribution in those countries in the past year, why is it still being termed a novel disease by WHO? Where is the real scientific data that underpins your view that it is endemic in Barbados?

    Like

  • Richard January 15, 2021 11:29AM

    “ I would not be surprised that if the government approached Sandy Lane billionaire owners, Fairmont, Sandals and a number of wealthy Bajans in the private sector they could have received donations for a bulk of these funds”

    Put some of your money where your MOUTH is $$$$.

    How much are you pledging towards the cause?????

    Don’t DUCK. Step forward With your check book…

    Is file “G” evident ???

    Like

  • @tony sure if government had a “buy a vax for a man” plan I would give it 80 bucks just as I donate to the red cross when I walk into Massey during the Christmas break. But seeing that the government has taken 350 million dollars in IMF loan facilities in the past 8 months I am quite sure there is 6 million lying around to buy vax for 100,000 Bajans.
    Evidence of sars-cov2 being endemic isn’t need it, we see it in the 9 separate “clusters”.
    @lyallsmall I don’t agree with lockdowns anywhere as they do not have any base in science and were not and still are not listed as part of the toolkit the CDC and WHO had before January 2020. They never existed before 2020 and were a knee jerk reaction perpetrated by the mass lockdowns the Chinese did. The West fell for it.
    By the way I have zero “interest” as you term it in Barbados, other than the island not having 40% unemployment and following the tried and true method we have used for 100 years when dealing with viruses; Management of the disease taking into account all sectors of the economy and society.

    Like

  • My response to this article – STEUPSE!

    Like

  • @Crusoe,
    I did not read all of your comments. But in your first two comments you did a great job of pointing out flaws in the reasoning.

    The item itself is not worth replying to.

    Like

  • Hidden camera reveals ‘appalling’ conditions in overseas PPE factory supplying Canadian hospitals, expert says

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/marketplace-overseas-personal-protective-equipment-manufacturing-working-conditions-1.5873213

    Like

  • @Submitted by Petko “I wish to preface this by stating in no way am I affiliated with or have any financial interest in the tourism or travel industry, as I know what I write below will have people stating I have only written to push a personal financial agenda.”

    That is what Petko claims.

    But can any of us verify this?

    If Petko is serious and expects his or her advice to be taken seriously then Petko should add his or her full name, street address, phone number, and email addresses, to his or her submission. It would be helpful as well if Petko adds how he or she earns a living.

    I am extremely leery about taking any kind advice from anonymous strangers on the internet. We have no idea who this person is, or what is his or her motivation. This person could be a foreign bot hoping to destabalize and destroy for all we know.

    There are some people in the world who think that this lovely tropical isle is too good for us, and that the faster we exit, the better for them.

    Like

  • I would bet anything that if it was Petko’s parent, youngish spouse or young child who was now on a ventilator Petko would be singing a completely different tune.

    Like

  • @Simple Simon

    Check Twitter LOL

    Like

  • I have to agree with you Donna. R. Petko argues for the reopening of the economy knowing full well that we have one public hospital on the island which is badly underfunded and barely functioning.

    I have heard it mentioned that we may be able to supply vaccines to only two in ten of the local population.

    Let’s say that we re-open our economy in the vain hope to reboot it. The outcome for the health of the local majority population would be catastrophic: death or severe long term health difficulties.

    The QEH would implode. Those who survive covid-19 would be unable to seek health services from the public sector as they would no longer be available.

    I would prefer life over death. Life has more value over an economy. How have we got to this stage when it can be argued that the running of economy should take precedence over everything and everyone.

    Barbados need not worry over the economy and the annoyance of outside and domestic players who are upset that their profit base is being eroded. We will have to reshape our so-called economy and disappoint our predominantly white tourist visitors who visit the island for some sun and to darken their pale complexions.

    Are black lifes worth so little?

    Like

  • @David January 15, 2021 5:12 AM “What the author seems to be suggesting is that the prevalence of the virus was detected after a decision to do mass testing after a trigger event.”

    Nonsense. This nonsense is straight out of the Trumpian playbook, that mass testing reveals disease in people who are not otherwise sick, and if we don’t test we won’t know of the disease’s presence and all will be well. The truth is the very opposite. People started becoming sick, then testing was introduced. Even now according to our medical officials there are some people who are seriously sick. I take it that none of the sick people are Petko’s family or friends.

