About a week ago, I sat down with a good friend of mine as we habitually do. Over a few drinks, we engaged in deep and stimulating discussion on various topics — from the economy, to Covid-19, to poverty and the dismal state of affairs in the country. Then, quite abruptly, he turned to me and said: “Brother, what’s the point of the curfew anyways? What’s your thoughts?” And to that question, I chuckled, sipped my drink and candidly responded: “The curfew is basically useless if the purported purpose is to suppress and control our movement in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Quite frankly, our movement and activities have been suppressed due to dire and deepening economic and financial constraints!”
Unfortunately, I cannot fathom and perhaps will never understand the reasoning behind the state-imposed curfew as a means to combat the surge in Covid-19 cases. The notion being put forward is that a curfew aids in suppressing the mass movement of people and thus mitigates the spread of the deadly virus. But the curfew is imposed between the “ghostly” hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., at which point, arguably, the nation is fast asleep or has already battened down and retired for the night. Coupled with the fact that bars and discotheques remain closed, there is little to no night life that will stimulate people and draw such crowds that purportedly will contribute to the spread of the virus.
To impose a curfew and to keep on reimposing one curfew after another and extending it, is putting a grave damper on the already ailing economy, which is still very much in a comatose state in the ICU. Furthermore, it is crippling small and emergent businesses, the local shops and food joints who offer late evening food and beverages to the people of this country. The country is wringing them dry and leaving them out to hang. The imposition and the continuous extension of a curfew cannot be the sole means to control and suppress the spread of the virus. This act is like saying the virus only spreads at late night to early morning, perhaps between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. What a callous joke! It’s like to say, if we gather up all the mosquitoes in Belize and lock them up between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., then they won’t bite you the next morning after they are released back freely again. Absolutely ridiculous, to say the least!
But this goes beyond the curfew. There’s more to it than that! You see, there’s no point in maintaining a curfew. It’s basically useless. Even with an imposed curfew, new Covid-19 infections are on a steady rise. The virus still continues to spread unabated, despite the curfew. Certain crimes may be controlled, but crime continues seemingly unabated as well, despite the fact that there is a curfew. So perhaps, it’s half past time that we go back to the drawing board and reassess the measures that are being put in place. I mean, so many technocrats and czars and learned professionals and all we are doing is regurgitating the same old tactics that bore little to no fruition in the past?
The curfew alone cannot mitigate and stop the spread of the virus. So on that basis, the imposed curfew is a futile venture. Think deeply and carefully, look around this country. Do you see anybody moving around in great masses? Absolutely not! Look outside, peep through your resplendent office windows. Belize dead — it’s a literal and metaphorical ghost town! So (they) have effortlessly succeeded in suppressing our daily movement, without a curfew, I’ll add. Our sheer movement has been economically suppressed! Things bad, life haad, no money nuh deh, nothing di circulate, wi di feel di pinch! … And well, di lee bit weh wi gat wi have to stretch it— and wi e’en have to watch how wi stretch ahn to, befo’ ih guh bounce back ahn lick wi ina wi face!
Unchained Reflections Of A Liberal Pragmatist.