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We are in a general election season in The Bahamas, and all common sense and logic seem to be thrown out the window
By Dennis Dames
COVID-19 is right in our faces, and we don’t see it for what it is. It’s a highly contagious killer virus that’s mutating rapidly into more lethal strains. The coronavirus is a global force to be reckoned with right now, and it is dubbed the invisible enemy for good reasons – because of its potentially devastating impact on the international front.
It is a serious danger to worldwide peace and stability. COVID-19 is also a grave threat to universal commerce and relationships. Every nation appears to be uneasy about their immediate future because of the raging coronavirus.
It doesn’t look like our political leaders get it. We are in a general election season in The Bahamas, and all common sense and logic seem to be thrown out the window, in my view. For example, I saw a PLP ad recently which states that a PLP government will implement free COVID-19 testing and so on.
What does free COVID-19 testing have to do with the reality that COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire now? What does free COVID-19 testing have to do with our overcrowded hospitals and morgue at this time? How will free COVID-19 testing curb the spread of COVID-19 in a tourist-dependent economy? How will free COVID-19 testing stop new COVID-19 variants from entering the country?
Let’s get real, PLP. The focus, in my humble opinion, is to convince our hardheaded unvaccinated brothers and sisters to get vaccinated soon. After all, they comprise the vast majority of COVID-19 hospital and morgue clients – 90 percent-plus.
It’s a pity and tragedy that the PLP is prepared to sacrifice many Bahamians on the COVID-19 alter of sickness and death. We lack national unity on such a dreadful issue, PLP; and all of us should be ashamed of it. It’s sad that winning an election tomorrow appears more important than saving Bahamian lives today.
Things are getting absolutely toxic and dire with the livid COVID-19 virus throughout the universe. We need to unite as one people and resolve to fight COVID-19 together. The unvaccinated is the big problem in the battle to defeat COVID-19.
Medical statistics everywhere show this, yet fools are determined to be fools. Yes PLPs, you could continue to promote your time-wasting, money-wasting and bogus free COVID test promise while our unvaccinated folks remain wickedly vulnerable to an unmerciful foe.
Yes PLP, all of your leaders are fully vaccinated. Why is it that they don’t want to share the wisdom and joy of vaccination with the unvaccinated citizens?
Take note, PLP: There are only two choices to deal with COVID-19 – go back to lockdown, or keep the economy open.
If we choose the latter, then we must encourage the unvaccinated among us to get vaccinated. If we fail to do so, sickness, death and misery will rain down on us like a ton of bricks – and your free testing promise will prove to be dead on arrival.
Happy 48th Independence Bahamas. What are we commemorating, though? After 48 years of Black majority rule in The Bahamas, we Bahamians don’t have much to be proud about as a nation and as a people.
We cannot be happy to be unemployed, broke and in mounting debt. We should not be satisfied about being taxed to the max. Nor should we be contented with the out of control government deficit spending and borrowing with nothing much to show for it through the decades.
After 48 years of negro political leadership in The Bahamas, we have produced a continuous and healthy flow of young murderers – from generation to generation.
Our young men, in particular, are being slaughtered in mass numbers – year after year. Many of our youths are engaged in the dangerous and deadly gang life at an early age, and graduate to prison very young – with long sentences. It’s nothing to cheer about.
After 48 years of Black governance in The Bahamas, we have produced a Black ruling class that cares only about their selective lovers, family and friends. I’m sure that the quiet revolution was not about that.
After 48 years of Black political misrule in The Bahamas, we are stuck in the mud with more of the same static, mediocre and inept leaders – whom we all know well; but we are ready to vote for them over and over again. What a bunch of mad jokers we are.
After 48 years of Black self-governance in The Bahamas, we are going ‘round in circles. Where is the national vision? Where is the national unity and resolve? Where are the new breed of Bahamian leaders who are indeed serious about local government and power-sharing for the betterment of the nation?
Or is the new breed of national leaders simply chips off the old corrupt political blocks who have become comfortable with alternating one-term governments? Five years for you, and five years for me – and together, we’ll continue the corrupt legacy of our Black predecessors.
Where are the Bahamian leaders who truly believe in a Bahamas for all Bahamians – and not just for the chosen friends, family and sweethearts? Where are the Bahamian leaders who subscribe to true Black majority rule in The Bahamas?
Which of the no-good evils will we vote for in the next general election? No matter who wins, we must demand better, and a more productive, all inclusive, and prosperous way ahead as a sovereign Black nation.
