Death + Murder = Case of DIMINISHING Return on ROE

One of the many discussion points COVID 19 pandemic has generated is the ‘Covid 19 dashboard’. The ‘dashboard’ highlights a running number of daily, cumulative infections, active cases, number of people vaccinated, DEATHS and other information public health officials deem to be pertinent. Last evening the recent ‘dashboard’ showed the number of deaths attributed to COVID 19 had surpassed 42 for 2020 – see BU’s Murder Tracker.

An unwelcome characteristic demonstrated by Barbadians in recent years is a numbness shown to death. In 2019 the number of murders was an unprecedented 49. It was not that long ago Barbadians expressed horror at a single unnatural death on the island. The blogmaster anticipates the counter perspective will be that per thousand- Barbados despite the high number of reported murders in the last 2 years- is removed from several other countries in the region. Why then is the blogmaster consumed by an overwhelming sense of despair at the current situation? A glimmer of hope- we have passed the first quarter of 2021 with a single murder reported. Will the trend continue? The blogmaster is not optimistic.

The government is understandably consumed by the economic and COVID 19 challenges of the day. However, we must not forget the social issues we have to also manage that determine the quality of society we aspire to maintain. Although Barbados’ human development index continues to be relatively well reported, it has fallen from high of the 1990s.

An overdue discussion in the country is the causal factors driving the apathetic attitude to the rising number of murders and death in general.

There is also the sub story revealed by rising COVID 19 deaths that confirms the vulnerability of individuals afflicted with comorbidities in Barbados. It is no secret Barbados has earned the label NCD Capital of the world. It is no secret the COVID 19 virus has been unkind to this group. PAHO reports that people with underlying health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer have a higher risk of severe COVID 19 disease and are more likely to die.

Although fighting the pandemic has been elevated to number one priority health issue by the global community, the enduring issue for Barbados of the high incidence of NCDs must not see this issue being subsumed and ‘deprioritized’ by the pandemic. Should the health authorities be using the opportunity to coopt simultaneous approaches to fight both health issues?

The blogmaster wants to see a greater proactive and holistic approach to managing the people’s business by government and NGO stakeholders. There is a reason funding for education is consistently in the top two allocations of the national budget. The high incidence of NCDs in Barbados and the apathy to murder and death suggest we must see a greater rate of return on education (ROE). This dysfunctional behaviour if allowed to be unrestrained does not bode well for a future Barbados.

Covid 19 Dashboard

18 thoughts on “Death + Murder = Case of DIMINISHING Return on ROE

  1. David
    Yuh see how this Covid is surging all over again, like we warned you and Mugabe a few weeks ago.

    This is only the fourth innings in a baseball game, not cricket!

    The virus is in total control for now.

    • @Pacha

      We see the big countries continue to struggle yet a few souls come to BU intent on excoriating a tiny island with limited resources keeping its head above the surf. Another 30K vaccines to arrive on the island this week. This will push vaccinated persons to about 100K in a population of 280K. The work is that there is some concern the life of the vaccine to the body. We may be looking at annual booster shots a la flu shot.

  2. Mugabe’s friend, the Hindu fascist Modi, has banned the exportation of vaccines. Home drums must beat first.

  3. David
    This is our problem. Why Covid will go on and on. Capitalism’s inability to save us.
    See why our point of departure is inevitably the impossibility of solving any real problems in Bim unless we first address the external environments.

  4. David

    No. India was supposed to be supplying ninety odd countries and that will not happen any time soon. Rich countries are hording vaccines for their people.

    We are not surprised that the disaster capitalists have engineered the vaccine in order to sustain demand. We warned you not to trust these people.

    Your problem is that every time you think you can fully reopen there’s another wave. Any wave anywhere will soon be everywhere.

    Certainly, the failure to crush this pandemic everywhere at the same time will be a real problem going forward – new variants.

  5. David

    Disagree. That was an international agreement and should be obeyed even in its inherent insufficiency.

    If there are other shortfalls……….. India has the production unit and should add another shift.

    Is this what international arrangements are to come to?

  6. “Your problem is that every time you think you can fully reopen there’s another wave. Any wave anywhere will soon be everywhere.”

    This is a very good summary of the situation.

    We also have to look at how this applies to Barbados as we are highly dependent on tourism. Can we just close our borders without knowing how long this covid-19 problem will last? The GoB has to weigh the risks and make a decision.

    People like myself has more options than the government, we can do nothing, agree or second guess. If we are wrong we do not have to pay a penalty; some have retreated into the night when circumstances favor the government and emerge like night creatures when circumstances seem to turn against the government.

  7. Just over 1% of the Barbados population was infected with Covid-19 and 0.014634% died of the 287,000 population. We need to not buy into the hysteria if we really want to show the investment in education is worth it.

    India, have a poverty, overpopulation and sanitation problem.

    Europe, North America and USA all have a gluttonous problem leading to NCDs

    Africa have the same problem as India

    COVID-19 kills but we can break the spread and thus dodge the virus. We do it with TB and other highly contagious diseases.

    This pandemic has really shown how gullible the world is to global influencers.


    Vaccines are necessary but the hysteria is just too much and has now lead to pandemic fatigue.


    It is helpful when lies are just deposited in the lobby.

    “In 2019, the top 10 pharmaceutical R&D spenders collectively plowed a whopping $82 billion into their search for new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines, around $4 billion more than the previous year.”

    Do you mean to say that the companies spent over $82 billion on advertising in on year?

  9. @TheOGazerts, “ Pharmaceutical companies say that they charge high prices for medications because they need that revenue to invest in research and development (R&D). While this argument is not complex on its face (drug research does require funding), drug affordability advocates and critics of Big Pharma have pointed out that more Pharma revenue goes to marketing than to funding R&D.

    PharmacyChecker analyzed the 2019 financial reports of five of the industry’s biggest names, illustrated in the table below. In all five cases, the companies spent more on marketing and sales than they did on research and development. Additionally, every company’s spending on research and development has increased only incrementally year over year. But, year over year, each mega drug company has seen a vast increase in revenue.

    Drug companies frequently make a large share of their profits from a few big-selling drugs that have earned the almost-too-playful title of “blockbuster drugs.”

    Key examples are Sovaldi and Harvoni, two hepatitis C drugs in a class of their own in terms of profit. Sovaldi, can cost as much as $1,000 per tablet. Both are manufactured by pharma giant Gilead Sciences, the same company that, earlier this year, requested orphan drug status of the potential COVID-19 treatment remdesivir. In 2014, Gilead’s revenues increased by 223% to $25 billion from $11.2 billion in 2013. A huge chunk of those dollars — $10.3 billion — was from Sovaldi.

    The pharmaceutical industry is a for-profit industry: It is a business. Like most businesses, Big Pharma understands that marketing and advertising (not to mention lobbying) begets more money. And, let us not forget, pharmaceutical companies need a lot of money. How else are they going to pay their CEOs $17.9 billion a year?”

    • Attached are the charts for the week ending April 09.  The positivity charts for Barbados indicate that there has been a consistent gradual reduction in percent positivity here over the past 3 to 4 weeks.  But we are not yet out of the woods. It is still a bit too early to claim victory as the active cases charts for Guyana and Trinidad and, even st Lucia, suggest – Lyall Small

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