That Trini hamper mentality prevalent

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It is no surprise that some leaders and workers wish to continue getting full pay despite deciding not to take a vaccine. There is no consideration regarding the effect of their decision on safety at the workplace, no consideration about the economic fallout of such a decision or the image of the country internationally.

Over the years many citizens have learned that once you are employed by the Government, basic responsibilities like arriving to work on time (or regularly), production, discipline and customer care are not important. One has the right to stop work if one is of the view that either the air-conditioning, the plumbing, paint odour, noise, mould or disruption to the water supply compromises one’s health at the workplace.

On the other hand, there is insistence that one must be free to work and get paid if one decides not to take a vaccine and compromise the health of not only one’s fellow workers but everyone who one interacts with on his or her daily commute. Perhaps a major contributor to this culture is the politician.

When communities are flooded due to politicians’ failure to provide adequate drainage, the solution is to share hampers. When food crops are damaged due to poor planning and natural disasters, the answer is hampers. When people are poor and unable to feed their families, the answer is hampers at holiday times. No matter what the problem, the political solutions seem to be hampers, grants, government contracts or some level of freeness.

It is no surprise, therefore, that when citizens are required to take some responsibility for improving the quality of life for not only themselves but their community, they see that as an infringement of their rights and demand that the freeness must continue.

When countries fail to vaccinate their population and their population overwhelms the healthcare system and many die, the consequences affect everyone. Travel bans are imposed, goods are not imported from some destinations, tourism suffers and there is a reduction in trade. Overall, the country finds itself in a position where it becomes increasingly difficult to pay for basic goods and service.

Despite this reality, there are leaders, lawyers, workers and politicians who insist that those who contribute to the negative outlook resulting from vaccination hesitancy must be free to continue along their chosen path without any consequences for their action. Moreover, they insist that such people must be allowed to continue their activity with full pay.

That is all part of the hamper mentality that has been encouraged in TT. It does not matter to many that production in government projects is perhaps among the lowest in the world.

During this Christmas season many are unconcerned about giving and sharing. Instead, they ask: what’s there in this for me? And the politicians respond with more hampers.

Have a safe and wonderful Christmas season and all the best for 2022.

STEVE ALVAREZ