Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today.
by Roderick P. Harris
I can just about picture a man drowning at Brandon’s Beach and he screams out to a member of the Barbados Government for assistance and without missing a pulse beat, that minister responds: “Just hold on my brother, we are in the process of forming a committee to look at all the ramifications of drowning and how best we can
we find workable solutions to mitigate against future occurrences.
I promise I’ll get back to you because this is who we are.”
While Government needs to upgrade and enhance testing equipment to facilitate greater volume of service; and while it needs to ensure a speedier process of returning test results; and while it has to give assurances to frontline workers such as police and soldiers that they will not be left out when compensatory monies are being disbursed; and while it should be considering shutting our borders for at least a week or two to stem the COVID-19 tide, Government has instead chosen to appoint a communications team to answer questions, I suspect, not so much about what authorities have been doing but more so about what they have not been doing.
And as if to give students an object lesson in irony or juxtaposition, that grouping is headed by Government enforcer Liz Thompson who mere months ago was herself embroiled in mild COVID-19 controversy after returning to Barbados.
Then, whether it was a case of bad communication, miscommunication or no communication, Barbadians had to skim through what public details were made available or could be believed, to determine whether the country had been placed in danger.
I say all that to say this.
This Government which I voted for in the absence of a viable alternative in my neck of the woods, needs to allow health officials to take a more prominent, DECISION-MAKING role in fighting this pandemic.
I get the impression whenever I view press conferences, that our health officials – the Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George especially – speak very guardedly and with a level of trepidation that they might say too much and therefore, choose to say little or nothing.
The recent engagement of the president of BAMP on the communications team, I believe, is more geared towards keeping that grouping in line – or quiet – more so than any attempt to utilize her immense medical skills and knowledge.
Some of us Barbadians are being drowned by COVID-19 and it seems our main hope of rescue rests in stilted words offered by politicians from the comfort of the sea shore.