Tue | Sep 28, 2021

Gordon Robinson | Dropping like old flies

Published:Tuesday | July 27, 2021 | 12:06 AM
We know vaccination protects more against serious illness and death than it does infection.
We know vaccination protects more against serious illness and death than it does infection.
Gordon Robinson
Gordon Robinson

Well, it hasn’t taken Old Ball and Chain long to push me off my chair and capture the computer.

Old BC: I give up on Old Grey Balls. He says he always obeys, but it’s not true. I’ve instructed him to write about the high number of COVID deaths.

Old GB: But I do daily COVID stats analyses on Twitter (@TheTerribleTout).

Old BC: That’s not enough. Do in-depth critique. A large number of deaths are thrown at us with the facile explanation some were ‘under investigation’. Why aren’t we told when the deaths occurred; what amounts to ‘investigation’; and how many tested positive before dying? Are they just dropping like flies around my world -famous baked fish?

Old GB: What would you have me do?

Old BC: Delve into the death stats bandied about without detail. Are we investigating only cause of death? Or, if COVID, which strain? It can’t be beyond our pathology to find out if it’s Delta that we’re both certain is already in Jamaica? Didn’t Tufton promise months ago we were sending for the necessary equipment?

Old GB: Ok, but why do you think Tufton will suddenly become a paragon of transparency and cautious pronouncement? Almost every grand announcement he has made (including promising Cornwall Regional would be fixed by March 2018 and 250,000 vaccine doses would arrive mid-February) hasn’t materialised.

Old BC: Read my lips. I. Don’t. Care! I’ve no control over Tufton. I’ve control over YOU. Your job is to put truth out there. Oh, and one last important issue you must address. We should know how many of recently reported deaths represent fully vaccinated persons.

Old GB: Why? We know vaccination protects more against serious illness and death than it does infection.

Old BC: Exactly. We also know religious whack-jobs are telling people vaccination is the mark of the beast. Even formally educated Jamaicans believe that nonsense. Others spread every silly conspiracy theory imaginable, including vaccination being a way to control minds or track movements. Between that and vaccine roll-out moving slower than ketchup, Jamaica has only vaccinated six per cent of its population – second lowest in the Caribbean. Herd immunity is 70 per cent. So wouldn’t it help boost vaccine take-up if Government could publish that not one fully vaccinated person has died?

Old GB: Best help would be if we had vaccines. You have heard that even Olympics has been blighted by infections, including an 18-year-old American gymnast who tested positive, although being fully vaccinated.

Old BC: Sigh. Yes. But she has been asymptomatic. The more detailed information government gives the less vaccine hesitancy we’ll experience. No need to pay hundreds of millions to marketing companies to create cutesy-pie advertisements starring girls in gym outfits or famous comedians. Just. Tell. Us. Plain. Unvarnished. Truth!

Old GB: But remember your ‘Mark of the Beast’ syndrome?

Old BC: True. But Government must stop pampering them. I’m firmly in Emmanuel Macron’s corner. Earlier this month, Macron, out of options thanks to skyrocketing infections and flattening vaccination rates, warned all medical personnel had to be vaccinated by September 15 or face unspecified sanctions. Citizens who are fully vaccinated or test negative (tests will no longer be free) can enter commercial/cultural sites and use long-distance transport. After July 21, nearly 70 million unvaccinated French could find themselves literally under the bus. Ne c’est pas? Businesses refusing or neglecting to check customers also risk sanctions, including escalating fines. The next day, a record one million vaccination requests were received.

Old GB: You do know Macron has been viciously attacked for this?

Old BC: Read my lips again. I. Don’t. Care! And if you hadn’t become so old, and soft, you wouldn’t give a flying fig, either. Kmt. Here’s a quote from Italian Journalist Selvaggia Lucarelli commenting on Macron’s policy (subsequently deleted the post as readers thought he was falsely quoting Macron himself): “I’m in favour of the French line right now. I no longer have any intention of sacrificing my life, my time, my freedom and the adolescence of my daughters, as well as their right to study properly, for those who refuse to be vaccinated. This time you stay at home, not us.” Brap, brap!

Peace and Love!

Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.