There was a virus going round papa caught it and he died last spring
And now mama doesn’t seem to want to do anything
–The Ode To Billy Joe
( Since this piece was written, the U S President Donald Trump has now extended the ban to Ireland and the United Kingdom. Go figure. You just have to roll your eyes – Editor)
The whole world has gone friggin mad over the corona virus. It is like Shakespeare said in the play Hamlet that men have become brutish beasts and all reason has fled them. The chief amongst them is the American President Donald Trump who is a lost and vicious soul. Decisions are being made which chokes off the whole world’s economy, not it seems based on science but on whim. We even question the doctors.
Mr. Trump decided without notice to suspend all airplane flights from Europe to America. They are his strongest allies but he cut them off at the knees without notice . Then with a politically directed decision, he decides to exempt the only English speaking territories in Europe: the United Kingdom and Ireland on the basis that they have better protocols in place. No one believes it for a moment. It is simply part of a trade war and the comeuppance for the Europeans and their maintaining the European Union which he opposes.
Of course, we are not sad for the Europeans. They are constantly dumping on the Caricom countries with let or hindrance. So now they see what it is like when someone more powerful does something to you and you can do nothing about it. So let them suffer. Couldn’t have happened to a finer bunch.
Here is the argument that is made. We have to take these draconian measures to shut down the world’s economy because the virus has to be contained and by containing it, this will stop people from getting sick and give us time to find a cure or until the immunities build up in the human population and the virus will then cease its evil work.
In this regard, we are no more adept at fighting the crisis than those poor souls who bumbled around in the 14th century when 200 million people lost their lives to Bubonic plague which the Europeans blamed on China and the fleas from rats coming along the silk road, although some say there was evidence that it actually originated in Sweden.
The argument also goes: better safe than sorry. That we must act rather than hesitate and err on the side of extreme measures as opposed to doing nothing.
All of that is fine and good but when people die as a result of the cure rather than the disease. what is the argument there. The measures they are talking about which will shut down commerce around the world and in countries will choke off economies and many people will not be able to get a pay cheque and there will be no money to buy food and no money to buy medicine and on and on. There must be a middle way. This is particularly so since the Chinese now have vast experience with dealing with this matter and can help plot the pathology of the middle ground.
For us Bahamians, Mr. Trump has now decided to stop cruise ships form coming to the Caribbean for 30 days. That means for 30 days, the straw market in Nassau will be empty. God help those in Freeport who have been suffering now for ten long years or more. There will be empty restaurants. They will soon want you to stop flying on airplanes and the plan in The Bahamas is to join in the chorus of banning public gatherings.
These seem rather Orwellian to us and not one of the so called human rights activists have said a word as people land at airports round the world and are grabbed and put in quarantine for 14 days and isolated from friends and families on the suspicion that they have this disease.