    Like

  • @John January 15, 2021 9:24 AM

    Re: Spain rejects virus confinement

    Spain has 48,160 Covid19 cases per million population

    Spain has 1,140 DEATHS per million population.

    Do we want to catch up with Spain?

    if so I volunteer Petko as DEATH number 8

    And John as DEATH number 9

    Like

  • Leave Petko alone. He contributes more to the Barbados economy than I do.

    Like

  • Jonas Salk in the 1940s and 50s gave mankind the polio vaccine using a novel process of invention.

    Today the WTO has published that 46 countries are being vaccinated, only one a developing nation.

    Salk gave his invention to the world. He asked then “can you patent the sun?”. We live in a different era when the ignorant are given prominence and biotech companies are guided by greed.

    Of course all vaccines have not been as successful as Salk’s weapon against polio. Others have cause continuing harm to generations of children.

    Like

  • @RICHARD PETKO January 15, 2021 11:17 AM “Just look at the prisoners in Dodds, 100% have no symptom of any kind.”

    You statement is not true, because the doctor who heads the isolation facility has said otherwise.

    Like

  • @Richard Petko “The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine cost $40 USD. Thus if Barbados had approached them and offered $60 and asked for 100,000 doses I am sure they would have said yes. That’s a total cost of 6 million USD”

    So if your argument is that covid19 is little more than a cold why would we spend $6 million USD on a cold when we can drink ceresee bush tea for nothing?

    Like

  • @lawson January 15, 2021 10:15 AM “Baje We all know what it is like to go to a bank on the island , long waits ,doesnt look like anyone in a hurry.”

    Why aren’t you banking online?

    Like

  • @ David,

    The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa.

    Like

  • @Richard Petko “The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine cost $40 USD. Thus if Barbados had approached them and offered $60 and asked for 100,000 doses I am sure they would have said yes. That’s a total cost of 6 million USD”

    I like to ask foolish questions and have wise people answer tm.

    If Moderna would be willing to sell us a $40 vaccine for $60 can you explain why they would not sell the same $40 vaccine to some other people who are willing and able to pay $80 or $100 or $1,000 or $10.000??? I mean the people at Moderna are capitalist right?

    Tek ya time answering!!!

    Like

  • @SS
    Who de RH twisted your knickers today?

    Like

  • Dangerous COVID Strain To Become Dominant In U.S. By March, CDC Warns

    A highly contagious strain of the novel coronavirus is expected to become the dominant variant in the United States by March, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed Friday.

    The variant, known as B.1.1.7, was first identified in the United Kingdom but has since spread abroad and reached at least 10 U.S. states. According to the CDC’s modeling, the strain will exhibit rapid growth in early 2021, “becoming the predominant variant in March” because of how easily transmissible it is.

    With the highly contagious strain taking over in the coming months, case numbers could skyrocket even more than they already are. The B.1.1.7 strain, the CDC notes, has the power to drive “a substantial change in the transmission trajectory and a new phase of exponential growth” of COVID-19 across the U.S., which is nearing 400,000 deaths from the disease.

    As is true with all strains of the coronavirus, avoiding catastrophic spread of the disease continues to require compliance with basic safety measures: mask-wearing and social distancing.

    “Early efforts that can limit the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant, such as universal and increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies, will allow more time for ongoing vaccination to achieve higher population-level immunity,” the CDC notes.

    In Los Angeles County, which is facing one of the country’s worst outbreaks, fears of the new strain have hospitals racing to vaccinate as many people as possible before the new variant takes hold. Government officials are mulling more business closures, including malls and gyms, to keep people apart.

    Vaccinations are rolling out much slower than President Donald Trump’s administration had promised, though the U.S. is slightly ahead of many other economically developed nations in doses administered per 100 people. Much of the planning has been passed off to cash-strapped state and local health departments, leaving some states faring better at vaccinating than others.

    Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company behind one of the vaccines, said last week that its studies show its vaccine is protective against the B.1.1.7 variant, as well as another strain found in South Africa.

    https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/contagious-covid-variant-dominant-march-191318941.html

    Like

  • 😀If Moderna would be willing to sell us a $40 vaccine for $60 can you explain why they would not sell the same $40 vaccine to some other people who are willing and able to pay $80 or $100 or $1,000 or $10.000??? I mean the people at Moderna are capitalist right?

    Tek ya time answering!!!😀

    Girl you should be arrested for Pet(ko) abuse.

    Like

  • @NorthernObserver January 15, 2021 9:17 PM @SS Who de RH twisted your knickers today?”

    In a climate as warm and windy and salubrious as Barbados’ knickers are a completely unnecessary extravagance.

    @David “Check Twitter”

    I believe that I have said more than once that Twitter is for twits

    And when my toilet leaks I do not call a neurosurgeon nor a hairdresser.

    Like

  • Uh wonder which vaccine Mia and ministers received

    Like

  • “Life has more value over an economy.”

    it’s shameful that black face leaders put little value on black lives even though they believe that only them and their white supremacists business partners should benefit from the existence of black lives.

    “Are black lifes worth so little?”

    between the black face sellouts and minority crooks who have both stolen billions from the economy….which was wrecked by them all LONG BEFORE Covid, now they would scrape the bottom of the barrel to continue stealing whatever is left with no benefits to the people, even if they get infected and start dying off.

    they don’t care, it’s all about money for them and not about preserving Black lives, except to rob it..

    hence the reason both sets of thieves must be isolated and exposed fully to the world, now that white supremacy and its enablers are on the world stage wearing their white hoods…name them, shame them, prepare them for the world court.

    Like

  • So which vaccine is for what strain?

    We got the Wuhan Strain, the English Strain and now it looks like the Brazilian Strain.

    Like

  • … then there is the Deadly Strain projected to become dominant in the US by March!!

    Like

  • Enough to make a body frightened.

    Like

  • @ John January 16, 2021 2:54 AM
    “… then there is the Deadly Strain projected to become dominant in the US by March!!”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    At least the incoming president will not be that idiotic as to dismiss its presence and potentially deadly impact as was witnessed under your insane idol which has now been smashed, bagged and ready for removal from the Casa Blanca.

    Like

  • So how many prisoners died from COVID so far in Barbados?

    We are being told the COVID crisis at Dodds is slated to be soon over!!

    How many Bajans did we lose up there?

    How many were hospitalised and required urgent care?

    Why would the Press not ask these basic questions?

    Like

  • … just checked the Worldometer!!!

    Looks like no Bajans died since yesterday from COVID!!

    Last one died on 7th April 2020.

    Still at 1036 cases and 493 recoveries with the same 7 deaths.

    If I weren’t such a trusting individual I would swear some kind of hoax was being perpetrated.

    I’d be wondering how come people are falling like flies all over the world but not in Barbados.

    Like

  • John you absolutely have no credibility on the blog except when sharing a view about water.

    Like

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    Coronavirus Cases:
    450
    Deaths:
    1

    Saint Lucia
    Coronavirus Cases:
    576
    Deaths:
    6

    Dominica
    87
    Deaths
    0

    Both these countries had surges
    Trinidad and Tobago recorded 128 Coronavirus Deaths since the epidemic began, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, Trinidad and Tobago reported 7265 Coronavirus Cases . This page includes a chart with historical data for Trinidad and Tobago Coronavirus Deaths

    KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica’s COVID-19 death toll climbed to 311 today after the island recorded four new virus fatalities.The country also recorded 44 new cases of the virus pushing the total number of cases recorded in the country to 13,455 with 323 deaths.”

    i can go on all day with islands that had no deaths and very little infection spread.

    Like

  • As a matter of maintaining public confidence, I think the Best dos Santos lab and/or the Ministry of Health should publicise the maximum CT or Cycle Threshold (CT = number of amplification cycles of the specimen) used in Best dos Santos’ PCR testing to diagnose a case of Covid-19, or at least confirm that when a positive diagnosis is make, the CT number used to reach that diagnosis is released to the requesting doctor, medical authorities and the patient. This could help reassure the public that our local Covid-19 testing is run in compliance with the latest WHO guidelines.

