By Makeda Mikael
Governments around the world and here in Antigua and the Caribbean are spreading their COVID political fears by force on a community already full of fear of the dreaded disease.
Clearly caught in the vice of tourism in COVID or poverty with no tourists, the Government in Antigua & Barbuda is scared, in other words full of fear, and their dis-ease is almost palpable as the Police are let loose on the young people who are struggling with their own fears.
The demands for medical personnel to face the people on the press meetings is because people fear that government is not presenting ALL of the truth, and would prefer to believe those long white-coated persons who represent the medical front in this war against COVID.
The politicizing of COVID in Antigua is the most unfortunate import from America, where Trump’s insistence on controlling the flow of COVID information was used to pervert the medical truths with his political inferences.
Government should know that forcing people to vaccinate using the powerful arm of the police can only increase the fear and dis-ease, and as psychologists have discovered, fear makes people dig in their heels and resist pressure.
This is even more severe in young people, especially our young people who have little to call their own in a society which excludes youth from everything except school, church (not so much nowadays) and sports.
To make a change in the hearts and minds of the people will require a more conciliatory approach, recognize the problem for what it is and making an attempt to quell the rampant fear is an imperative.
Just like the psychologist and psychiatrist couch is necessary for the building of respect in order to be honest and open about one’s fears, so must the Government find ways and means for people to express their fears and have their questions answered in an atmosphere of trust.
The political party that first recognizes this fear, and dis-ease among the people, and seeks to adjust it in a conciliatory manner through communication and not force of police blows, rubber bullets, tear gas and water hoses, will be remembered at the ballot box.