Tag Archives: Covid-19

Betrayed by PAHO, WHO?

By Raffique Shah
March 22, 2021

Raffique ShahIt took a global pandemic that has, in one short year, claimed 2.7 million lives, infected 123 million people in 221 countries, to expose man for what he really is—a beast in human form.

For all his posturing on being civilised, on cooperation in the battle against the Covid-19 virus through agencies such as the World Health Organisation and the United Nations, when several vaccines were finally developed, tried and approved, the wealthiest, most powerful nations simply trampled on the poor, grabbed all they could without shame, pity or any kind of emotion that is supposed to distinguish man from beast.
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Remove these shackles

By Raffique Shah
March 08, 2021

Raffique ShahIf a brush with death is said to prompt man to reflect more deeply on life, then the Covid-19 pandemic that swooped down on mankind last year, cutting a path of death and destruction such as we had never seen in our lifetime, has also triggered deep thinking on the social contracts that exist among governments and the governed, on how societies are structured to sustain inequality, and on altering such arrangements, replacing them with more equitable alternatives.
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A passage to India

Newsday Editorial
March 05, 2021 – newsday.co.tt

COVID-19 VaccineIN ALL the recent instances of wrangling over vaccines from India, a key issue has been left unaddressed.

The heated reactions to both Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh’s mischaracterisation of the custody chain of vaccines donated by Barbados and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s letter to the Indian Prime Minister have deflected attention from a more profound diplomatic quandary which this country faces – as well as Caricom as a whole.
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Backward Ever

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
February 09, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI am still trying to understand why Blue Waters needed to import 39 non-nationals to work on its bottling plant when there is such high unemployment among our youths and specialized workers from Petrotrin and other related enterprises.

When Kamla Persad-Bissessar questioned Stuart Young about this matter, the latter mansplained: “This was a request by a manufacturer to bring in specialized workers to upgrade their plant. This is not unusual or unique. The persons entering would have presented their negative PCR test, they will be paying for their quarantine at a State-supervised quarantine facility” (Express, January 30, 2021).
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Be Very Afraid

By Raffique Shah
December 22, 2020

Raffique ShahAs we come close to the end of the year 2020, millions of people around the world who believe in God in one form or other will be praying to their deity that nothing cataclysmic happens in the dying days of what is probably the most tumultuous year in our lifetime. Really, after Covid-19 swept through planet Earth with a death-dealing ferocity that numbed the mind, what worse punishment could God conjure to hurl at man to teach him just who is who in the planetary pecking order? How much more adversity can tiny Trinidad and Tobago withstand, caught as it is in the cross-hairs of an economic meltdown multiplied by a migrant crisis that has damaged our reputation as well as strained our resilience?
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Of conformity and stupidity

By Raffique Shah
October 27, 2020

Raffique ShahAt age 74, and stricken with two “co-morbidities” as members of the medical profession would describe Parkinson’s Disease and asthma, I know that if ever I contracted the Covid-19 virus, odds are that it could be a fatal affliction, that I’d likely die during such encounter. Both conditions compromise the body’s immune system. There is no cure for PD, and asthma attacks the respiratory tracts. Hence if I value my life, I need to exercise extreme caution, adhere to the Covid-19 protocols, and until a vaccine is available or treatments are developed to eliminate the virus’ devastating impact on human beings, I should take cover, preferably in a “bubble”, and stay safe.
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President Trump’s Disruptive Power

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
October 05, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWhen I arrived in the U.S. in 1964, the presidential contest between Lyndon Johnson (Democrat) and Barry Goldwater (Republican) was underway. They disagreed on many issues (for example, the use of the atomic bomb in warfare and U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War), but their major difference revolved around how to tackle the legal barriers that prevented African-Americans from voting in federal and state elections. This initiative was the culmination of ten years of sustained struggles by African-Americans against all forms of discrimination against them.
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A Plea for Humility & Equanimity

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 28, 2020

“The work of the desireless doer can rightly be expected to be better than that of one driven by desire for the fruit.”

—The Gita According to Gandhi

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAt the beginning of last week, a disturbing video began to circulate on social media. It shows about a dozen school children dancing while music played in the background. These children seem to be “holding and drinking what appeared to be alcoholic beverages.” In the video, a woman is heard to be saying to another adult, “Is that what you have the children doing?” (Guardian, September 25).
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Total disrespect

By Raffique Shah
September 22, 2020

Raffique ShahI do not believe that the Commissioner of Police, Captain Gary Griffith, is a foolish man. He may be egotistic, over-sensitive, loquacious, combative. But foolish? No. I make this assessment of him purely by watching him from a distance, listening to his pronouncements on people from every strata of the society whom he perceives as being his critics.

Indeed, I write this column knowing that he will brand me a notorious mutineer, a disgrace to the uniform I once wore and blah, blah, blah. I am not as sensitive as he is, so I simply shrug off such epithets as par for this columnist’s course, a reality I have lived with for many years.
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