Yes, let’s move forward, upward and onward together as proud Bahamians.
Our offspring will love and appreciate us for it; and I’m sure that they will do the same for their children. Let’s build a Bahamas where national independence has a genuinely rich meaning, and is worthy of celebration and observance by all Bahamians.
Meanwhile, unfashionable seaside resorts within driving distance of urban centres may make a surprise comeback in popularity.
Atlantic City, near New York and Philadelphia, and Margate, east of London, may once again outshine the foreign, sunnier beaches that long ago eclipsed them.
The staycation trend may fuel the growth of economies already doing relatively well after covid-19, while setting back those doing badly.
By Gilbert Morris
The decline in international travel is hardening (See graphs below). Understanding this is critical to the right conceptualisation of what’s actually happening. I warned that our plantation economic model premised on a “double wait”
a. For foreign investors
b. For American tourists
Then feverishly dividing the meagre scarps by political tribalism, is not an economic model.
All the 258 pandemics recorded in history have not only shifted entire economic and social paradigms, they also reveal and punish system and structural fragilities, above and beyond the excuse-making voices of politicians, used to gaslighting their populations.
It was only a few weeks ago, public officials were exclaiming that “booking were up”. But we knew that if we had no protocols on the ground equal to the best practices of the best performing countries in Covid 19, point to booking was a mere demented distraction from reality.
Now underlying structural shifts are taking place, the success and strengths of which will be directly proportional to our economic prospects, and opposite to our lazy presumption that US tourists will soon return; an astonishing precept for an island state economy.
Read about the shifts - forecasted 13 months ago here - in a recent article from the Economist:
From The Economist!
The trend towards domestic holidays will create economic winners and losers:
A.J.P. TAYLOR, a British 20th-century historian, once wistfully noted that the only agents of state a Victorian Briton was likely to meet were the postman and the local policeman. How times have changed.
The pandemic has brought with it sweeping restrictions on what the state allows individuals to do. One of the latest is that, from March 29th, modern-day Britons will be fined £5,000 ($6,900) if they go abroad without reasonable excuse—a rule that in effect makes a foreign holiday a criminal offence.
No wonder that this year’s big vacation trend is the “staycation”—to go on holiday in one’s own country. That will have an uneven economic impact around the world.
Britain is not the only country to impose draconian restrictions on cross-border travel. America still bans virtually all Europeans from entering the country. Quarantine rules also have a chilling effect on leisure travellers.
Hong Kong’s system—among the harshest in the world—locks inbound passengers in hotels for 21 days to try and stop holidaymakers importing new variants of the disease.
Such measures, understandably, put a squeeze on leisure travel. Those with just two or three weeks’ paid leave a year have better things to do with their time than wait around in a quarantine hotel.
At the start of the pandemic, both foreign and domestic travel were destroyed by border closures and travel restrictions. So low was demand during the first lockdown that Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline by some reckonings, almost shut down completely.
Even so, since last spring domestic travel has been steadily recovering, particularly in America, where lockdown rules have been loosened faster than elsewhere. According to OAG, a data firm, capacity on American domestic flights at the end of March—measured by the number of seats on all aircraft—was 23% below where it was in January of last year; in Australia it was down by 19%.
Meanwhile, cross-border travel remains in the doldrums. In China, where domestic-passenger traffic has fully recovered, international travel is 93% below where it was before the pandemic (see chart).
With a third wave of covid-19 cases sweeping through continental Europe, Latin America and India, the trend this summer could well be towards more border restrictions, not fewer.
The trend for more holidays nearer home will affect tourist spots in different ways. Islands are likely to suffer in favour of places that can be reached by car.
Insular paradises such as Cozumel in Mexico, which used to earn 70% of its GDP from passing cruise ships, and the Bahamas, which formerly generated a similar share of its income from tourism, will take a long time to recover.
Meanwhile, unfashionable seaside resorts within driving distance of urban centres may make a surprise comeback in popularity. Atlantic City, near New York and Philadelphia, and Margate, east of London, may once again outshine the foreign, sunnier beaches that long ago eclipsed them.
The staycation trend may fuel the growth of economies already doing relatively well after covid-19, while setting back those doing badly.
This was the conclusion of a recent report by Bernstein, a research firm, which estimated the economic impact of 60% of outbound tourism spending being used at home instead. Their result: China, whose economy is already larger than before the pandemic began, would be the biggest winner. And the biggest losers? Greece, Iceland and Portugal, whose economies have already suffered dreadfully over the past year.
