The Story Within The Story…
By Leonard Gildarie
Kaieteur News – The year 2020 will go down in the history books as a watershed one. It continued from the December 2018 no-confidence vote in our National Assembly. Nipping at the heels of 2020 was a little unknown…the novel coronavirus which started in Wuhan, China.
We are in November now and in a few weeks’ time it will Christmas and Boxing Day and of course, New Year’s. It will not be normal holidays. We have a new government in place under Irfaan Ali and, boy, oh boy, does he have his work cut out.
Guyana is struggling for resources, both financially and for manpower to battle the pandemic. Doctors, nurses and other frontline workers are overworked, and battling to keep up.
The pandemic has placed an economic strain on the public healthcare system in Guyana to the end that patients are reporting shortages of drugs. The new administration has reportedly ordered about $3B in drugs to address the shortages problems.
COVID-19 has created untold damage to Guyana and the rest of the world. As we speak, in the US alone, at least 1,000 persons are dying each day, signaling a second surge. Worldwide, it will soon reach 50M infections with over 1.2M deaths. France, Germany and England have all imposed new lockdowns amid a second surge.
On Tuesday, I attended a funeral of someone close. He was in his 70s with a number of health complications. He was rushed to the hospital over respiratory difficulties. He was immediately placed on breathing machines and eventually died.
I was at the crematorium on Princess Street, Georgetown as the family said goodbye. His remains could not be brought home. There was a limited number of persons there. I watched in pain as the family was forced to look at a monitor outside, of the remains being placed in an oven. The life of one person, over so quickly.
Yesterday, as I was writing this, there was news of a girl, 11, who died from the virus. If true, she will be the youngest in Guyana to die. I am frightened. I think about my family and loved ones and the trauma of the parents and siblings.
The pain is from knowing that it is not normal, that maybe it could have been avoided.
The political situation in Guyana and the US were not also lost to the people this week. The US went to the polls in what was described as the grandfather of all elections. The world is riveted to the television now with the conclusions almost foregone…Donald Trump has lost based on the counts.
While the elections have not been called yet in Joe Biden’s favor, there are marked similarities to Guyana’s recently concluded elections. Trump is claiming fraud and through his lawyers filed a number of legal challenges in a number of states in which the counts are still ongoing. It is eerily similar to Guyana. Court cases. Fraudulent votes. More court cases. Winners declared before declaration.
But the clock is ticking. The US elections will be here to stay as one to remember in the years to come and of course, because of Donald Trump. There is another issue that I want to talk about as it pertains to the rule of law.
On Friday, a video surfaced. It involved an ugly scene in which a motorist tried to choke a traffic rank during a road stop. It appeared the driver stopped at the middle of the middle intersection by the Ashmin’s building, obstructing traffic. The man refused to give his documents to the police and on video tried to resist arrest.
At one point in time, his hand was seen reaching for the traffic rank’s throat. I looked at the video and recalled one a few weeks ago at the western end of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, a video caught a man assaulting a policeman.
Both men have been charged. There is one similarity. Both men charged are said to be from the disciplined forces…one from the Guyana Defense Force…and the other from the Guyana People’s Militia. Is this how our men in the security forces are trained? This is totally unacceptable.
To boot is the fact that the accused in front of Ashmin’s building was legally drunk, driving an uninsured car and there was no fitness in force for the vehicle at the time of his altercation. It is not the first time for the man, it was reported. We cannot condone our people beating police ranks and our lawmen. It is open doorway that leads to a path of no return, of lawlessness and chaos.
I am glad the book was thrown at him. He should apologize to Guyana. As Christmas approaches, we will have to ask whether we should be celebrating our most beloved occasion, in light of the elections and COVID-19.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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