    On December 2014, 2020, the WHO implicitly acknowledged that critics of the PCR Tests for Covid-19 (heretofore largely ignored by mainstream media or called conspiracy theorists) who cast doubt on the reliability of PCR tests to detect Sars-Cov-2 infections (based on the high CT numbers used in various labs around the world) were correct in raising the alarm. The WHO now agrees that many labs used CT numbers too high to produce accurate results and which would therefore likely have resulted in an overabundance of false positives.

    WHO (finally) admits PCR tests create false positives
    Excerpt:

    Many articles have been written about it, by many experts in the field, medical journalists and other researchers. It’s been commonly available knowledge, for months now, that any test using a CT value over 35 is potentially meaningless.

    Dr Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel Prize for inventing the PCR process, was clear that it wasn’t meant as a diagnostic tool, saying:

    with PCR, if you do it well, you can find almost anything in anybody.”

    And, commenting on cycle thresholds, once said:

    If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.”

    The MIQE guidelines for PCR use state:

    Cq values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported,”

    This has all been public knowledge since the beginning of the lockdown. The Australian government’s own website admitted the tests were flawed, and a court in Portugal ruled they were not fit for purpose.

    Even Dr Anthony Fauci has publicly admitted that a cycle threshold over 35 is going to be detecting “dead nucleotides”, not a living virus.

    Despite all this, it is known that many labs around the world have been using PCR tests with CT values over 35, even into the low 40s.

    off-guardian(DOT)org/2020/12/18/who-finally-admits-pcr-tests-create-false-positives/

    FYI
    Dr. Pierre Kory Talks Covid-19, Ivermectin and the FLCCC | Podcast E43

    Dr. Pierre Kory Talks Covid-19, Ivermectin and the FLCCC:
    Dr. Pierre Kory, Associate Professor of Medicine at St. Luke’s Aurora Medical Center and who TrialSite News would classify as a Pulmonologist and ICU specialist dedicated completely to the COVID-19 patient. He has been a shining light in what can be a dark and murky time in his intense commitment to treat and ensure patients are safe from this pandemic. He was educated at the St. George University Medical School at and has been board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine. Now, Recently the topic of a TrialSite News article, Dr. Kory is an active contributor to real world-based COVID-19 protocols based on extensive, unfolding and rich evidence from the clinic during the pandemic. One alliance known as the FLCC is a topic of discussion today.

    Like

  • They keep warning that the PCR test is not precise.

    Like

  • I been saying that for how long now?!

    The only sure vaccine is faith … just keep going, God got this!!

    Like

  • @John January 16, 2021 9:33 AM “How many were hospitalised and required urgent care? Why would the Press not ask these basic questions?”

    The press DID ask these questions and a few days ago Dr. Corey Forde who is managing Barbados’ covid response replied that a 17 year old prisoner with asthma and covid was quite ill, but they were able to treat him and he has since been moved to the less seriously ill group.

    Since you are a scholar you should know that paying attention is very important.

    Like

  • THIS MAN IS A PART OF THE LOCAL THROWASHADES CREW OR HE IS SPEAKING TO THE REALITY ON THE 2 x 3 ISLAND MANY ON BU ARE TRYING TO HIDE

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Workers should ‘move’ BWU head – Franklyn

    At a time when there are reports of unfair treatment of workers in the COVID-19 environment, trade unionist Caswell Franklyn is not surprised at the deafening silence of General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) Toni Moore.

    Franklyn, who told Barbados TODAY that he is being bombarded with reports of employees, particularly public sector workers, being forced to work in “unfair” circumstances said union leaders should be speaking out about these issues, in the interest of workers.

    However, the leader of the Unity Workers’ Union (UWU) charged that Moore, who was elected as the Member of Parliament for St George North on a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) ticket last year, cannot speak publicly on the unfolding issues affecting workers, because of her political allegiance to her party.

    “She thought she knew what she was getting into. I think she found out that that was not the case. I think it is time that the workers get together and move her.

    “You can’t serve two masters, especially when the two masters are not going in the same direction. So she chose the bed that she wants to lie in, and the workers should kick her out of theirs. She has no right up there masquerading as a General Secretary now,” Franklyn said.

