Wednesday, Jul 8, 2020
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The sound of silence

Dear Editor,

Your editorial of June 25 titled “Addiction to emergency powers”, was right on point and food for thought.

In March, the competent authority declared a state of emergency and ever since has been exerting his power running the country like it’s a personal business with knee-jerk responses and a condescending attitude.

For example, there was a group of people partying on a beach, and so he shut down all of the beaches and parks throughout the entire country.

That is just one example, but there are many more where the competent authority goes to bed and wakes up with another ill-thought-out new order being put in place — like the alphabetical shopping debacle.

It makes one wonder if the competent authority is familiar with the saying, “Measure twice and cut once.”

If he was, all of the implementations and recanting that’s hurting everyone would not be necessary.

First, we were told we had to shut down the country to control the new coronavirus so that the hospitals would not be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

When the hospital was nowhere near filled with coronavirus patients, the competent authority started giving us back our freedom a little at a time.

He is now giving us back the liberties which he should never have taken in the first place, and telling us to be- have or he would spank us.

The competent authority is ruling by decree, while most of his colleagues who lack the gumption to speak out remain silent.

And sadly, because of members of the public’s fear of the authority, they, too, are

staying silent. The silence is so loud it’s deafening.

It reminds me of the lyrics in a Simon and Garfunkel song:
“And in the naked light I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more

People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening

People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.”

I could not get a haircut for three months because the almighty authority with a perfect hairstyle issued orders that prohibited anyone from cutting hair.

Ronnie Butler used to say, “They looking pretty and smiling while we looking ugly and crying.”

For months, we were not allowed to go to the beaches to soak, heal and meditate while thinking on the way forward.

Now the competent authority is saying you can go to the beaches but be reminded the police will be keeping a close look at you — something they could’ve done months ago.

Restaurants except at the Fish Fry (who can only offer outdoor and takeout service) are now being allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.

But it doesn’t matter now because not too many people can afford to eat out anyhow.

This week, with a 50 per- cent passenger limit in place, jitneys are set to take to the streets.

It remains to be seen how they will manage with 50 percent fewer passengers at the same fare they have been charging before the shutdown.

A bus driver told me he just mortgaged his home to buy a second-hand bus, and because of the shutdown, he is already several months behind with his payments.

With this new policy in place, he is sure he will not be able to meet his obligations and is afraid that the bank will repossess his bus.

But unfortunately, with things being as tough as it is, the current rates are the most the public can afford to pay.

So, what are we going to do?

Already with the absence of buses, the streets are jammed with traffic. I miss the buses, especially those on route 21.

COVID-19 is not going any- where soon, and the sooner we learn to live with it, the better off we will be.

But until then, with jobs being lost daily, the country is in a quandary.

The stress of not being able to provide for one’s family is taking its toll and affecting the immune system, both mind and body with no sign of relief in sight.

Communities, especially the inner-city neighbor- hoods, are about to implode.

Editor, we are in total agreement with you that the competent authority appears to be addicted to power and is clinging to it in any which way he can.

Not only that, but the cur- rent leaders are out of touch with the poor man.

We are not saying everything they are doing is terrible, because we would be lying, but there is such
a thing as overkill, which is putting it mildly.

I read somewhere that an effective means of ensuring control and power over people is to control their access to money. One method is to prevent them from getting or retaining a job and have them depend on you for survival.

I’m not suggesting that this is what the competent authority is doing. But that’s the way it appears to some of us who are looking in from the outside.

Just the other day, I heard one of your journalists and talk show host saying some- thing like this: “The way

we are going, the COVID-19 prevention rules are causing more harm than COVID-19 itself.”

She is right.

No one is saying to be reck- less; wear your masks, wash your hands and be careful. But we can not continue to live our lives under a spirit of fear.

Tomorrow is coming; rest assured there will be a morn- ing after.

— Anthony Pratt

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