When Public Health meets PR

Submitted by BU Contributor

While the GoB should be widely complimented for its initial handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the past 5-6 weeks have unearthed a strategy where priority is being placed on feeling good over firm facts, economics over health and spin over substance.

It is clear to a blind man on a trotting horse that the Government has determined that it and it alone will decide what and how much information we get, when and how. Even if it means reorganising or delaying key details so as not to sound alarmist or to “protect the brand” or maintain an air of control.

Why else would we be given “nice” figures in front the camera only to realise days later that it is worse than thought.

Why else would we be promised regular, consistent statistics, only to have them spread out and again given in different sometimes confusing formats, if at all.

Why else would we have the swift hiring and then hiding of the Ambassador after her fiascos dug too deep and clearly were too rough?

Why else would we have the withdrawal of Walcott who clearly couldn’t handle pressure. “Why should we be bothered about Patient X?” he bellowed.

Why else would we keep getting “I don’t knows” or “I have to look into that” for questions which have obvious answers?

Notwithstanding the kneejerk “tourist payback policy” which was announced before anyone knew and the hurried hazard pay to some persons without considering others. It seems that we have been fed a diet of small statistics with a side of PR sprinkled with cliches and political talking points.

“uh beg ya… wear your masks etc etc.”
Guess what, Barbadians by and large did everything that was asked of them.

“We can’t shut our borders, we need the money”
But yet we are told that the numbers of tourists entering are a negligible amount.

“The vaccine will be taken in the full glare of the public”
Clearly the glare was too bright, I missed it.

“The super spreader event called a ##### bus crawl held by ######….”
I guess the West Coast is too super to be called a spreader or to special to identify

  1. What about the Psychiatric Hospital cases, were these ever confirmed?
  2. What about the cases at the QEH hospital that “appeared”?
  3. What about the samples which withdrawn Walcott said were sent to confirm whether they were the mutated strain or not?
  4. When do we acknowledge that there is community spread? Is it so vile a phrase?
  5. What really is the new high tech semi-imported communications team doing?
  6. Has BAMP suddenly gone silent? No word from them about the rapid testing strategy?
  7. As countries overseas close or require vaccines, aren’t we still going to take a hit?

Look, we know we are in a tight spot. We know now is not the time for blame. But, at the same time, it is also not the time for spin, propaganda and public relations posturing, no matter how good it sounds or from which aunt or uncle it comes from.

It’s time to level with the Barbadian public.

  1. How long should we expect to be grappling with cases of 10-20 or more each day? What does our “curve” look like and mean?
  2. Are these cases still linked to the December 26 – January 2 spike or are we now seeing recent spread and new cases?
  3. Are our clusters still clustered?
  4. How widespread geographically are our cases?
  5. How long does contact tracing really take?
  6. Should we just accept that Covid spread in Barbados is a new normal and carry on smartly?
  7. Do business continue to close when they think necessary IF they feel like?
  8. Will schools continue to remain closed?
  9. What is the Covid monitoring unit doing and what successes is it having?

These questions aren’t too hard to answer. With facts, come a reality. With reality, comes choices. With choice, come decisions.

The time for talk has long passed. Level with the public for better or for worse and let’s move on together without so much doubt and uncertainty. We’ve done it before, we can do it again.

255 thoughts on “When Public Health meets PR

  1. “Sometimes you can, and quite impressively so, allow your xenophobic imagination to get ahead of your journalistic seasoning even if not reasoning.”

    well said

    I often call out the boy for his repugnant racism but he don’t hear me though

    he tuns a deaf ear like a bitch and needs some scum remover spray

    if he spake in public to be people face’s like he does in public domain he would get plenty bitch slaps

    although his face looks well beaten up already

  2. @January 26, 2021 7:47 PM “Isn’t the same ‘poor-ass’ India a major supplier of pharmaceuticals to ‘Third World’ aka “shithole” countries like Barbados?”

    I just checked the labels of the 3 medicines I take for my NCD’s. All made in India. Been taking them for about 10 years. I am still fit as a fiddle. Have spent a total of 10 days in hospital in nearly 70 years, including time for childbirths. Can still do 5 or 6 hours of heavy outdoor work anytime I feel like it.

    I have great confidence in Indian pharmaceuticals.

    Barbados has long bought a lot of medicines from India. The rest of Caricom does too. Maybe that is why the PM is speaking with Indian officials. They know our track record with paying and we know theirs with supplying excellent quality medicines.

  3. The PM knows the source of the problem
    But lockdown barbados however keep the source open by which the virus comes in
    What kind of idiot would keep a door open to let infections in
    Then goes on long winded diatribe of gaggle to deliver to the people

  4. Israel is also a phArmaceutical giant. The relationships are often more complicated than they appear on the surface.

  5. @Angela,
    You and Mia are a study in contrast.
    One was running a country, the other was running her mouth.

    You picked the worst scenario and rode a dead horse until it came to life. Armed with safety protocols, Mia chose a positive course of action and rode her horse until it had to pull up straight.

  6. @ Ass Clown… To use bajan….”you sound so stupid” but I guess that is your normal.

