We cannot take Covid slightly

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COVID-19 has taught the world a number of things, including how woefully unprepared some nations were for crisis, and the fact that all arms and institutions of state must be able to work together in an environment of trust.

Here in Trinidad and Tobago, our very way of life has changed for the majority of people, but there still exists parts of the population that believe throwing caution to the wind makes them fearless. The truth is it makes these people quite selfish and utterly uninterested in the health of those close to them and their own fellow citizens.

While we have seen encouraging signals in the rate of infection, the number of active cases and a slowing of fatalities, we are by no means out of the woods yet. And while each authority seeks to advise and guide on enforcement of Covid-19 rules and protocols, each authority itself might want to take a level of personal responsibility.

At the level of the State, while the Ministry of Health’s Chief Medical Officer and team and all healthworkers have achieved spec- tacular feats in treating and controlling the spread of the virus, the executive has spent more time praising itself than examining its own mistakes.

One particular institution, the Police Service, may now be the one to carry the brunt of the weight in terms of how we fare as we navigate the next few months.

The news today stated the Police Service will be intensifying enforcement and unfortunately, despite being an intelligent and educated population, some of us can’t comply unless we’re ‘policed’.

I also noted there was mention of the commissioner taking a place on the frontline by visiting high visibility areas to ensure that people understand the need to take responsibility.

I suspect the very mention that he will personally visit some places will make many take extra care to comply, but perhaps would be better off understanding that if we want to be led seriously, we must all act seriously.

If it’s one thing that has changed in the past few years in the police, is its leadership structure. Yes, Commissioner Gary Griffith can be feisty at times, but it is not hard to see he has been effective. Hopefully his return from quarantine, and his place on the frontlines will be just what we need for our country to fight this virus off and getting our economy going in whatever form again.

Sharma Madhoo