Pick Sense from Nonsense written by Dr. Lester Simon


By Dr. Lester Simon

There is a strangeness stalking the land. Some folks, including ones who know better, are talking so much nonsense that the sense they occasionally speak is lost in translation.
Here are a few examples:

1. The government is hiding the real data on covid. People say so because the data presented at a press conference are truly limited and are indeed in want of better enunciation.

That’s not how you hide data. What you see is what you get but what you see is not necessarily because of what you conclude.

To hide data, the presentation will be flawless with all the bells and whistles and statistics, including statistical terms and graphs, pie charts and Venn diagrams. Statistical terms and confidence intervals that are way over the head of the typical layperson.

2. Someone sends a whatsapp to a radio program claiming that they know people who have Covid-19 and can’t get a test.

Well now Texter, I trust you kept a social distance from these suspected covid-19 people, with your mask on, and your personal sanitizer on hand.
Kindly tell these persons to leave Redonda and come over to Antigua and Barbuda.

3. Tourists are given one set of rules while our nationals are treated differently based on race and the colour of our skin.

Tell me which government in this country would dare set up two different protocols on the basis of race and colour.

The talkers extend this point so far beyond belief that they end up trying to come back to sense by saying that they want the government to get it right. It doesn’t matter if the government gets it right if your plan is to caress sense and nonsense into one embrace.

The fact that some tourists leave their bio-secure bubble and some nationals leave their quarantine at home, does not remove the difference between the two protocols. It means that more policing is needed all round. Full stop.

So; call us unprepared; say that we came to the conference too soon with the new data that should be more disaggregated. Tell us we need more workers to do more contact tracing to be absolutely sure there is or isn’t community spread.
But hiding information? I won’t be part of that. Hiding is a highly specialized art. I have work to do.
And my hard working Medical Laboratory Technologists have work to do too. Doctors and nurses do not alone a hospital make. We in the lab are dealing with dangerous microorganisms within and without the workplace.

This is why I assume at all times that there is community spread; that everywhere is a hot spot; and that in my opinion and for practical purposes, everyone has Covid-19. We said the same thing for HIV.

One Saturday night we were leaving town. Driving along DeSouza road was difficult. Cars parked on both sides. Cars driving seemingly without drivers, or with discourteous drivers. Many parked cars. A popular bar. A popular shop. A populated street.

The following Saturday night I decided to try Kentish Road/ Valley Road to leave the city. Well, whose dumb idea that was?

It took us at least ten times as long to traverse more cars, more bars and more people. Many were dancing. Many were without masks. Many were ignorant of common sense.
Talking about driving from the frying pan into the fire.

Some members of the opposition forces should know some basic facts about propaganda.
It’s alright and essential to criticize the government and the technocrats. But when some of your criticism is based on illogic, the very same people who call and laugh and join in the melee of criticism, know sense from nonsense.

Even if they join in the nonsensical powwow for the fun and for the buzz of the melee, they will someday realize that anyone mixing truth with nonsensical comments is not worthy of their vote.

It’s a simple thing as a caller says: Look down on prostitutes. Lie down with them, with your “masks” on. Pay them what you like when you catch them broken. They will not make a row. But they know better and they want better.

So when the mighty sparrows and other birds are ready to take over, your yanking with the truth mixed with the nonsense will still be there. And you may just remain where you have been. Outside.

There is a ring of truth that can be worn on any finger.

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  1. These nonsensical views are UPP operatives. Thank goodness when covid catches us it deals with all of us equally so leave us to it.

    • Typical. Blame the opposition. It’s always somebody else’s fault. Name me one member of the opposition who are reveling sprouting “nonsense” as the learned doctor put it? When you have the persons providing the information looking at the Minister when asked a question and laughing away, WHO THE HELL SUPPOSE TO TAKE THEM SERIOUS? Give me a damn break.

      I’ll also say this, the enforcement of the rules have been left wanted AND have been one-sided. Was the magistrate sanctioned for breaking protocols? Why are government Ministers attending funerals with more than the stipulated numbers? Why are government Ministers having parties with numbers over the limit? IF THOSE WHO SET THE RULES AND SHOULD ENFORCE THEM, WHY WOULD ANYONE ELSE FOLLOW THEM?

      For the learned doctor to pen this is an embarrassment. This is nothing short of petty. I guess “professionalism does not having a degree make” to quote his “nonsensical” and ill-conceived attempt at poetry. The good doctor can “Move he ********!”

