Letters & Opinion

Science vs Stupidity — Part 4: Beware of the Covidiots Preaching Suicide!

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Chronicles Of A Chronic Caribbean Chronicler By Earl Bousquet

In the three previous parts we looked at some of the Challenges and Opportunities in the War on the Pandemic, the need for An Urgent Vaccine Diplomacy Mission and the Deadly Cost of Politicization of the Pandemic.

Today, let’s look at the idiocy of normally smart people who see everyone else who doesn’t see COVID like them as idiots easy to mislead and therefore Fair Game.

The term ‘Covidiot’ is quite catchy, defined by Macmillian Dictionary as “An insulting term for someone who ignores health advice about COVID-19”; and by the Urban Dictionary as: “Someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety.”

But I would apply both definitions, not only to the victims of deliberate misinformation intended to mislead them into risking their lives (and everyone else around them), but to those peddlers of Conspiracy Theories, Horror Stories and Unbelievable Tales told so well they sound so true.

The misleaders go to such extraordinary lengths and depths to convince others to effectively commit suicide or play ‘Russian Roulette’ with COVID-19 that they actually make-up and widely share extraordinary scare stories, even citing Biblical quotes to have believers believe taking a ‘Jab’ is ‘Doing the Devil’s Work’, or part of a grand global conspiracy to use vaccines to reduce the world’s population or infuse Humankind with mind-control microchips controlled by robots.

Likewise, legal and lay advocates of individuals’ ‘rights’ to endanger others, resulting in the deadly Low Vaccination and alarmingly high Vaccine Hesitance levels, Vaccine Refusal and Mistrust across the Caribbean – and violent responses by mobs instigated by weak opposition political par-ties taking advantage of the sensitivities of vulnerable people deliberately misled into disbelieving the life-threatening risks involved.

Lockdown Fatigue and Mixed Messaging about masks, scary stories about inefficacy of some of the more popular vaccines, evolution of more powerful variants eluding control and scientists seeing no beginning of any end to the pandemic in sight earlier than 2024, have together left the region still very much in limbo, most CARICOM citizens yet to get a first jab, while the USA and Europe are promoting third ‘booster’ jabs.

While people on both sides of the Atlantic who’ve already received the recommended dosages are being invited to take third jabs ‘just in case’, only 3% of Africa is vaccinated.

As a top World Health Organization (WHO) official said earlier this week, it’s like ‘offering life jackets to people who already have’ — but the US Surgeon General says it’s because of the increasing inefficacy of existing vaccines.

Take too the continuous China-bashing by those politicizing the pandemic.

China is leading the world in vaccine production and distribution today and in the usual efforts to promote American and European vaccines, the politicians backing the pharmaceutical companies (BIG PHARMA and others ‘making bread on the dead’ and profiting mercilessly from global illnesses) continue to claim, without proof, that COVID-19, the sixth corona virus known to Human-kind, originated in China.

International scientists involved maintain that the actual origins haven’t been conclusively proven and warn that politicizing the research is inimical to the ultimate objective of establishing the truth.

But then, from a Caribbean standpoint, it can be argued that tracing the origin of COVID-19 is as hard as trying to trace where the region’s first ‘Flying Fish’ took-off or landed – or trying to convince Barbadians the winged fish wasn’t God’s gift to them.

Never mind increasing evidence that thanks to Climate Change the warmer Barbados waters created by Global Warming may have caused the winged pelagic species to migrate to cooler temperatures near Tobago (and in the twin-island republic’s territorial waters), it’s still hard to get Barbadian fishermen to accept they cannot simply follow flying fish into Trinidad & Tobago’s Exclusive Eco-nomic Zone (EEZ).

But it’s basically accepted across the region that the flight of the flying fish has been so diverted in the age of Climate Changes that one can no longer confidently order a ‘Flying Fish Cutter’ in a Bar-bados hotel or restaurant.

Same with COVID’s origin: Few Caribbean people really know – or care – whether COVID-19 was the first or last Corona Virus, instead being more concerned about where – and when – it’ll be go-ing away.

Caribbean governments are similarly disinterested in the politicization of the search for a source of origin.

Grenada was among seven more countries (including fellow small-island states Kiribati and the Solomon Islands) that recently sent 55 letters to the WHO, opposing politicization of the origins is-sue.

Interestingly, many Caribbean citizens remain unvaccinated, not because they’ve been convinced by the 21st Century Prophets of COVID Doom and Gloom, but simply because they prefer to trust and await the Cuban vaccines, based on the region’s historical confidence in Cuba’s commitment to global health.

Others are simply not yet sufficiently convinced by health authorities and those messaging the message that non-vaccinated people are all indeed at risk, therefore still considering whether to vaccinate — and/or, which vaccine to take.

But that does not make them idiots.

Nobody will take the jab until and unless convinced it is in their healthy interest.

It’s therefore the duty of governments and national health authorities, backed by professionals moved by numbers and science instead of by emotion, religion of political affiliation, to explore and find ways and means of better communicating the message.

Truth always triumphs and Time and History are always with Truth.

But in pandemic times, Time is not on Humankind’s side and the government’s priority task today in the virtual age of COVID-21 remains to find ways and means to message the truth in as believable ways as those peddling lies, the difference being in the truthfulness thereof.

Saint Lucia’s new Health Minister Moses ‘Musa’ Jn Baptiste is as much a master messenger in Kweyol (the indigenous language of the vulnerable silent majority) as he’s equally effective artistic and artful in the traditional business of communicating messages in and through bilingual poetry and prose — and African drumming.

Placed to ‘lead from in front’ with the blessings of a ‘Servant Leader’ who ‘follows the numbers and the science’, the ‘Musa’ in the Minister does indeed have what it takes to lead the front-line messaging charge, charged by and with absolute truth and the determination to triumph over the real idiots using COVID to mask their shameful and shameless idiocy.

Shame on them…

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