We accept the fact that the variants are all current and more importantly, persons will get infected and some will die. What we shall never come to grips with is the silly decision of expunging the law designed to keep law breakers in check. One has to be a real simpleton to have ever embarked on such a crazy decision. We sincerely trust that this expungement act may not accelerate his departure from office. There are laws broken in every country hence the reason laws are created to demand a sense of responsibility. I cringe every week as I watch the news and witness the number of road accidents based on speeding. As a careful driver, every day of life I traverse the roads in fear of my own life. From the motorcyclists to ordinary vehicles, to lorries, to container trucks, to concrete mixer trucks all speeding on our narrow roads. From the Vigie roundabout to the Mega J roundabout why does a huge concrete or container truck find it necessary to overtake a vehicle within such a limited space? as we have asked over and over.
There are several ways of addressing the carnage on our roads. One suggestion which has been around for quite some time is the possibility of engaging at least a dozen young and astute individuals with speed guns to monitor the madness on our roads. The penalties collected could easily meet the salaries for those individuals, save lives and cut down on medical costs. Successive administrations have laid blame on each other for the homicides on island, yet the scourge continues. The police are at their wits end and with the number of firearms and drug trafficking on island which appears to be growing as the economy contracts.
The lawbreakers in St Lucia are now expanding their prey on French soil. Most recently some seven St Lucians were detained in Fort de France for entering a jewellery store and absconding with one hundred thousand Euros worth of items. Fortunately, they were apprehended and the jewellery recovered. As we speak, pretty close to two hundred St Lucians remain in French custody. The Covid situation is certainly not helping the untenable situation but by the same token, we cannot sit idly by and fail to arrive at a plan to address this situation.
Today the latest statistics now show St Lucia to be the worst in the region based on over 20,000 Covid cases and 369 deaths, a situation created by our current administration pandering to lawbreakers. Thanks, Mr. PM for your strategy. As the pandemic continues its expansion, more staggering details unfold. Apart from the multiplicity of variants, it has now been discovered that millions of persons are experiencing LONG COVID, which has created terrible and ongoing symptoms causing victims to remain tired and experience ongoing respiratory problems. So severe has been these symptoms that several million persons may be unable to return to their workplace. Within the past six months some fifty percent of the teachers in the US are quitting their jobs in light of all these ongoing issues.
Here at home, only time will tell how hard Covid will be on our people especially as only a limited portion of our people in our region opted for the vaccine. Assuming this LONG COVID does affect a part of our population. How on earth are those persons going to survive? We should further recall that covid is no respecter of persons which means that some of our most productive citizens are definitely at risk. We all complain of food cost and other items rising at an alarming rate but has anyone imagined the reasons? Labour shortages worldwide because of the pandemic are taking its toll on supply and demand. The toughest days are yet to come and we must remain focused and diligent on the way forward and not take the pandemic lightly. Then comes the promise of a $1,500 payout and a reduction of income tax payments for persons earning $4,000 and below monthly knowing full well that this was an impossible task as five from zero is zero. Regrettably, after some fifteen hours of debates, the public never heard what the current administration has in stock for the nation based on a shortfall of some 60% of government revenues as a result of the pandemic.
The sad reality is an election has come and gone and certain ministers have not adjusted to their new role. Common sense should be clear enough to understand that stopping three major projects employing 1,500 St Lucians fully financed for another two years was a boost to the economy. Promoting one’s ego has no real value, it simply inflates their inferiority complex and hastens their departure from the reins of government.
On a final note, we wish to comment on the indespicable behaviour at the house of assembly where two ministers for personal reasons made a spectacle of themselves. Fair Helen certainly does not warrant that kind of behaviour and we sincerely trust that we may never see that nature of outburst ever again.