  2. Dr. Simon thank you & your technicians for your work, particularly at this time.
    I must clarify point 3.
    “Tourists are given one set of rules while our nationals are treated differently based on race and the colour of our skin.

    Tell me which government in this country would dare set up two different protocols on the basis of race and colour.”

    HOW THE PROTOCOLS ARE PRACTICED BY MINISTRY OF HEALTH, PUBLIC HEALTH, CABINET & GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS is how we the people KNOW there has been, and continues, DIFFERENT arrival requirements placed on ordinary Antiguan citizens & residents, compared to tourists, private jets, yachties etc. AND CONNECTED HIGH UP citizens & residents.

    Yet Sir Health, the PM – no-one is coming clean about this. There is no OWNERSHIP of this grave misstep.

    Now numbers escalating and people sadly too sick to stay home, so now, we the people being berated by PM & cabinet and told its our fault we in this mess.

    It don’t go so Dr. Simon, it don’t go so.

    We the people cannot be hoodwinked by talk when we SEE & have experienced the VERY different ‘processing’ of arrivals at the airport.

    We the people SEE the lack of previous enforcement by Ministry of Health, Police etc. in bars, restaurants, private gatherings, first sons aboard private boats by offshore islands illegally, police crammed into bars, clubs n’tings, growing numbers of nuff people shouting NO RULES – and nothing appeared to have been done coz same places, same people at it again next day, next weekend.

    We the people KNOW that justice nor enforcement of regulations is equal in our fair land.

    We SEE it all. We EXPERIENCE it.

    Yes, I recognize that a minority of our population are not consistent in correct mask wearing, zero social distancing and love gatherings with minimal sanitation. Makes me vex, but where are the Min of Health & Police? The shop security guards not refusing entry? Some staff in Ministry of Health NOT wearing masks since June!

    The MAJORITY of citizens & residents however are responsible, consistent & compliant – and we NEVER get recognised for staying the course, not getting ‘covid fatigue’ , understanding the seriousness of the pandemic, and now how the rapid contagion variants challenge you & your health care colleagues to breaking point.

    To echo other commentators, dear reader, look after yourself, be strict with yourself regarding all protocols, stay home as much as you are able. Be well.

    • IF there are any government ministers breaking the covid rules, they must be kicked out of cabinet immediately. No exceptions.

  3. Doc, I appreciate the effort you are making. There are some that are genuinely paranoid and feel Covid has to be here, there and everywhere because of what they see on TV affecting the US and Europe in such a devastating manner. If it is happening there then it should be happening here too. They are not capable of doing some basic research which shows that there are billions of the world’s population where the disease has had very little clinical impact as compared to Europe and the Americas. Central Africa and the Far East are two examples even though they have been more severely affected by the economic impact.

    Then there are those that are easily lead to believe whatever is said to them especially if it plays into their deep seated prejudices and hatred. Look at the sheep in Washington DC a few weeks ago following a man with no integrity or morality who is all about himself, ready to tear a decently working democracy apart.
    Some of these are cool aid drinkers and will believe whatever they are told. Jim Jones got hundreds to feed their kids cyanide laced kool aid and watch them die and then drink it themselves because “god” commanded it. After all, Abraham was willing to slaughter Isaac because God commanded it.

    Then there are the political opportunists for whom no crisis should go to waste to score some political mileage, irrespective of the cost. That exists all over the world and the other side would have been doing the exact same thing.

    The unfortunate thing is that these are the people who make the most noise. The rational and logical are almost always too quiet. Keep trying though but it is an uphill task. It’s like telling MAGA supporters in Kentucky and Alabama that black lives do matter or telling some Antiguans that disliking Syrians, Chinese and White people simply by their looks is also racist.

    • Instead of trying to condescend, teach. How can anyone have respect for any of you all when you find it so convenient to condescend? I’d also like to point out that a pie chart is a type of graph so you mentioning both was superfluous. In addition, a venn diagram would not serve any purpose in this instance. How’s that for being condescending? Where ever you earned your degree should have offered courses on professionalism.

      PS: Those instances you saw cars lining streets by the bars, did you call the authorities?

  4. There are 2 sets of protocols,which are indeed discriminatory.

    It doesn’t matter if a tourist is staying at a biosecure facility (whatever that means) they are LEGALLY allowed to go wherever they choose.

