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by Bishop Dr. André Symmonds
As a concerned Barbadian citizen and in view of a recent August 26 address made by our Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, I am appealing for the prompt removal of the daily, “vaccinated versus unvaccinated” enumerations, per cent-based and otherwise, as depicted on our national COVID-19 dashboard.
Our Prime Minister and her cabinet together with officials from our Ministry of Health, made it clear that the potential rift that threatens this country, is precisely what they wouldn’t want to obtain among us as Barbadians.
Previously, our Prime Minister spoke vehemently relative to not destroying the unified fabric of this nation by mandating vaccines and yet, we frequently call attention to those who have taken the jab versus those who haven’t.
What was supposed to be a personal decision in January of this year, to take or not to take the jab, has become a public outcry and a controversial matter. We are now ‘up in arms’ with each other.
It has been said, that some who have taken the jab blame those who haven’t taken it for the continuous spread of COVID and its variants. It has also been said, that some who have not taken the jab, are accusing those who have taken it, of potentially weakening their immune systems thereby compromising the healthcare of everyone, should another virus or variant arise.
Submissions, opinions, and allegations continue to escalate into contentious segregations that we don’t need as a people. With each toll and view of the ‘almighty dashboard’, the expressed desires of our Government and those of concerned citizens are disregarded.
Worse, our unified anatomy is being compromised in ways that I fear may be irredeemable. The exhibition of this inherently exclusive information on our nation’s daily dashboard, needs to be curbed.
I am pleading with those who have the responsibility over the erecting of the same, to cease the quotidian posting of this ‘vaccinated versus unvaccinated’ nonsense that’s being perpetuated.
Perhaps we borrowed the idea from North America or other influential country as we mooch most other things, but again, I reflect on the behest of our Prime Minister, which I must believe was genuine.
Of late, fuel is being added to the fire when fellow citizens fall victim to the virus. We now label them as ‘vaccinated’ or ‘unvaccinated’, thereby creating unnecessary conspicuous demarcations which only serve to dehumanise the lives of lost loved ones.
Barbados, the onus is on us. Our actions will speak louder than our words. If we are serious about maintaining the unity that our forefathers fought for and that we are known for as a people, then it is incumbent on us to remove the things that are obvious feud-makers, which spark tensions and promote hopeless divisions. We can ill afford this continuous immoderate reminder that the business of a needle, promises to divide us like a blade.