Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Shelley Weir
If ever there was an example of voter intimidation, the process to vote on January 19th, 2022 qualifies. The conditions outlined by Chairman of the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) Mr Leslie Haynes QC is discriminatory to, for example, those who suffer from Lupus.
According to the Barbados TODAY and the Daily Nation the protocols at the polling station include taking temperatures.
Where a high temperature is recorded the voter will be granted a 15 minute ‘cool down’ period and if a second check reveals another high reading, they will be prioritised; taken to the top of the line to vote and then the place sanitised.
A low grade fever is part and parcel of living with Lupus and is more likely indicative of a flare up so there is no 15 minute cool down period.
For more than 30 years the fight has been to have this condition treated as a priority in the healthcare system, certainly not to be used as a weapon in the voting process. Just as importantly, Lupus is NOT contagious.
Fever is but one symptom of COVID-19 and has not taken centre stage with the onset of the other variants.
Therefore it would be more prudent to ensure that protocols are standardised: proper wearing of masks; distancing and sanitising for ALL.
In the present format the temperature gun on Election Day is tantamount to one with bullets for those of us with conditions such as Lupus… no need to make us target practice.
Shelley Weir MBE, Msc President Hope Foundation; Lupus Patient for almost 32 years.