    As Barbados continues to tackle a spike in COVID-19 cases, with a national curfew in effect until month-end, there are reports of employers advising workers that the period they were in isolation could not be treated as sick leave and informing them that they would be laid off instead.

    Barbados TODAY has also received reports of workers returning to the workplace while awaiting their COVID-19 test results.

    On Wednesday, attorney-at-law Michael Lashley, Q.C., described the trend as worrying and called for measures to be implemented to shield workers from victimization.

    Meanwhile, Franklyn is indicating that he has been receiving numerous reports regarding heads of Government departments making it difficult for workers to even work from home, even though Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has ordered that this be done wherever possible.

    “Some of her officials are not allowing workers to do so. We have a situation at the Dodds Prison where men were sleeping on the floor because they brought them to prison to get tested for coronavirus and then shut the door behind them and won’t let them leave.

    “So men had on short pants and slippers and were sleeping on the floors. Some sleeping in the canteens, some of them who drove up there in cars slept in cars and they allowed that to happen for four days.

    “So Government is just as bad, or as worse, than the employers that everybody else is condemning. Miss Mottley sings a good tune, but then she is not following through and the people who should implement what she says are ignoring her and the Prime Minister has not recognized that the people aren’t paying her any mind,” Franklyn said.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/01/16/workers-should-move-bwu-head-franklyn/

    Like

  • @John January 16, 2021 9:40 AM “… just checked the Worldometer!!! Looks like no Bajans died since yesterday from COVID!! Last one died on 7th April 2020. Still at 1036 cases and 493 recoveries with the same 7 deaths.If I weren’t such a trusting individual I would swear some kind of hoax was being perpetrated. I’d be wondering how come people are falling like flies all over the world but not in Barbados.”

    We could still drop like flies if we drop our masks and behave like the foolish tourists from the cold white north.

    But in the early days of the pandemic there was some talk that the BCG vaccine which is virtually universal accepted in Barbados seemed to offer some protection. And some talk also that the plentiful sunshine Vitimin D we are exposed to all year long might also offer protection. Also Barbadians on the whole were pretty compliant when it came to hand washing, mask wearing, and social distancing. I had 4 visitors between yesterday and today. Two did not come inside because there was no need to do so, even so these visitor’s wore their masks and kept 6 feet from me. The visitors who came inside immediately washed their hands with soap and plenty of warm water, and we all wore our masks indoors, and kept 3 to 6 feet from each other, even those visitors are close family. Because we are aware that covid19 can also be caught from close family.

    Like

  • Notice that all 2020 long we were keeping sharpish eyes on our ZR men who are widely regarded as the most bad behaved group in this community. Of the BU people, I alone have ever said a kind word about these gentlemen.

    But please note that it was NOT the ZR men who caused this year end explosion explosion of covid19, but rather our tourists from the cold white north, who therefore must be more bad behaved than even the worse of our ZR men. I will continue my decades long association with the ZR gentlemen, but I will be avoiding the people from the north.

    Like

  • Not just the white ones. I will also be avoiding Miller, Baje, Hal, GP and whitehill too

    Like

  • Cuhdear BajanJanuary 16, 2021 4:33 PM

    @John January 16, 2021 9:33 AM “How many were hospitalised and required urgent care? Why would the Press not ask these basic questions?”

    The press DID ask these questions and a few days ago Dr. Corey Forde who is managing Barbados’ covid response replied that a 17 year old prisoner with asthma and covid was quite ill, but they were able to treat him and he has since been moved to the less seriously ill group.

    Since you are a scholar you should know that paying attention is very important.

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

    Pretty sure I put this link up eons ago!!

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54000629

    Lost interested in the COVID farce and testing long long ago!!

    Other more important issues to deal with.

    Like

  • Casedemic.

    Like

  • ANOTHER LOCAL THROWASHADES CREW MEMBER WHO VOTED FOR CURRENT BLP GOVERNMENT.

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    by Roderick P. Harris

    I can just about picture a man drowning at Brandon’s Beach and he screams out to a member of the Barbados Government for assistance and without missing a pulse beat, that minister responds: “Just hold on my brother, we are in the process of forming a committee to look at all the ramifications of drowning and how best we can
    we find workable solutions to mitigate against future occurrences.

