Well — well, I tell you! Who would have thought that the day would come in our “democracy” when we would be made to feel like we have a choice, when clearly we don’t! Oh sorry, for those in the back, I am talking about the most recent (mandate) that stipulates that all front-liners (including teachers, nurses and law enforcement) are either to take the vaccine or produce a negative Covid-19 test result twice a month; or otherwise face repercussions that in its very essence threaten their job security and security of tenure.
Just when you thought the salary cut was bad, this is the bukut of them all! This one literally takes the cake and has evoked a keen feeling of discontent with this government. The country watched in utter dismay, and the populace was flummoxed, if not utterly discombobulated, when it was announced a week ago that all front-liners will have to take the Covid-19 vaccine or produce a negative test result every two weeks in order to continue to work.
This immediately sent alarm bells ringing. Like, how could you stand on the podium in such a sanctimonious manner as if you’re giving the populace a choice? Hypothetically speaking, well you are — cannily, at least; but in reality the people don’t have a choice. Simply put, in these dire economic times and having just been forced to endure a salary reduction and a freeze on increments, many frontline workers wouldn’t be reasonably able to afford a Covid-19 test every two weeks. So essentially, by using that as a corollary for not taking the vaccine, the government is essentially binding our hands and leaving us no true or just choice but to take this vaccine.
Simply put, this is being callously shoved down the throats of the Belizean people. This is a democracy, and our people should have the right to choose. That’s what it boils down to — one’s own fundamental right to choose. And I know the pundits will argue that in fact a choice is being given; but I reckon not. Having to take a Covid-19 test every two weeks is not only costly, but it’s a major inconvenience, and even if it is made available free of cost, one would be so worn out with such a tedious routine that they would eventually give in to taking the vaccine.
These people are playing some serious games, and I am utterly disappointed in this most recent move. One must recall how they came with open embrace when they wanted our support, and now that they have been given an overwhelming mandate, some of the actions, moves and policies they are putting forward aren’t as open-armed and as embracing as when they first came to us. Actually, certain promulgations and moves on their part raise eyebrows and can be deemed as borderline authoritarianism. In a small democracy like this, the people’s fundamental right to choose and exercise their own free will and good conscience should never be sabotaged.
My people, these are some critical times, and it is my fervent hope that this situation is remediated for those who, for their own personal or for whatever reasons, don’t want to take the vaccine. Your right to choose freely without being sidelined should not be infringed upon, and you should have the right to deny a vaccine, if that’s your choice. When we remain silent and murmur among ourselves, nothing happens. But when we come together and unite in strength and force, mountains can move. Ultimately, the choice is ours. It is up to us to decide if we will wallow in despair and succumb; or we will stand steadfast and hold our ground.
The clock is ticking…
Or else, dawg eat wi suppa!
Unchained Reflections Of A Liberal Pragmatist.