Monday, June 22, 2009

AH1N1 AND THE CARIBBEAN GAMES

I am wondering whether the Trinidad and Tobago government gave any substantial thought to the cancellation of the Caribbean Games, due to the pandemic AH1N1 virus.

While the gesture of putting the health of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago before the welfare of Caribbean sport status, the action is contradictory and totally unacceptable for a country which aspires to be recognized as 'developed nation' within the international diplomatic theater.

It would have been more prudent and certainly circumspect for the Trinidad and Tobago government to set protocols and standards indicative to the status of this event, and show the international sporting community and by extension the international family that the country is prepared, even in the face of a global pandemic to honour its commitments.

Instead the decision taken by the government of Trinidad and Tobago, well meaning as it is, tumbles the country's advanced nation status several notches down the ladder and enforces the fact that the nation's medical workforce has been spouting for years, that the country's health care system is in shambles.

Trinidad and Tobago is considered the Caribbean region's most affluent country. Citizen pay a monthly health surcharge and services are free within a crumbling Public Health system, riddled with complaints of negligence and malpractice. The government, ignoring the recommendations of local doctors has imported 'help' from Cuba, Malaysia, India and Nigeria, while paying little or no heed to local practitioners who urge to make the system better for their fellow nationals.

The onset of the AH1N1 virus has brought into sharp focus the different levels of 'health care' which is available to nationals.

Individuals who are diagnosed with the virus are 'confined at home' for a ten day period. But when members of an international volleyball team complained that they contracted the AH1N1 virus flu in Trinidad, all members of Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball teams were confined to a ward of one of the nation's hospitals. The question begs to be asked- Why wasn't the members of the volleyball team tested and confined to their home like other members of the population?

Which brings be back to the cancellation of the inaugural Caribbean Games..while Trinidad and Tobago may be aspiring to first world status, the mentality of the government clearly in this respect is third world.

There is AH1N1 virus in the UK, but they didn't cancel the 20/20 cricket tournament. There is AH1N1 virus in the US they are not cancelling any events there and Mexico didn't cancel any major event that country just put protocols in place and rolled into the wave.

Now that the government has cancelled the Caribbean Games (which organizers said took 7 years of planning) are notices being sent out for the cancellation of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference which is scheduled for November 2009 in Trinidad?

The Uninhibited Diplomat

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LE NOIREAU- Prologue

There was chaos in Scotland Bay Village. Everywhere, everyone was busy; packing, unpacking, leaving burnt bare lands for the Americans.

Away from the noises and confusion the aquamarine Caribbean waves played a soft calypso rhythm, strumming, rippling, kissing bare toes, feet and ankles dug deep into the cold, clammy sand.

The air was laden, ready, thick with the rancid scent of seaweed, salt and smoke carried in the spray; pushed by angry, crashing, foaming waves against a stony coastline up and around the Bay’s end.

She was misted; creating an eerie appearance as she sat back hunched on a fallen tree trunk embedded in the sand; knees tucked under the wide folds of her skirt. Damp grainy sand and the sea waters rushed up; bubbling in between her fingers and feet. Gently she rested her chin on her knees and looked out at the fading horizon, watching the day in its brilliance and splendor of death at sunset. The fiery gold of the sun’s rays; fingering, shimmering on the aquamarine canopy of the sea, dazzling blinding and ever so slowly, churning to taunting, tangerine orange and saffron reds; cascading into purple, violets and royal blue of evening time with ballet like precision. And later as stars peeping first play hide and seek with the naked eye, streaks of charcoal gray strut into midnight black, shadowing the earth into illusions of peace-fullness, as twinkling jewels finally sparkle in the phosphorescent gleam of a splendid Caribbean moonlight.

The gulf steamer disregarding war time surveillance orders; tugged by, alerting Astral Le Noireau to the lateness of the hour. She sighed lifted tiny hands from the sand and stared as the grains quietly trickled back into their places on the seemingly un-rumpled shore. The signal light of the streamer as it passed by and answering flashed from the lighthouse, momentarily blinded her as she turned huge tear filled almond shaped golden eyes up and then out, taking in the silver-ness of the long familiar Scotland Bay coastline, now bathed in the beauty of a full Caribbean moonlight. The gentle breeze blew her blue black hair into her eyes and face, as one hand rose gracefully to whip the unruly strands back into place. Silently a figure standing in the shadows of a coconut palm tree observed her.

Astral stood crying silently, watching the village she so love fade into the night shadows as the steamer padded laboriously out into the first Boca. Every inch further way from Scotland Bay felt like a fist clenching around her lung, stifling her, killing her. She stood rooted until Chateau le Noireau was no longer visible as they rounded the bend at Delgada Point. Until tears of frustration overwhelmed her and she crumbled to the seat on the almost empty steamer. Astral Le Noireau and her precious possession were some of the last things to evacuate from her village.

The Marines had put her on the ferry.

(c) 2006 Cecly Ann Mitchell


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