    I promise I’ll get back to you because this is who we are.”

    While Government needs to upgrade and enhance testing equipment to facilitate greater volume of service; and while it needs to ensure a speedier process of returning test results; and while it has to give assurances to frontline workers such as police and soldiers that they will not be left out when compensatory monies are being disbursed; and while it should be considering shutting our borders for at least a week or two to stem the COVID-19 tide, Government has instead chosen to appoint a communications team to answer questions, I suspect, not so much about what authorities have been doing but more so about what they have not been doing.

    And as if to give students an object lesson in irony or juxtaposition, that grouping is headed by Government enforcer Liz Thompson who mere months ago was herself embroiled in mild COVID-19 controversy after returning to Barbados.

    Then, whether it was a case of bad communication, miscommunication or no communication, Barbadians had to skim through what public details were made available or could be believed, to determine whether the country had been placed in danger.

    I say all that to say this.

    This Government which I voted for in the absence of a viable alternative in my neck of the woods, needs to allow health officials to take a more prominent, DECISION-MAKING role in fighting this pandemic.

    I get the impression whenever I view press conferences, that our health officials – the Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George especially – speak very guardedly and with a level of trepidation that they might say too much and therefore, choose to say little or nothing.

    The recent engagement of the president of BAMP on the communications team, I believe, is more geared towards keeping that grouping in line – or quiet – more so than any attempt to utilize her immense medical skills and knowledge.

    Some of us Barbadians are being drowned by COVID-19 and it seems our main hope of rescue rests in stilted words offered by politicians from the comfort of the sea shore.

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2021/01/15/btcolumn-we-are-drowning-politicians-are-talking/

    Like

  • For any socialist Government with a huge bill when the month comes for countless numbers of people’s wages and with unions that will raise hell over short weeks, COVID and the fear it generates is a gift.

    Shutdowns are magic.

    The elites work on assiduously solving the problems of the casedemic while the lowly folks get to be labeled as non essential workers.

    New strains of COVID work wonders at keeping the wages bill down and prolonging the status quo.

    Casedemics work wonders.

    It’s just not sustainable.

    One day, we have to stand up, come out of hiding, fearlessly face the music and move on.

    Like

  • Give the various czars knighthoods for their various contributions and lets move on!!

    Like

  • What taxes will now need to be levied to keep our lumbering dysfunctional Government working and our elites in cash?

    Has the damage to the economy caused by the fear sunk in yet?

    Like

  • JohnJanuary 16, 2021 6:20 PMPretty sure I put this link up eons ago!!https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54000629

    Tell that to the overloaded hospitals in USA, UK, Europe. The clinical manifestation (not the PCR tests), of the virus is what has the hospitals in dire straits.

    People do not go to hospitals based on a PCR test. The medical advice is to treat at home unless SERIOUS (I put that in caps as some here only seem to understand caps) symptoms come on, such as breathing difficulties, weakness, lack of response.

    So all of those in hospital have serious symptoms. The hospitals are overloaded. What does that tell you?

    On the taxation, the realisation will hit that the governments (taxpayers) worldwide cannot bear the brunt of the cost and those with the bulk of resources i.e. capital, will have to fork up a small portion (10% to 15%) of that capital to pay for it.

    Have fun thinking that any other arrangement will work.

    Like

  • The capital isn’t going to come from Twitter, it has billions in debt.

    Guess Amazon, Facebook, Buffet, Gates etc will have to cough up the dinero which I am sure will be on loan with strings attached!!

    Like

  • CrusoeJanuary 17, 2021 1:46 AM

    JohnJanuary 16, 2021 6:20 PMPretty sure I put this link up eons ago!!https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54000629

    Tell that to the overloaded hospitals in USA, UK, Europe. The clinical manifestation (not the PCR tests), of the virus is what has the hospitals in dire straits.

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

    The PCR tests is what has the economies in lockdown.

    No economy, no dinero to pay for the hospitals!!

    Like

  • JohnJanuary 17, 2021 3:06 AMThe PCR tests is what has the economies in lockdown.

