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Friday, December 3, 2021
Home Features Mayan Belizeans seemingly more susceptible to serious Covid

Mayan Belizeans seemingly more susceptible to serious Covid

Countries that don’t accept that playing ostrich is a good game are constantly churning the numbers, with the vision that it is better to know than not know — because with knowledge we can make better decisions. It must be on your mind too that the three docs who died from Covid (the Guerra twins and Baldemino Barboza) and the two who were severely ill, Marvin Manzanero and Cecilio Eck, and the one who had to get some heavy oxygen, Fernando Cuellar, all appear to be, based solely on phenotype, either full Mayan (four of them) or majority Mayan (two of them). There aren’t any afro doctors on that list. There aren’t any majority Caucasian (British/Spanish) doctors on the list either.

There’s something else in those numbers. The 2019 register listed a little more than 500 medical practitioners in Belize, so as it pertains to the fatality rate, doctors are dying at less than a quarter the rate of us regular folk. There’s no surprise there, because the people in this group are experts on healthcare, and they have access to the best of it. May we not lose any more doctors, may we not lose anyone else to Covid.

Many of us have lost loved ones in the epidemic, but there is a double tragedy when we lose our health workers. They love healing, so they invested much of their energies into gaining knowledge to serve, but they couldn’t have bargained for this. I think we all have to say that we don’t have thanks enough for them, because they all must have been tempted to haul off, quit until this is over, and they didn’t. Thanks are not enough for the mighty Cuban Health Brigade too.

Returning to the numbers, what’s there might be just coincidence. The point is that if a serious study showed that one of our groups was more susceptible to Covid, we would get better results, because our leaders would know where to put more focus. It’s extremely important to look at numbers.

Sometimes numbers don’t mean a thing, and sometimes if it means a thing, you can’t do anything about it. And then, sometimes something important pops out of the numbers that helps to guide strategy.

As a country we don’t churn out nearly enough numbers. We’re near the bottom when it comes to gathering data, sifting them through, and then sharing them. We have all these brilliant young people in tertiary education, but they must be doing research for other countries.

Beefing with Neri and Santi

Sometimes Neri Briceno can be such a letdown. The brother is recognized for his intelligence and education and financial success compared to the rest of us, and if the surface of man says anything, he is also a decent human being, but Braa, you have to be in need of a mind-altering drug yourself to speak of the Belize government’s long-term plan to “keep people subjugated by giving them legal access to mind altering substances, make their minds dazed.” And Braa, when you say “alcohol has already been ingrained in our society”, as if any government has a share in that, my dear brother, Jesus was fermenting berries!

And you, Brother Santi, you say in your youth you were into being a chimney; have you asked yourself the serious questions about young people who smoke a little weed? Before you accept the position as poster boy for the Evangelicals’ anti-weed fever, you have to tell us the down-low about your chimney days, how many people the herb drove you to mug, how much you hated work, how many times you were hauled before the court and how many times you went to jail. Please don’t bring any little juvenile misdemeanors, because only the saintly are free of those.

Dear Plus caballeros, civilization is a concoction of man. It is a round hole, and many of us are square pegs. Some, like Louis Wade, can fit in the hole with only a drink of coffee. You, Neri, you might need nothing at all. Praise the Lord for all your good luck. Not all of us are so blessed. Some of us need a little something.

Some story

Lucas Hernandez, a French hero from the last World Cup, while under contract to a club in Spain, he got into a tussle with his sweetheart, Amelia — some pushing and shoving and must be some word hibbing — and while neither called the police, they were both hauled in. Give major points to the Spanish police for zero tolerance for people disrupting the peace.

Hernandez was given a restraining order, six months to stay away from his girlfriend, and her restraining order, not to be near him, was in process when the two hauled off to the USA and got married. Aha, they returned to Spain within the six months, the sweet and feisty girl with a ring on her finger…but Hernandez’s six-month restraining order not being up, they hauled him in.

If you want the full story, check out “France footballer Hernandez avoids jail as Madrid court accepts appeal”, which can be found on Yahoo, excerpted from AFP. Embedded in this story is a lesson about the difficulty police officers have dealing with domestic disputes.
The way I understand it, most of our police officers don’t want to go anywhere near such cases, partly for the reason that many of these cases end up in kisses. Unfortunately, some of these cases turn really nasty, and some end up in the worst tragedies. This is a story that could use some more flesh, but please allow me to move on to something else the Lucas/Amelia story evoked.

I am reminded of a story told to me years ago by Simeon Ebanks, a senior who in his day admired British toughness and Winston Churchill. You might remember what Simeon told me, but some stories are good for repetition a hundred times. I’ll ignore the wise counsel of the narrator of the old American Western movies who said, yes, you can definitely tell a story twice, but make sure you make it better than you heard it. I don’t have to worry about that, because this one, like the tale of Adam and Eve and the snake, doesn’t need an iota of embellishment.

Simeon said Scotland Yard was after a murderer, tracking him all over Europe for years, and when they caught up to him he was stretched out in the morgue. That bohga thought he had escaped. Scotland Yard took his body home to England, and hung it.

Fury out to clobber another flyweight

When Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder entered the ring for their heavyweight match last month, Fury was 40 pounds heavier than his opponent. Boxing has a precise set of rules, and the divisions are made with an eye to make size not be such a factor that there is a mismatch between the ropes. It’s supposed to be more about skill, and toughness, and heart.

In the lower divisions, the weight gap is on average 3 to 7 pounds, and when we arrive at the penultimate division, cruiserweight, the gap increases to 25 pounds. Years ago there was no cruiserweight; from light heavyweight, which maxed at 175 pounds, you jumped to the unlimited heavyweight division. Over time the experts realized that that gap was too great, and so in 1979 they created the cruiserweights.
Amazingly, 40 years later they can’t see that 200 pounds to unlimited is a farce. The 175 to a thousand pounds worked years ago, before specialized strength training came along to give big boys endurance, and muscle mass where there was fat. At this time, there should be three divisions after cruiserweight. There should be 200 to 220; 221 to 240; and 240 to unlimited.

Tyson Fury is setting up a match with Oleksandr Usyk, and Tyson outweighs him by 60 pounds. I didn’t watch the Fury/Wilder fight.

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