Polarize a nation | Journalist
It is indisputable that Covid-19 represents the most significant health and economic threat of this generation.
We have had heated arguments over the effects of efforts to contain the virus. Achieving the magnitude of the required changes in personal behavior is a challenge, but these changes are integral to success. The nature of the responses to Covid-19 makes it as much a political decision as a public health decision.
Visions of what the nation should do to manage the fallout and trigger an economic recovery compete with each other. Some even wonder about the role of God. A close examination of our leadership at all levels is present. Being held responsible is not an attack since the decisions made are literally life and death decisions.
Rid of the illusion of being a rich country, we are now grappling with the shortcomings of our health sector. Unable to quickly correct this shortcoming, we must crush the growing demand for health services.
Our first battle is with those who live in a fantasy fueled by conspiracy. Conspiracy theories come from two sources: spinning stories of victimization to attract those who feel helpless and those who seek to distract their followers. For both groups, the enemy is “the other”.
Social media enables the dissemination of the selective narrative. Facts become victims. The authors (according to an adult blogger who threatened to beat the Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley last week) are using visceral language to convince their base of the perceived harm.
Bending the truth seems acceptable because for these players there is a more important cause to serve. Destroying trust in epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds and the main medical team is seen, in this context, as collateral damage. These actions lead to reluctance to immunize, which is correlated with geographic locations and specific beliefs (MFO, 2021).
Last week we stressed that our leaders cannot go beyond partisan impulses. In June 2015, these are the words of encouragement from Kamla Persad-Bissessar: “As a nation, our greatest strength must always be underlined by our unity, our compassion for one another and our dedication to live well, to share , uplift and move forward together. There is no greater time to consider our common oneness and compassion than in those times when we focus on the things we see and think differently.
And in January 2014, it was: “We have the chance to do everything to make us a great nation. But there can be no great nation without great peoples, no great achievement without great goal, and no greatness at all without great humility. And the greatest form of humility is to bow before God.
But last week, Persad-Bissessar’s call to “… formulate a better plan than lockdowns and prayers” leveled off a year in which there were misguided appeals to foreign governments. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Are we fed on words or on truth?
God is not an automatic teller machine (automatic teller machine); we cannot manipulate it. We have to deal with Him sincerely. Is it impossible to confess our faults to one another and ask God for mercy? Or do we see “the other” as evil personified, making peace impossible?
Does Proverbs 25:28 (A person without self-control is like a city with broken walls) apply to our other leader? Why do we have to stand up to all the bait? As for US President Theodore Roosevelt, said: “The future belongs to these wise political leaders who realize that the general public is more interested in government than in politics.”
The tired nation, troubled by the rising death toll and the fragility of our hospital system, calls for leadership and vision. Leadership is more than claiming your right, it’s doing your duty.
It looks like we are facing a more highly transmissible variant, and the futile guesswork about vaccine supply should end. False hopes will kill people. Partisan politicization leads to split responses. It is difficult to overcome initial opinions with factual messages, and therefore all elites must unite around one message. Failure means endless disaster.
Not all of our political decisions can be about short-term gains. We must meet the significant challenges that lie ahead. Do we really love this country, or do we just want to further our ends or win the next election?