  7. Yeap Gazzert i run my mouth all the while Mia was running tye country and the infection rste kept increasing
    Finally she got a chance to run her mouth however a bit too late cause the horse has run many furlongs across the home stretch causing her to do double takes
    Hence her position to take action
    Actions which in the end cannot stop COVID deadly footprint on the island until she tackle the source

  8. Cuddear…your’re fit, why are you taking medication. I know people who take none. Myself included glad too.

  9. @Ass Clown
    You are right
    Mia and her goons let the virus in the country that has killed three elderly none of which are her family members
    Today saying sorry but the words sorry can only be appreciated when one does everything possible to prevent disastrous results
    Her leaving the borders open at such a critical time was a big error and all the sorry in the world cannot bring back a love one because of a govt policy which choose the health of the economy over the health of the people
    Ass Clown you are not an idiot only an idiots indulge in genocide with eyes wide shut
    Ass Clown Keep yuh eyes wide open yuh wouldnt want none of yuh family members to be on Mia sorry list

  10. “The reality of the situation is most of us don’t spend enough time in the sun ”

    the Caribbean is surrounded by sun. Everytime you step out, there it is. I find it hard not to get at least 10 minutes a day in the backyard. Even better if you can find a chair, pull it up and sit in the sun, don’t cost a dime. I don’t get to take 2 hours every day, but today was very nice.

  11. I don’t know about yall, but if i don’t top on the Vitamin D, i start to lose my melanin, over a period of time and am a Black person..

  12. @WURA-War-on-U January 26, 2021 9:26 PM “Cuddear…your’re fit, why are you taking medication. I know people who take none. Myself included glad too.”

    Want to live to be nearly 100 like my dear sweet dad and his mum. Want to fall out of my bed in my 90’s and not break anything, want to dance at the grandchildren’s weddings, want to continue gardening, want to continue enjoying my sweetie, lol! [you know what I mean]

  13. @WURA-War-on-U January 26, 2021 9:32 PM

    Just because you not loosing your black tan does not mean your vitamin D levels are good. Other factors than just getting sun such as age, diet also plays a part in how well your body converts.

    Unless you have your levels tested, the next best thing is supplementation since it is extremely difficult to overdose on vitamin D but you can be relatively sure you are getting at least a certain minimum amount in your body.

  14. “They know our track record with paying” (quote)
    Unsure this is a safe path to head down. I do not know what medical products the GoB buys direct, versus via local suppliers. But many of those suppliers had the QEH etc on C.O.D for a long time. One of the IMF roles was to get these payables current. Government to Government is one thing. Asking a manufacturer to supply (and hold the credit) is another.
    To besides, the cat is already out of the bag. Israel got vaccines by PAYING MORE. So called supply shortages, are largely because the manufacturer has found a customer willing to pay more. Retooling my ass. And if you think they don’t talk to each other, think again. They all know, based on other products, who has who, over a barrel.
    This is a huge profit making opportunity. And you will note how protectionist the big blocks are getting. They do not wish to be held to ransom.
    Surely if the GoB can pay White Oaks a SUCCESS FEE (guaranteed) of $40M+, they can pay triple the list price for vaccines?

  15. “Unless you have your levels tested, the next best thing is supplementation since it is extremely difficult to overdose on vitamin D but you can be relatively sure you are getting at least a certain minimum amount in your body.”

    You are referring to people who have heath problems and NCDs….i dont..i can only speak as to my health, all i need to do is top up on Vitamin D periodically. Am truly blessed for as long as that lasts.

  16. You have a beautiful 17 minute practice today, so don’t you even think about skipping it.

    This session is a great one, once again inviting you to dedicate some time to drop into conversation with your breath.

    This one is also designed to assist you in putting a lot of elements of previous lessons together for more discovery!

    Get ready to learn something new.

    Expand your mind.

    Expand your breath!

    Daily practice at its finest, proving, a little dedicated time goes a long way.

    I send you a gentle reminder today to give the thinking mind a break. This practice gets right to it. Don’t think too hard. Begin with your breath and the rest will unfold.

    This practice also dances its way toward Wild Thing pose, sometimes called flip dog

    You are doing this.

    Trust you are here for a reason…

    It’s meaningful.

    Welcome healing.

    Welcome potential.

    Welcome discovery.

    Welcome expansion.

    I will see you on the mat!


  17. @ Oldies but Goodies

    Here is an exercise practice for all the grannies and granddads

    Modifications : Only do what is comfortably challenging

    You cannot do what you cannot do

  18. Barbados did not have to reach this high level of lockdowns if Mia had taken the right step of. Closing the borders to travellers from hot spots
    The panic and fear being felt across the island are mostly in part due to govt mishandling of the crisis and having a message board placed on an ease of presenting to home and aboard that barbados was COVID Free

  19. Whilst some are opposed to wearing masks, we are told to increase the protection by doubling up on masks.

    Which camp are you in?

  20. As to time periods for lockdowns
    Does the virus stop circulating during those periods
    And how about the present time when people are still out abd about
    The nonsense of dating the virus is built on Pretense that the virus is less active

  21. What ? Yes what and that what should be directed towards Mia with her plans to punish the people and hurt small business

  22. The dash board is all but meaningless in its numbers knowing that there is community spread and the numbers are nit reflected of what is happening in the community in its totality until all are tested

  23. Pingback: When Public Health meets PR — Barbados Underground – GLOBALYNC – Humanity

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