By Raffique Shah
January 10, 2022
Not even George Orwell, who wrote the right-wing classic Animal Farm which summarised workers in power, post-revolution, in the worst possible light, could have scripted the post-Covid tragi-comedy that premiered a few weeks ago, when the Delta variant of the virus first showed what it could do, and now Omicron is breaking box office records, leaving mankind stupefied.
In Animal Farm, Napoleon, the pig, in a Stalinist pincer strike, rose to the top of the animals’ hierarchy with little sweat and no blood. In short order, disorder erupted, and the revolution inevitably imploded.
In the Covid version in Trinidad and Tobago, approximately 500,000 unruly animals are holding the majority of citizens to ransom, wallowing in the power they wield, thumbing their noses at the majority, inviting us to do what we will, they “not moving”, like “Hulsie X” of yesteryear, whom David Rudder immortalised in song. Without rhyme or reason, they are wining their posteriors in our faces.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager my life that if any audit of behavioural patterns is conducted in the country, it would find that the 600,000-plus of us who took what vaccines were available months ago, to protect ourselves and loved ones, as well as to bid to halt the advance of Covid in the country, are also the law-abiding citizens who pay our taxes, water rates, etc, and we conform to practices that seek to build a better T&T. It would emerge that we don’t do fireworks, send hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars up in smoke and deafening noise, with absolute disregard for people’s pets, the infirm, and neighbours who just want to sleep.
Among the vaccine-hesitants, as they are euphemistically categorised, we are sure to discover the majority of tax-dodgers, people who don’t pay WASA bills (but they won’t mess around with T&TEC’s and face disconnection), who are prompt with their cable television payments, but not property tax… you get my drift.
I say enough is more than enough, we must stop this nonsense now. I did not hear my comrades in the unions cry foul when, early last year, the Government arbitrarily sent all public sector workers home, ordered them to stay put and collect their full salaries, clearly breaches of their collective agreements. Not a drum was heard, not a placard was hoisted, nothing. The “lochos” took their unplanned vacation with broad smiles, and enjoyed it.
Now the Government decided to ask them to vaccinate and return to their jobs so that the economy could be revived safely, and they refuse. Worse, the union leaders and some psychologists want us to baby-sit them, treat them gently, and bring them around to accepting that the vaccines are not harmful.
Utter madness, I scream in protest. I don’t care if they are policemen, permanent secretaries or filing clerks, influenced by tripe peddled on the Internet, and others simply too daft to make any motion without stupider-than-them self-proclaimed leaders giving the signal.
They were glued to the ground, gripped by fear.
Then the Government decided to force the issue, to bring legislation that will require all public sector workers to be properly vaccinated before they were allowed back to their jobs. If they still refused to be vaccinated, they continue to stay at home, but they will not be paid. Well, papa (as late comedian John Agitation used to say), who tell them to do that! All hell broke loose. As Covid-related infections multiplied, deadly new variants of the virus struck wildly via “zesser” parties and boat rides, not to mention families feting for the Christmas holidays, genuine unionists and sundry charlatans threatened to raise hell and damnation. The security forces, where vaccination levels were woefully low, threatened brimstone and fire. Public sector workers who had never actually worked a full day in their working lives, threatened to work.
As I watch the charade-of-a-parade take up positions, going for the kill, I think of what a warped world we live in. Children who had been spared the agony of Covid-19 hitherto, were now filling up the paediatric wards at the nation’s hospitals. They did not go looking for the virus: adults in their homes who just could not miss out on a party, brought it for them… their Omicron Christmas presents. The half-a-million hardback men and women who refuse to be vaccinated, and who may have been responsible for the plight of the tiny mites, and who have definitely sent hundreds of older people to their restless graves, should stand proud of their achievements.
Their callousness borders on infanticide or some such crime. Now is not the time to pamper such people. Bring back Lord Kitchener’s “Bull” and administer it with clinical precision on the backs of the “lazy lochos”.