My younger brother, Ron, a physician who has lived in the USA for the last 40 plus years, remarked on one of his quarterly visits several years ago, that Darrell Bradley, then the mayor of Belize City, was the best mayor Belize City had ever had. The same day he said that, he accompanied me on a trip through the city and my old truck bounced in a bad hole in a street and we had a mechanical problem. Ah, Mr. Bradley hadn’t gotten around to cementing that street yet.
One street that Bradley did cement was Seashore Drive in Buttonwood Bay, the street where my brother has his big American-money-built home, the street which the PM’s wife and her friends decorate like it’s Fifth Avenue in New York at Krismos time. I haven’t been to New York; in fact I have never set foot in that country that has so wronged Native peoples and Africans, so I had to Google the name of a street over there to plug in. I have seen movies set in New York, though, and Los Angeles too, so I wasn’t so surprised I fell off my stool when I saw the fabulous Buttonwood Krismos Show last year.
I won’t say that what Bradley did to the street in front of my brother’s house is behind my brother’s bias. I think the Americans have a rich palate, and they assume when they come to our country and see the things they are familiar with, that we the people are doing well. They don’t see behind the façade. If they did, I bet they would wonder why a country on a small car budget is driving limousines.
Okay, I don’t think that D Bradley was so great a mayor of Belize City, but I will give him his points. D Bradley has no fear about speaking his truth, and that’s a point his way. He’s a confident guy, and he knows what he is after. Those are good things in a leader, because they can hit the jackpot if the vision they have is not pie in the sky dreams. You’ll never get anything out of the leader who is confused about the way up.
Okay, now for the bad things about the former mayor of Belize City. I already suggested that I thought his vision too grandiose, First World when it came to his approach to development in Belize. Well, this here is no suggestion: the man noh humble ataal.
Last week Mr. Bradley was on the media rounds discussing his proposals for campaign financing, which he says is absolutely necessary, and I agree, but I’m not giving him full ear because I didn’t hear him beg paadn for saddling Belize City with a contract (city administrator) that never should have been signed. He might have apologized; I’m saying I didn’t hear it.
I don’t think he apologized, and I am saying he has a lot of face to think he can sail off into other matters without bowing at the waist. It looks like a disease with this UDP. Dehn noh have no humility.
Mr. Bradley had offered that he made the contract because he was looking for continuity in the system, but at the least he must admit that it was a huge stretch to sign someone to a contract that has always gone to a politically appointed officer. He doesn’t deserve a pass, but give him one if yu partial.
It has not been refuted that the person to whom he gave the contract is a political operative for his party, the UDP. We know that the PUP likes to lai, just like the present UDP, and they made this accusation that the lady Darrell gave the contract to, she was big in the campaign to get the UDP councilors re-elected. I said the PUP story was not refuted.
Oh, about Mr. Bradley’s proposals for campaign financing, I insist on being personal. Braa, I have to swallow real hard before I pay attention to him when he’s still got that apology bridge to cross.
The so-called Spanish Flu, a flu epidemic near the beginning of the third decade of the 20th century that is estimated to have killed 40, 50 or 100 million people, depending on whose historical account you read, is reported to have impacted healthy, relatively young adults more than it impacted the people who are expected to be most vulnerable, the old and the very young. This story that’s on a Wikipedia page about the Spanish Flu, has some lessons about it.
The report says that scientists said the virus triggered a cytokine storm “which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults”, but “a 2007 analysis of medical journals from the period of the pandemic found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous influenza strains. Instead, malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene promoted bacterial super infection …”
The report further stated, “The second wave of the 1918 pandemic was much deadlier than the first. The first wave had resembled typical flu epidemics; those most at risk were the sick and elderly, while younger, healthier people recovered easily. By August, when the second wave began … the virus had mutated to a much deadlier form …
“ … This increased severity has been attributed to the circumstances of the First World War. In civilian life, natural selection favors a mild strain. Those who get very ill stay home, and those mildly ill continue with their lives, preferentially spreading the mild strain. In the trenches, natural selection was reversed. Soldiers with a mild strain stayed where they were, while the severely ill were sent on crowded trains to crowded field hospitals, spreading the deadlier virus. The second wave began, and the flu quickly spread around the world again. Consequently, during modern pandemics, health officials pay attention when the virus reaches places with social upheaval (looking for deadlier strains of the virus).”
Now to what I picked up about the new coronavirus, the Covid-19 that is spreading across the world: The website, worldometers.info, says the Chinese Center for Disease Control reported on February 17 that “the risk of death increases the older you are …” The death rate for those who were 80 plus years was 14.8%; 70-79, 8%; 60-69, 3.6%; 50-59, 1.3%; 40-49, 0.4%; 30-39, 0.2%; 20-29, 0.2%; 10-19, 0.2%; 0 to 9 years, no fatalities.
The death rate for all males was 2.8%, while the death rate for all females was 1.7%. “Patients who reported no pre-existing (“comorbid”) medical conditions had a case fatality rate of 0.9%,” said the report. Persons who had heart issues had a death rate of 10.5%; for diabetics, it was 7.3%; for those with chronic respiratory disease, 6.3%; those with hypertension, 6%, and those suffering with cancer, 5.6%.
Live Science Staff at livescience.com said a new study showed the death rate varied by location, that “in Hubei Province, where the outbreak began, the death rate was 2.9%, compared with just 0.4% in other provinces — a 7-fold difference.” (On one Wikipedia page it is reported that the young doctor who died, Dr. Li Wenliang, picked up a high viral load from the glaucoma patient he was attending, and that quite likely exacerbated his infection.)
Some more notes from Live Science: Surgical masks can protect you, but these are not designed to block out viral particles … a specific mask is used by doctors; on average an infected person is infecting 2.2 others, while the common flu is at 1.3. Getting Covid-19 is not a death sentence —about 81% of infected people have a mild sickness, about 13.8% have shortness of breath and require supplemental oxygen, and 4.7% are critical.
There is no evidence that pets, such as cats and dogs, can even be infected with the coronavirus, let alone spread it to humans, according to the World Health Organization. Children can definitely catch COVID-19, though some early statistics suggest they may be less likely to catch the virus than adults are … the number of diagnosed coronavirus cases in children may be an underestimate. In case studies from China, children seemed less likely to develop severe disease. It’s possible that many children could be infected and passing the disease along, without showing many, or any, symptoms.
So far, it appears the coronavirus is more deadly than the flu. COVID-19 has a mortality rate more than 20 times higher, of around 2.3%. It is safe to receive letters or packages from China; you can’t get coronavirus by eating at Chinese restaurants.
We have to pray that the disease is less virulent when our people get infected, and we have to up our hygiene practices to prevent infection. Better hygiene practices will result in less mortality from the regular flu too.
All the evidence thus far is that it is older people who have to worry most about the disease, and that can severely affect tourism, because it is the older folk who usually have the money to travel.