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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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Economy First, Country Second and You Last!

Despite the ever steady increase in new Covid-19 infections in Belize, the country remains fairly open and apparently unfazed and unperturbed. With each new and passing day, the numbers continue to trend upward, and aside from extending the curfew and ramping up their vaccination campaign, few to no (new) tangible measures have been put in place by the government to seek to mitigate the ever-steady increase. Fervent pleas from the Belize Medical and Dental Association to “batten down the hatches” have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. Quite on the contrary, we are about to launch an investment summit that touts Belize as being open for business. This and more makes it clear that it’s economy first, country second, and you? Well, you — last!

To add further credence to the thought, the government has insisted upon as many of us getting vaccinated to safeguard health and life as possible. But just last week, a Carnival cruise ship made a port call on our shores with twenty plus employees infected with Covid-19. And guess what? The same government which is so concerned about our health and safety and the safety of our people allowed the ship to make a call on Belize. I reckon that they were satisfied that the infected persons were isolated and that no other spread took place on the ship. But one would reasonably think that a government who is pushing vaccination because they care about their people wouldn’t allow a ship full of passengers to disembark after the virus was found to be present onboard!

Aha! So that makes the point unequivocally clear. What matters most is the economy. That’s first and foremost — the money that these people are bringing into the country. Yes, they know that the virus is real and it exists and the threat that it brings. But one cannot just bury their heads in the Covid dirt, right? Money haffi mek! While we are in the midsts of an uphill health battle amid a third wave of the virus, the economy continues to ail. So as a matter of exigency, the country needs to scrape in every dollar it can find and muster to keep the engines oiled. Hopefully, it’s not at the expense of our collective good health.

As the situation remains fluid, the country is somewhat in a state of limbo. Do we take the lick now and close down to slow the spread and contain this wave or remain open, juggling economy and health? Clearly, one would think that it’s a straightforward decision. But after the economy first, it’s country second. Belize is open for business. I mean, makes sense right? You can’t have an economy without a country that’s open for business? And so, officials are keeping the place open as a means to keep the economy going. Therefore, we as citizens have to deal with the repercussions thereof, and I guess take our precautions or, as they would suggest, the vaccine.

Then there’s us— the people, rounding out the last place! And what offer do they make us? What’s the reprieve we get? Well, it’s simple: a free dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is touted as them caring for us and our well-being and protecting us from the virus. But is that really so? Hmm… I wonder! There’s this old saying that says money talks and (something) walks… can’t quite remember; but it’s money— all about the mula! Pay attention to the drift and realize that da every man fi ihself! As mi old friend, Tut, woulda seh: Jesus is the way, but money is the speed! Let’s just hope and pray we make it through, cause clearly it’s economy first, country second and you, well you da last!

Unchained Reflections Of A Liberal Pragmatist.

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