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How we got to more pressure to vaccinate by October 1

We are being hammered by Covid-19 again. After a relative calm following some rough times in the latter part of last year, we are back to grim days.

The numbers have been climbing steadily, and the Ministry of Health and Wellness, after having to place the KHMH in emergency mode recently, in a determined move to get more Belizeans to get vaccinated, announced last week that come October 1st no one will be able to enter a public place – govt. departments, businesses, buses, water taxis – if they don’t have in their possession a negative test result or vaccination card. That decision has brought out the resistance.

My ink today will be directed to the blame game, to point to who I think mainly responsible for us coming to October 1. Some blame might go to vaccinated people who completely let down their guard, but the biggest finger has to be pointed at a group in the unvaccinated crowd.

In the unvaccinated crowd there are people who believe that the tools to fight the old flu are sufficient to fight the new coronavirus. Luckily for some members of this group, they came into this world with the kind of immune systems that made people survive in the era when only the fittest specimens lived. The real bad crowd among the unvaccinated are the fatalists. They believe that man who fu heng kyaahn drongdid. A very entertaining, superstitious set they are, but only in normal times.

That crowd doesn’t care to wear masks properly, or see much sense in physical distancing. The brilliance of modern science will not get through to them, because they believe that’s straight from the beast.

All members of the unvaccinated group are bex like hell over the government’s proposal to ban the unvaccinated and untested from public places, but the anger of the “responsible” unvaxxed is misplaced. Our medical personnel are under duress, our tourism has collapsed again, and our government is desperate.

I will say this to the unvaccinated. If this pandemic continues, and at the beginning Dr. Manzanero said the disease is not likely to go away, one day you will catch Covid-19. Understandably, there are people with health conditions that are wary of taking the vaccine, but if you are exposed, especially if you visit or work in public spaces, the odds are that you will catch the virus. Do you prefer to catch it while unvaccinated?

Errors all on Mrs. Esquivel, but she still gets the prize

At the end of Still Waters we learn about the extent of Sir Manuel’s injuries in an RTA in 2009. I didn’t, maybe most of us didn’t, know the extent of his injuries, how he was in a coma for some time and his convalescence did not go smoothly.

One of Manuel Esquivel’s strengths, maybe his greatest strength, would have been his accuracy – you have to be accurate if you teach Math/Physics, and Mrs. Kathy must have relied on Manuel’s memory, without fact-checking him. How come she doesn’t know that up there he just can’t be the same man she married? Of course, the Esquivels are entitled to their opinions in this extremely valuable book, but the lapses should be cleaned up.

This book’s a treasure trove, from the depths of political intrigue and suspect judgment by our political leaders, to regular fare. In the latter vein, I draw from it today to point out how stubbornness gets in the way of progress and can cause serious injuries and loss of lives. This one’s about traffic.

On pages 203/204 — oh, the book has 286 pages, plus notes (not 186 as I stated in my column last week) – yes, on pages 203/204, drawing from Kathy’s Memoire she says many of our traffic regulations remain unchanged from the time when only a handful of cars were on the road.

She writes: “I had been taught that the proper way to turn off a major road against the flow of traffic was to move to the middle of the road, wait until the road was clear and then turn.” After following through on that, and nearly getting run over, she said she discovered that our laws called for one to “pull over to the right, indicate an intention to turn left and then wait until the road is completely clear before turning.” She said anyone applying that “on a modern highway in rush hour would have to wait for hours to make such a turn.”

Just to make a statement, a couple weeks before reading Still Waters I decided I had had enough of this not-as-safe-as-it-seems waiting on the side of the highway until the coast is clear before and after me. I know the dangers. I am aware of accidents, serious accidents that have occurred because of a variant of what I decided to do. Years ago my younger sister nearly got run over by a bus because she wasn’t aware of the difficult law.

In rush hours, between 7:30 and 8:30 in the mornings, and 5:00 and 6:30 in the evenings, it can get tight with the traffic passing on the highway in front of where I live. A driver’s legal options are either to sneak across the road the first opportunity they get, even if they are a long distance from their destination, or pull over and wait on the right side of the road, as the law says. One problem with the latter is that one can get impatient, and make a mistake. We all know that judging the speed and nearness of vehicles in your rear view mirror is not optimum, so what we have there is an accident waiting to happen.

Twice recently I’ve pulled up and parked close to the yellow line, forcing vehicles behind me to go around, pass me on my right side. When an opportunity opened in front of me, I crossed the road and drove into my yard. I haven’t done it during rush hour yet, I don’t plan to…it is my hope that the Traffic Department will stop simpa and make the call before then.

If the Transport Department studied the number of serious accidents caused each year by “crossing the road,” they would do something. That antiquated traffic law has cost lives and limbs because drivers who don’t know the letter of the law will make COMMON SENSE judgment. Of course, it will take some education to make a new law work properly.

Miss Moderator, on this Waterloo project I rise…

…to speak on this EIA, and what I have to say is that after looking at all the pros and many cons, I will confine myself to one negative point only. I say, we cannot overlook the Greenwood beef about the haraz of the daam blank lagoon being the first thing visitors who land at Waterloo will see of our beautiful country.

Some secrets you don’t have to put out there. Nobody builds an outhouse in the front yard. I one hundred percent agree with the FECTAB leader here. His bias aside, get it, no visitor, on seeing the sewer lagoon, will say, Whee!, they’ll say, Agh, ugh, barf bag quick, I don’t want to retch on the deck.

But, bully, we are living in the age of mitigation, so if the Waterloo parties are serious, they should be able to fix that problem. I’m not talking about any kind of giant curtain, or forest in the city. What they’ll need to do is improve the processing and containment of that waste.

Get the engineers working on some tanks, and some wind/solar energy makers to evaporate liquid, and to heat that do. Then get some trucks to take away the, ehm, fertilizer when the processing’s done.

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