    No they do not. The overloaded hospitals in the EU, USA and UK are what have the economies in lockdown. The PCR tests are but an indicator of the potential storm. The real storm is the clinical manisfestation, that is very real.

    Do you really think that there would be lockdowns without any hospitalisations?

    Stupse.

    Like

  • So why is Barbados under curfew with 7 COVID deaths to date?

    … the last one being 30th April 2020?

    Why does the media in America relate cases to deaths?

    BTW, all the billionaires in America combined cannot come up with the 1.9 trillion relief package Biden plans!!!

    … well not really plans, more like talks about.

    Got to print money!!

    Like

  • Challenges will inspire growth or cause collapse
    There is no growth without challenge.
    Without the challenge of gravity, the muscles of astronauts waste away. The challenge of resistance causes muscles to grow. But challenge doesn’t guarantee growth. It’s about how we respond to challenge.
    The challenge of gravity can also cause a body to sag and bend as it gets older. Responding to gravity with weight training is one way of rising to the downward challenge of gravity and maintaining strong bones and a straight back well into your later years.
    But, lifting weights too heavy or too often or without proper preparation or support causes injuries. Dealing with challenges can be a delicate balancing act. And what a balancing act of a challenge we have in this COVID 19 situation, especially since or society hasn’t necessarily been proactive in weight training.
    Under control
    The Government now has to keep a country running while restricting the same country’s runnings. They have to manage dynamic and unstable conditions while maintaining poise and appearing to have things under control. They have to balance providing accurate and timely information while managing public perceptions and maintaining public calm.
    They have to help people understand things that they themselves may be struggling to understand. But this is called governance, or leadership. And though these may be extraordinarily
    challenging times, governance has never been simple or easy, whether you are a parent, a teacher, an employer or politician.
    Withhold information
    In an effort to make it easier and to simplify the process, there are some tactics that leaders often use, whether in the home, school, business or at the head of a country. They withhold information, thinking that the less those they govern know, the less they will challenge.
    If this doesn’t work, they outright lie. To ease the challenge, difficulty and complexity of leadership, many leaders lean heavily on the use of threats or intimidation, even outright violence to get compliance. These tactics will work when those you lead are immature and/or feel disempowered. But when those you lead start growing a sense of self, these tactics will lead to confrontation and rebellion.
    In any leadership situation, leaders will have to deal with some level challenge from among their people. The best leaders embrace and welcome those challenges as opportunities for growth. They see it as an inevitable maturing of the persons they lead and a possible expression of a readiness to take on more responsibility and share the burden of leadership.
    The good parent is raising their child to eventually become a peer and ultimately take on the role of leadership. They will put the challenges of an impetuous teen into a perspective of growth. They know that this is the natural cycle. Once an adult and twice a child. In your second childhood,
    your adult child is likely to treat you the way you treated them when they were under your care. The best leaders embrace these moments of challenge as a means of preparing others for leadership.
    Style of governance
    This is not necessarily the most popular style of governance in the world today. In former colonies and slave societies, for example, many of the tendencies of the colonial rulers are maintained. Parents, teachers, bosses and politicians will talk at you instead of with you.
    They will be evasive and condescending. They respond with annoyance to questions and objections. They will not prepare their charges for increased responsibility. It is not necessarily because they are evil. It may just be simpler, and it is the style of rule which we’ve learned all too well.
    That colonial style of governance will not work well in these times. In these times, people are not just passively taking what leaders dish out – especially not in the face of the current challenges. Unfortunately, our leaders of the past have not been actively preparing a society of leaders. Nor has it seemed to be the norm for aspiring politicians to prepare to deal with a society with an increasing sense of self.
    But leaders today can expect to be challenged by those they lead. These challenges will either inspire growth or cause collapse. Which one will be a choice we make by how we respond to the challenge. Right now our leaders are having to grow fast and the people the same. The gap between the leaders and the led will have to narrow. In moments of optimism, I feel like I can see spurts of growth already.
    The weight of COVID may well help to develop a
    more muscular democracy – once we survive the growing pains.

