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Not until every Commonwealth member has said: To hell with the king

FeaturesNot until every Commonwealth member has said: To hell with the king

by Colin Hyde

With all these serious issues we have on our plate, I can’t believe that we are going to discuss the Monarchy and changing Parliamentary Democracy for a Republican system. Talk about the king, whoa there, that’s a British story! They’re the ones paying for the upkeep of Buckingham Palace. I like India, but I’m not going to run sweat about no ruby in no crown. Before I say anything really bad, I’ll just run a few points here to that intellectual crowd, some of the things they’ll have to respond to before they have their victory wine.

There is no independence that isn’t limited. A man named John Donne wrote about it in a poem. He said, No man is an island entire of itself …. Even the mighty USA needs, is dependent on, alliances. Who said having close ties with the Crown has no worth isn’t paying attention to how the world works. Everyone has to choose an ally.

One of the plums for dumping the Monarchy is that we will have one of our faces on the money. That’s a nice idea, but before we get there, many of us want some of it. Don’t bring any foolish promises that we will get some if we put our own face beside the stork and the Central Bank.

There’s no muscular independence for Belize without a fully equipped and manned army.

What, we are to change a titular GG for a titular president?

There are seven countries on the isthmus, 6 of them republics. We should know the stories of those we want to follow. Guatemala and El Salvador recently went through terrible civil wars. Honduras recently had the military ouster of a president. We are not going to speak about Nicaragua. Costa Rica and Panama have been stable, rather successful countries on the economic front.

Okay, more Costa Ricans and Panamanians win, than Belizeans do. Costa Rica is the product of a bloody 1948 civil war that, fortunately, the good guys won. Even more fortunate for Costa Rica is that it had no Guatemala threatening its shores. Thus, that country was able to abolish a standing army. Panama is like Puerto Rico, a little USA. It was carved out of Colombia by the Americans, and there they built their canal to facilitate the movement of their goods.

This discussion, it shouldn’t be until every member of the Commonwealth says to hell with the King, not God save the King. Why are they distracting us? Everybody fu win, and we are a long way off from that. Instead of monarchy talk we should be talking about replacing the first-past-the-post electoral system, so every candidate in the general election has to show their credentials. We should be talking about campaign financing laws.

Doant you dayr kaaf een a mi face

Last week, Dr. Tedros at the WHO announced an end to the global emergency status of Covid-19, which began about 3 years ago. Can you remember that morning when it was announced that one of us had caught the virus and was seriously ill? Anyone who says they weren’t at least apprehensive is made out of stone. No one knew what would transpire between that day and the announcement last week. I remember when our first case was announced I was sawing some lumber. Shortly after that first case we would go into lockdown.

Some bold people say that the lockdown was a mistake, but a lot of wise people supported it, including the great Cubans who put Havana on lockdown. Apart from slowing the spread of the virus, the lockdown caused heightened awareness, gave the authorities the chance to educate us, and gave the experts the space to learn more about the enemy. A vaccine would be developed in record time, and coupled with practical measures, some normalcy came back into our lives, though not before the disease had exacted a heavy toll, mostly on elders and our people on the frontlines in the hospitals.

Covid-19 doesn’t strike fear the way it did a couple years ago. But some experts say we should still be afraid, and they are complaining about the way our heroes, the WHO, went about making their call. In the Yahoo story, “Covid-19 emergency isn’t over, and the most ‘painless’ way to prevent it is being ignored, doctors warn”, the author, Abhya Adlakha, said many experts say the WHO’s declaration wasn’t properly messaged, that it sent out “dangerous mixed messages and doesn’t address the real problem.”

One of the two important points I believe we should take from the story is that we still have to be very cautious with the disease. One expert, Dr. Jayadevan, said “it’s still important to be cautious because COVID-19 has caused several permanent health defects in people of all age groups, and will continue to do so if the virus keeps circulating again and again.” Dr. Jayadevan reminded us that this virus is not like the cold, which in most cases you recover from fully when you get infected. And of course, older folks and people with chronic illnesses have to try to avoid getting infected.

The next big point was about reducing exposure, and a key there is improved ventilation. The author says the experts say “the easiest and the most ‘painless’ way of avoiding future infections is by upgrading indoor air quality systems in every building.” One of the experts the author quoted, Dr. Kashif Pirzada, said: “There are studies that show children that go to schools with good ventilation are 75 percent less likely to get sick.”

Okay, our story comes from the cold US and Canada, and those are countries that heat and cool their homes in the seasons with ventilators. I really don’t know why we are encouraging the purchase of buses without access to cool air when the weather is good. It can get really stuffy in a closed bus, which is necessary when it rains, but our good old air is better for the health of commuters and the nation than AC.

Many offices in Belize are cooled with air conditioners; it’s essential for the comfort of workers and the life of equipment that we be practical about our air. For people, the fresh sea breeze is best. Don’t crowd offices. Make a thatch outside for people to shade under while they wait for their turn to enter an office. I see just a few people wearing masks. I now seldom wear one, because I feel conspicuous when I’m the only one masked down. The mask is not for the one wearing it; it’s for the neighbors, and the neighbors don’t seem to give a daam!

The utility of the mask was questioned by some during the height of the pandemic, and I’ve noticed a few technical people have come out to say masks had no role in the containment of the virus. To me that’s foolish talk. I understand the discomfort of wearing masks, and the possible inhalation of foreign particles when breathing through the mask if it is of poor quality. But don’t tell me that masks have no value when you are dealing with a respiratory disease.

From since we small they tell us, if yu feel like kaaf go outside, and if yu can’t, put a handkerchief in front of your nose and mouth. When I was young no one told me to kaaf in the crook of my arm, and the way I kaaf and sneeze I fear that I will pull a muscle in my neck if I put my body in such a strange position. Blaa, blaa, blaa, don’t tell me about the size of the particles, I don’t want you to kaaf or sneeze een a mi face.

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