Mon | Aug 8, 2022

Gordon Robinson | That’s the ticket

Published:Tuesday | August 2, 2022 | 12:06 AM
Meanwhile, the Government seems to have lost the plot regarding vaccination and may even be deliberately not trying, like a jockey at Caymanas Park with both feet on the dashboard during a race.
Meanwhile, the Government seems to have lost the plot regarding vaccination and may even be deliberately not trying, like a jockey at Caymanas Park with both feet on the dashboard during a race.

Playing one Saturday afternoon against Dessie and the Dunce, Gene Autry posed double-six.

Quick as a flash, the Dunce played six-blank. Dessie returned blank in support, only to discover Gene held four blanks, and the game was lost. As it turned out, the Dunce was ‘cooping’ four treys, including six-trey; blank-trey.

Dessie was apoplectic: “Yu don’t know dat yu fi show me yu bes’ card on yu firs’ play? Dem sey nuttin in dis worl’ perfeck but you is a perfeck idiot!”

The Dunce: “Suppose mi did trick dem to play trey firs’. Den nuh me win?”

“But, but, but…..” Dessie was temporarily speechless. “YOU have six-trey AND trey-blank. How dem fi play trey? Mi a go cut yu wid a domino!”

As usual, the Dunce had the last word, “If a macca, mek it jook yu!”

So Haemorrhoid became involved. By now, readers are well acquainted with Ernest H. Flower, whose commitment to laziness (his perennial lament was about the “piles and piles” of files on his desk), together with a convenient middle initial, ensured his colourful nickname.

Haemorrhoid didn’t play but, as a world-class raconteur with hilarious shaggy-dog tales always handy, was a welcome spectator. He told the story of the Unlucky Flight Attendant.

“One day, Grace, an experienced flight attendant, drew the short straw, so was stationed at the departure gate to check tickets. This was a very boring job, but she did it with a smile, following all training protocols that mandated politeness and cheerfulness no matter the situation.

“As passenger after passenger filed by, she held out her hand for tickets, which she inspected to ensure holders were at the correct gate. Then she showed them the way to their plane.

“It was a busy day and her feet were sore from continuously standing in high heels and checking tickets. Late in the day, a man approached. Grace extended her hand for his ticket but, instead, he opened his trench coat and flashed her.

“Quick as a whip, Grace said, with a smile, ‘Sir, I need to see your ticket not your stub.’”

After Haemorrhoid regained his composure (laughed loudest at his own joke), he told the Dunce, “Six-blank is your stub. Six-trey was the ticket you should’ve shown.”

As COVID continues its deadly toll on society, I’ve noticed a tired surrender creeping into our thoughts, words and deeds. Too often I hear we are in the ‘post-pandemic’ phase. ROT. We are still recording dangerously high positivity rates and hospitalisations. Unvaccinated Jamaicans are dying at unacceptable rates. Without fanfare, 131 deaths (97 per cent unvaccinated) have been reported since June 1.

Meanwhile, Government seems to have lost the plot regarding vaccination and may even be deliberately not trying, like a jockey at Caymanas Park with both feet on the dashboard during a race. The concept of ‘balancing lives and livelihoods’ has disappeared from Government’s lexicon. Instead, it desperately tries to reinvigorate a recession- threatened economy through carefree pursuit of improved livelihoods and super-spreader parties.

With regard to ‘lives’, Government’s policy seems to be let the Devil take the hindmost. Yet I keep hearing “no problem, Mon”. There’s ‘natural immunity’ (which wanes faster than vaccine efficacy); early treatments; and those of us who eat too much and exercise too little are more to blame for COVID deaths than the virus. Vaccines are damned with faint praise by highlighting (with some justification) declining efficacy and surging infections in highly vaccinated countries to validate tired surrender.

Vaccine manufacturers must accept plenty blame for tired surrender. While enjoying large profits from vaccine sales, they’ve lazily ignored the virus’ attack-is-the-best-form-of-defence mutations, which developed new protein spikes that avoid natural and vaccine immunities alike. Despite the virus’ continued advance, vaccine manufacturers haven’t tweaked original vaccines to combat new strains. THAT would be too much like work. On the positive (no pun intended) side, COVID’s new variants might better evade immunities, but (plus and minus to everything) may also have mutated themselves into more contagious but less deadly states.

Perhaps Government, well aware of this combo’s practical effect, took a calculated risk to ‘drop its hand’ but not explain publicly. That’d be government showing only its stub. The real ticket is ramped up vaccination which, despite reduced efficacy, remains the best prevention of infection and, more importantly, of severe illness. Get vaccinated. Maintain clinical protocols. Early treatment options are available only to those already infected and with access to timely healthcare.

Do. Not. Drop. Your. Guard!

Peace and Love.

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