Lunatic Political Leadership And A Historic Deadly Pandemic – A Toxic Mix

Waves and waves of lunatic politicians across the globe by their erratic and irrational decisions and deranged actions ushered many of their blindly fanatical supporters to unnecessary, meaningless, early deaths. 

Eons of established public health practices dictate the most effective way to manage transmissible infectious diseases is by deploying preventative measures.  Examples include antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent the transmission of meningococcal meningitis, streptococcal pharyngitis, and more broadly vaccination against easily transmissible viral infectious diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, and polio. 

An internet search by the curious or those desiring accurate information documenting the significant positive impact of these interventions during previous deadly viral epidemics or pandemics should quickly yield accurate, almost stunning, supporting, widely available data. Disease incidence and prevalence were significantly reduced among the vaccinated. Preventable suffering was minimised.

History of vaccine efficacy and administration in Jamaica

  

Decades ago, most Jamaican school children had vaccinations to protect against measles mumps, rubella, and polio administered at school.  The transmission of these infections was cauterised resulting in significant health benefits to families and the society.  Unnecessary sickness, disability and death in families were drastically reduced.  Major economic disruptions were averted.  One unfortunate impact of the reduction in disease burden in Jamaica was that those spared of the infection then cast a jaundiced eye on people who were maimed by disease.  Many now living in Jamaica have no understanding or visualisation of the physical impairments caused to some infected with polio or tetanus.

Scary new medical practice directives in some US hospitals – let some die

Recently in the United States, some states introduced new, scary, infrequently required directives regarding healthcare delivery to those needing in hospital care. Physicians were directed to provide care to those most likely to survive, while withholding care from those in greatest need of aggressive medical intervention which would offer the best chance of survival. These directives were advanced because of the scarcity of important medical and healthcare resources.  Easily treatable medical conditions including acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), cerebrovascular accident (stoke), fractures–sustained in motor vehicle accidents or falls, are being delayed.  Elective surgical intervention for conditions including cancers, breast lumps, gallbladder removal, and joint replacements have been indefinitely delayed or cancelled. Many in the society are now afraid to engage in usual, necessary activities which may result in accidents and thus require in-hospital care.

COVID-19 disease impact in Jamaica

Jamaica too, is already experiencing these same challenges which will continue unless there is a reversal in the COVID-19 infection prevalence in the society.  Fortunately, the vaccines are much more available, and many Jamaicans are eagerly awaiting vaccine administration.  The expensive monoclonal antibodies, like Regeneron, are too cost-prohibitive, and scarce to contribute in a meaningful way to medical care for COVID-19 in Jamaica.  Thankfully inexpensive practices like mask wearing and social distancing are still effective in reducing disease transmission, especially when aggressively practiced. And many more Jamaicans are finally gaining more clarity regarding the coronavirus and COVID-19, and the harm resulting from irresponsible behaviours which limit disease prevention and spread.

Upheaval in established public health practices–lunatics in charge

The lunatic political fringe has thrown out established public health practices.  Vaccination is the most cost-effective way to prevent disease or decrease severity of illness in those exposed to the coronavirus which causes COVID-19. 

  

A least one of these very effective vaccines is now fully approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in those over 12 years of age. Pfizer is anticipating early approval of their vaccine under emergency use authorisation for use in children 5 years and older.

Many political leaders are vigorously discouraging vaccine acceptance and deployment. No rational explanation is provided for this bizarre behaviour.  Instead, some are advancing a new paradigm which encourages people to get the potentially deadly disease and then demand the most expensive possible treatment, which treatment is still under emergency use authorisation (EUA).

EUA was the reason these same politicians argued against use of the more effective vaccines! Some speculate politicians invested in their own political ambitions anticipate ascending to the pinnacle of electoral success on the mountain built by the bodies of their dead supporters.

Irrational indeed as dead people are not allowed to and cannot vote. Further it is now being proposed that vaccinated physicians and other healthcare providers be ineligible for the effective monoclonal antibody treatment should they become infected while caring for their patients. Why? Because these healthcare providers decided, based on the best public health advice and, or employer mandates, to get vaccinated to protect the very COVID-19 and other patients to whom they provide care from becoming infected or reinfected with COVID-19. 

This is so very ironic as most healthcare providers are required to be vaccinated against other communicable diseases like Hepatitis B, measles, mumps, polio, and pertussis to minimise or prevent disease transmission to their patients.  An inadequately vaccinated healthcare provider prior to this new mandate, was never denied effective treatment if accidentally exposed to a transmissible infection while providing care to a patient.

Are Jamaican entertainers and some church leaders in cahoots?

Some entertainers and church leaders appear, unfortunately, to be in lockstep opposition to the introduced, reasoned, prudent measures aimed at containing the indiscriminate spread of COVID-19 across the Jamaican society.  Some speculate economic greed is driving this surprising and unsavoury marriage. Entertainers are not afraid to acknowledge their singular interest is profit making.  The explanations provided by church leaders run a gauntlet that is difficult to comprehend. These reasons include dismissal of vaccinations, ludicrous church edicts, immunity based on dietary habits, and reluctance to go against God’s principles for healthy living. 

Like the self-serving politicians mentioned above these two groups are also biting off the hands that feed them. As more of the die-hards die the less remain to provide reliable financial support.  By explaining democracies require responsible behaviour from their minorities and that vaccine mandates are inevitable in Jamaica, Prime Minister Andrew Holness may be providing these groups a lifeline or exit strategy which can foster engagement in more healthy, helpful, prudent, and life-saving conduct,

Reasonable way forward for COVID-19 vaccination in Jamaica

  

Vaccinating as quickly and as many in the population as possible is the best course.  Mask wearing and social distancing must still be practised. Vaccine mandates or limitation on certain actives for the unvaccinated must then follow to protect those who demonstrate established, wise  public health policy and practice. The recently dismissed minister of agriculture, Mr. Floyd Green must be at a loss as to why he was singled out for such harsh punishment when he breached established COVID-19 prevention guidelines. 

A potent, sceptical, opposition political party, like Mr. Green should most likely be loudly asking the same question.  After all, many others in the society have engaged in more egregious activities with no consequence.  And by accepting the decision of the Prime Minister to relieve Mr. Green of his responsibilities the society is making it easy for vaccine mandates to be realised. Mr. Green may be well advised, with the available extra time, to closely study the journey of former Prime Ministers P J Paterson and Bruce Golding. A detailed study of these politicians may be very instructive for him in a meteoric rise from his transient banishment. 

Commendable, unique Jamaican approach to COVID-19

Meanwhile, the political opposition, led by Mr. Golding, and Prime minister, Mr. Holness should be commended for the unique, clear, and visionary apolitical leadership they are demonstrating as Jamaica tries to adroitly address this difficult COVID-19 pandemic season. Here again Jamaica is providing an example to the world of her class, stature and leadership.  Jamaica, well done!

Illustration of a coronavirus – Photo by CDC from Pexels

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