    Adrian Green is a communications specialist. Email: Adriangreen14 @gmail.com

    Source: Nation

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  • Businesses in limbo
    Waiting to exhale is the sentiment felt by many in Barbados as we continue to monitor the rising cases of COVID-19. On January 1, 2021, there were 395 reported cases of COVID-19. This number has risen to 1 036 cases at the time of writing this article. We still don’t know how widespread the local transmission is due to the current backlog of test results, but, hopefully, this will become clearer in the coming week following the assurance given by the Prime Minister that the backlog will be cleared by this weekend.
    Since the start of the year, many businesses took precautionary measures to prevent the possible spread of the virus among their staff and customers. However, the focus initially was on those associated directly or indirectly with the bus crawl. However, we now know of four other West Coast clusters, one of which has produced 100 positive cases, one small cluster in the north and another on the south.
    Given the uncertainty about how widespread the virus is, it has been difficult for businesses to make long-term plans for 2021.
    If only a small number of local transmissions are found, then it is more likely that the cases will be traced, isolated and reduced within short order so that only short-term stringent measures are necessary for operations. However, more stringent measures for protecting employees, managing expenditure and making decisions on staff retention will be required if there is widespread local transmission.
    Such would also encourage remote working on a long-term basis while others may suffer a reduction in patronage thereby necessitating a tightening of the belt. Additional considerations such as the renewal of lease agreements, restructuring of business loans or mortgages or downsizing of office or retail spaces can only
    be properly decided when employers know the extent of the spread and can assess its likely longterm effect on business operations, budgets and profitability.
    Virtual learning
    An additional hurdle is the recommencement of virtual learning, which places added pressure on employees with younger children, who must now supervise their children at home during online learning. This naturally reduces the ability of the employee to work the normal hours of work and may cause reduced productivity.
    It is unclear how long remote learning will continue, with the further burdens it places on employers in scheduling and/or accommodating staff especially within industries where remote working is difficult.
    The impact of the uncertainty is also seen in the wider community. The Ministry of Labour has temporarily paused conciliation hearings and the scheduling of Employment Rights Tribunal matters as a precautionary measure, which I believe is a prudent step. While the testing and tracing of those who may have been exposed to coronavirus take priority (which is understandable) promoters express an inability to get information on the compensation promised by Government on the cancelled New Year’s Eve events.
    Hoteliers also expressed frustration at the lack of sufficient information on the Government’s promise to compensate those tourists or locals who had longer stays at hotels while awaiting delayed test results. In the interim, some guests have threatened to cease payment. One hotel was reported as calling the police when a guest tried to leave without satisfying the balance of his bill.
    Until the Government provides clearer information on the extent of the current crisis, it will be difficult
    for most businesses to plan for more than a few weeks at a time. This threatens business earnings and continuity at a time when many are still reeling from the financial impact caused by the pandemic.
    I can only hope that more pertinent information will be forthcoming that allows businesses to be less reactionary and more able to plan their 2021 operations.

    Michelle M. Russell is an attorney with a passion for Employment law and labour matters. Email: mrussell.ja@gmail.com

    Source: Nation

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  • This Government which I voted for in the absence of a viable alternative in my neck of the woods, needs to allow health officials to take a more prominent, DECISION-MAKING role in fighting this pandemic.

    I get the impression whenever I view press conferences, that our health officials – the Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George especially – speak very guardedly and with a level of trepidation that they might say too much and therefore, choose to say little or nothing….(Quote)

    Well said. The reality is that it is poor communications, but, of course, Barbadians are experts on everything. We have had the president heading the CoVid communication team, then she took ill and Santia deputised with enormous confidence, she was replaced again by the president, then we had Col Bostic, the minister, the acting CMO, Drs Forde and Best, a CoVid task forced headed by Dr Walcott, who again did a decent job, then the president returned again, then she brought in Liz Thompson, then she returned again to give a long, rambling political speech.
    The communication is amateurish, and it is not clear what message they are trying to get out: is it about allowances? Is it about clusters and community spread? Is it propaganda about social media and believing the government only? Is it nationalistic nonsense about who we are?
    The humiliation of Dr George was the high-water mark, when the poor guy tried to define what cluster meant. She is a bad leader, a bad manager and a self-obsessed, one-dimensional politician with the same speech wrapped up in different flimsy packages.

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