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Wristbands to ensure isolation in Dominica

Last year, when the last government saw it was losing control of Covid, the then Attorney General (AG), Michael Peyrefitte, with the support of Police Commissioner Chester Williams, drafted an SI making it the law that the medical authorities reveal the names of Covid-positive cases to the AG. All indications were that the then leader of the fight against Covid, Dr. Manzanero, was against the measure out of concern for the privacy of infected people, and when the talk was over, the SI was nixed. That’s how I remember it.

Well, this week I learned that persons in Dominica who are Covid-19 positive are given a wristband and they must wear it until they are declared Covid-free by the medical authorities. There are pros and cons to everything, but because stories are rampant that many infected people are not respecting the protocol that we isolate, and because this pandemic won’t ease up until infected people “kip dehn batam home”, our new government might consider tagging all of us who are positive with a blue or red band.

Another story I heard is that our government isn’t giving any kind of financial/food support to Covid-19 positive persons. I would believe that if the neglect was only for fully employed persons.

Big Pharma, just like rats, has virtue

Getting rats out of the way: we all know their evils, the worst of which is the part they played in the bubonic plague in Europe in the 1300s. In our parts, the fear of rats is that they will find the cheese; cut nice clothes, and electric wires which could lead to ruin of appliances and fires; and cause disease. I wish you don’t have any of those bohgaz in your house.

Nobody is all bad. A river rat is one of the heroes of the delightful story, Wind in the Willows. In that story, you could feel our rat being drawn away from his river when he heard all the fantastic swashbuckling adventures of the itinerant sea rat. But the rat from the river had a place in the country, responsibilities, and he did have a fine time in his little boat during springtime. And because the river rat stayed, because he was a responsible individual, he was on the spot to save disgraceful Mr. Toad, the son of his old friend.

Rats, they are the subject of science studies, “guinea pigs”. Rats are big in every study of the new chemicals turned out in the laboratories around the world. In that they are like the taster of food and drink for the king. Hurray for rats! Okay, enough about them, let’s get a step closer to Big Pharma and its little virtue.

Wanting to have your cake and eat it too, it’s no fake disease. Looks like everybody’s in on that, and to be in on that means you are not making the connections that are as plain as day for everyone who cares to look. You’ve heard the saying, no man is an island. That’s so true; we are all connected. A man in Wuhan or somewhere far from here caught a disease, and now the world is being pummeled by a pandemic.

No one forgets the reform commission that was appointed around the turn of the century. I think it was in the year 2000 that the committee presented its many recommendations to PM Musa, and then started getting antsy when he didn’t just brush his approval pen, a la Mr. Alfred “Jack T” Campbell.

My uncle, JV Hyde, one of the stars of the first Price public service, told me that Mr. Jack T was one of the legends, the most colorful public servant of his time. I knew Mr. Jack T because on some Sundays he came by our house to enjoy camaraderie over cards and whiskey with my dad and some of his other friends — Mr. Orlando Rhamdas, Mr. Michael Hulse, Mr. Chappa Fuller, and Mr. Bert Mitchell.

Jack T was at the top of the health ministry, a Permanent Secretary, and one of the duties of this breed is to sign off on matters both important and routine. A brilliant man, Jack T must have been bored over affixing his name to trivial stuff, and as story goes, those ones would pile mountain-high on his desk, until word came by that Premier Price was heading his way. Then Jack T would call for his pen, and so he brushed his signature at the bottom of the papers, so they would fly. My uncle said Premier Price marveled at Jack T’s desk, how his work tray was always clean.

There are papers that demand the fine-toothed comb, and that goes for changing things in the constitution. PM Musa said ‘whoa there’ when he got the recommendations; it’s not that simple; many of them are far-reaching, touch areas they weren’t intended to touch. I don’t know how many of them were actually signed into law, but I believe it was less than 1%. I say that because I’ve read the commission’s report, and what that committee came up with could fill a volume. Just for excitement, one that made it was a rule that prohibited crossing the floor. What a fascinating story that, and we would need to fill a volume to chronicle the impact that has had on our governance.

Damas y caballeros, you see why when the 10th and 11th amendments were on the table I said piecemeal is better? PM Briceño has announced we’ll have a constitutional commission — that at the behest of some senators and their friends. We’ve been down that road before. If we know ourselves, and we’re serious about change, we should know it’s got to be one change at a time. Reform by reform, beginning with the most important, we must air them out, and then do the right thing. My, those who called for this constitutional commission just gave this new government the sweetest pass.

Turning the focus finally on Big Pharma, from the outside looking in my advice is that in this modern world we have to be very careful what we wish for. I’m not about saving money for anybody, I’m about saving headaches. Big Pharma is backed by the bomb, a tool we neither have nor want. Properly, you should accept what you can’t or are unwilling to change.

We can’t harm that beast Big Pharma; all we can touch, maybe, is its most outrageous excesses. Big Pharma took away marijuana, but fortunately there’re many healthful herbs out there. They can’t touch our sorosi and our lemon grass. We can’t touch their vaccine. Of course, we should be thankful for the jab, but if it were a bad thing, what could we do? All those who like to jet around, they’ll have to present their card. All those tourists we are praying return, if they don’t vax they can’t ship, and if they can’t ship we won’t get the answer we want to our prayers.

If your hatred of Big Pharma is making you sick, you do have an option, and that is to go live in the jungle and hide there forever, all the while praying that big bad Big Pharma doesn’t get the urge to make you get the sense. Hmm, maybe a socialist country would be another option. Hmm, maybe not.

Even if you could put a hurt on Big Pharma, when you consider all that it is connected to, you’d capitulate. If you touch them, you touch the doctors; if you touch the doctors you touch the quality of care; if you touch the quality of care you touch the longevity of people, and the capacity of many to perform. Dehn got wi: game, set, and match.

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