Sep 27, 2020 Letters
The wreckage is filled with the harrowing results of the COVID-19 pandemic. A high-level snapshot encompasses 200,000 plus dead; millions sickened; hospitals overwhelmed; economy reeling. There is great anger, heavier tension, more sabotaging distrusts. But there is something more, and from this Guyanese leaders and Guyanese citizens could observe and embrace a world of the widest wisdom.
It is believed that the COVID-19 virus is manmade, manufactured in a Wuhan laboratory. The jury is still out because the evidence is not absolutely conclusive. But people are dead, the prices grim, and of those, there are no doubts. It has been so for America, Asia, Europe; indeed, for most of the inhabited world, with the toll still rising the end unknown, and the final costs believed astronomical. Guyana has not been spared; it braces apprehensively for cataclysms that loom, but which it is hoped will pass over. We have some defenses, some concerted efforts, some resolve. Whether all those will be enough to make the worst bypass us is still up in the air. Divine intervention is depended upon; what may have to be after our trying and struggling to put our arms around this menace, with the limited tools and armaments at our fingertips. I pray. I hope. I trust.
Against this horrendous backdrop, more unnerving news has surfaced. There is more rage, more disgust, more tenseness leading to more bad feelings and bad blood. The news is that there was early intelligence of a massive viral problem imminent, but the inexplicable followed. That is, there was silence, no information sharing and in definitive decision-making, covering up, through unpardonable and incomprehensible destruction of records following official orders from the highest echelons of the Chinese government. A long, warped, and dangerous road was transformed to a darker and deadlier place because of official actions taken from official decisions finalized. The rest of the world paid and continues to pay the harshest of human and societal prices.
A few hundred thousand deaths may be inconsequential in the highly populated Far East. Locking down, locking out, and locking up enormous sections of the population may be unchallenged in controlled societies. But these things matter in other societies that are freer and more open to hard questions, serious agitations, and citizens objecting. They matter to America. They matter much to Guyana and Guyanese. Because the pains are felt more, the capacity to absorb the battering blows are not as broad or deep, or accepting.
And I say all this because of the two places where this limited recitation of known and accepted public facts and crippling global experiences lead me. Regarding the first place where I end up, I think there will be countless believing pilgrims and it follows this straight line. What came out of Wuhan, what was suppressed and not disclosed, what was destroyed and not delivered possess all the characteristics of viral warfare which, in my admittedly ignorant state, I conclude to be a byproduct of ongoing endeavours in the fields of bacteriological and germ warfare. The plague heaped upon the global house may have been avoidable; or with more openness, at least, minimized. It is why there is so much anger, so much suspicion and distrust for what could be construed as an undeclared war.
And against these backdrops, I arrive at the second and last place, the point that I put on the table before my fellow Guyanese, whether leaders or citizens, including those who agree or disagree with me. And especially before those who either like or dislike what I represent. That second place is this: despite all the damage, all the acrimonies, all the passions and prejudices, there is still communicating and talking – no matter how sharp -between American and Chinese leaders. There is still intercourse and exchanging between the main men at the heights, however strained. This is what I place before Guyanese leaders. Take a listening for some learning. The channels are open between those two countries at odds, at a precipitous point.
This is what I humbly place before President Ali, former president Jagdeo, former president Granger, and Opposition leader Harmon. All this talking, warring, by another name – in the media, means nothing, leads nowhere, helps no one. If we as humans cannot capitalize upon and leverage for the best results, the gift of speech, of intellect, of wisdom, then I respectfully submit that we have consigned (and condemned) ourselves to be indistinguishable from beasts. I say we must be different. Let this national beastliness that governs thinking and action in Guyana be over now.
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