MODERNA’s ANNOUNCEMENT THAT ITS VACCINE IS “94% EFFECTIVE” IS WHAT’s WRONG WITH PUBLIC HEALTH NARRATIVE...!
By Gilbert Morris:
In my recent SPACENEX Global ROUNDTABLE Lectures, I paraphrased Dr Martin Luther King Jr. saying: “CoViD-19 infections anywhere is a threat of CoViD-19 out breaks everywhere”.
Any government official or policy expert engaged in hoarding treatments or implementing partial solutions, is a champion of idiocy. That’s because, IF (AND ONLY IFF) vaccines are the strategy, THEN that requires global herd immunity.
This has set into force a race for market share, which is too little discussed - not to mention that the not only undemocratic but ANTI-democratic measures we have seen emerge in Britain, Canada the US and Israel; all western democracies; whilst non-Christian non-western nations have pursued rational policies based upon transparency and citizen participation.
Given the growing loss of transparency, the growing conspiracy theories, the reported fascistic despotic behaviours of some pharmaceutical companies, information and data about vaccines should be issued by independent bodies, not the pharmacy companies themselves.
You may say that the CDC is such a body. But that’s lunacy: they have shown themselves under the Trump administration to be willing handmaidens to convenient goat-barking, prepared to gong along with the former President’s donkeyfication of science to save their jobs rather than act to fulfil their calling.
Moderna cannot simply announce its vaccines “increased efficacy” in this environment...without confirmation from an independent source; which is the essence of the scientific process. The idea that pharmaceutical corporations - who are the most rapacious and corrupt corporate entities - following banks and before the mafia - lack the credibility, merely to announce such claims, to be seconded by state American agencies, which have already compromised themselves, resulting in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.
To gain perspective on this scandal, take a gander at the European/UK conflagration over the AstraZeneca vaccine. It’s was banned in at least 5 nations, owing to statistically nebulous findings of severe clotting; a prospect which could have been captured through pre-screening.
It was an example of risking public health over a spectacle of political shaming, with citizen’s lives hanging in the balance, attenuated to a vaccine regime authorised only for emergency deployment; a means - most people don’t seem to understand - of limiting the liability of pharmaceutical giants.
It would seem to me, that less arrogance and greater caution ought to have been exercises in every particular in deploying these vaccines, given the rushed circumstances of their issuance.
The conspiracy crazies will always be with us, but their lunacy is exacerbated by idiot governments and institutions insulting fearful citizens, who are watching the European charade referred to above, the flagrant stupidity of some pharmaceutical companies, the emergency use protocol that’s evolving towards a mandatory rule and the increasingly anti-democratic measures premised in vaccination.
Once again, despite President BIDEN’s heroic efforts:
1. Variant strains of Covid 19
2. Refusals of vaccinations by at least 30% of Americans who also refuse to comply with social measures
3. The overall wicked nature of pandemics themselves
Cases are rising in more than 40 states of the United States. It is for this reason I warned in March 2020, the Caribbean governments must grasp the logic of pandemics: there is no point - as was done last year and being done now - in celebrating “bookings”.
That’s “idiot’s gold”!
Unless and until there is either a comprehensive national testing or (if vaccines are the policy) there is 100% vaccine coverage, any policy or attempt to facilitate tourism will end in disaster; a point proven twice in the Bahamas last year and underway in Jamaica now.
It’s either 100% vaccines or a robust testing regime in which we have at least 1.6 million tests; which I believe would discover over 30% antibodies.
If we are foolish in this moment - the natural inflection point of a pandemic - considering the likelihood that the variant strains of Covid 19 are ALREADY in these islands - given the lack of protocols (yachts are ring and guests partying together nightly - nightclubs filled with Bahamians disobeying the protocols etc - lack of aggregate analytics or technology measuring tools - chances are that we are in for a calamity.
I argued in January 2021, that cases would soon rise again. I am satisfied that sadly, that was and is now correct!
Again, IF and IFF, vaccines are the policy, then its worth it to procure the Johnson and Johnson single jab (subject to our lack of knowledge about medium and long term effects or immunity coverage) to incentivise persons to take the vaccine by paying them $300 each.
Nonsense mumbles and routine excuse-makers will say other nations have increased numbers too: true. But Usain Bolt lost races and your slow uncle lost races...but they aren’t the same!