    Nationals (who are overwhelmingly black) are FORCED to quarantine.

    White tourists are almost never quarantined.

    That is racist and discrimination and it is 100% why the island is full of disease right now.

    And yes it is also clear that the government has been lying about covid deaths and hiding the true extent of disease on this island.

    Sure you’re incompetent and unprepared but you’re also a liar

    And each and every one of you medical professionals and scientists are an embarrassment to your profession

  5. It is government policy that all returning nationals have to quarantine for 2 weeks and wear the shackle while tourists do not. Are you saying this is not government policy? That tourists do have to quarantine for 2 weeks? How do you think you can get away with such bald-faced lie, when this policy has been clearly stated on this website numerous times? Makes me wonder now about what you are saying about the covid figures. Lying about the discriminatory policy, probably lying about the covid figures Id say

  6. 1000% agreed Doc. Politics will lead blind followers to do and say anything nonsensical. It’s soooo sad..

  7. Thank u Dr Simon. Nah bother aid dem. Your creditials speak for u. U and your team keep I the work and just lowe the covidiots for they are nothing but empty vessels and we know that wmpty vessels makes the most noise!!

  8. The business of COVID-19, and the virus COVID-19 are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
    Say this, or say that these are the #Facts. Therefore just like those who have being pushing pharmaceuticals from opioids to unecessary surgeries and treatments to make huge profits, on the general public the businesses of COVID-19 are no different.

    As my 93 year young mother just told me, “wealth is not health but #Health is wealth!”
    Her mother and my grandmother who lived through the 1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic always stressed the uses our natural herds to sense of being which they used to weather any such viral outbreak from yellow fever, to aids to other flu’s.
    Yes vaccinations(synthetic form of herd Immunity) are necessary whenever, these viruses spiral/mutate out of control, however, I am very curious as to why the medical professionals to include Dr. Simon are not pushing and advocating for the preventative measures which work to keep this virus at bay? And even if you get it, it’s not a #Death sentence.
    I’ve known five(5) people personally who have had to deal with this virus which HUE-manity will have to contend with, again for the foreseeable future and they’ve all recovered.

  9. Sorry, my friend Ras, but your mother (age 93) did not live through the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. She wasn’t born yet. Do the math.

    • @Kristi: Smood is correct.You misread his comment.He did say his mother’s mother and his grandmother lived through the Spanish Flu of 1919.The Flu was from 1918 to 1920.His mother’s mother is his grandmother.

    • U cyan read to rass? Me say me grandmummah, dat barn inna 1904, as in me Mummah-Mummah!
      Now u do de new, or old math!

      R U lub fu correct! Den read and comprehend fus, den chat to Ras!

  10. Thank You very much Dr.Simon. I hope that Knight and ALL the BLUE KOOLAID DRINKERS will read your contribution. Knight , Serpent ,Franz and Paul Quinn chat garbage on the radio at all times. Harold Lovell , Jamale Pringle ,Charles Tabor should be placed in Jail for MUSGUIDING Antiguans / Barbudans.Thank You Dr.Simon.

    • Why u na shut u face u all make covid be so political in this place u all cant see beyond cause of party…..bullshit

    • Ur so political its not even funny u all make me sick to the core……the blue coolaid drinkers na do a thing but ur all so political u cant see anything pass it so shut ya face n face reality

    • G.T.ARBOUR I see you guys like to bring politics into everything. The only thing that I agree with Dr. Simon on is when he says that we should assume that every one has covid. In the news conference he actually said that one should assume that the Governor General and the Prime Minister have covid. What he means by that is that we should not let our guards down irrespective of the person we are interacting with. Sound advice Dr. Simon. I would however advise Dr. Simon to stay away from the politics of the issue and do not make statements that could remotely be considered political. In that regard, I would just posit that it is the government and their spokespersons such as Max Hurst who are the experts of propaganda and not the opposition forces. Many times people criticize the Messenger rather than the message. However, it looks as if in this instance many Antiguans and Barbudans are criticizing the message.

  11. Is ok to disagree with this article without a red or blue stamp?
    I have listened to press conferences from Barbados, St Vincent, and St Lucia. For some reason the Antiguan experts seems the least prepared, they offer the least information, the seem to be evasive.

    Dr Simon and Dr Rhonda Sealy were the only confident speakers. My suggestion do not do any more press conferences because they leave too many things in answered, and a confused message.

  12. I will repeat it again…

    Covid has a political agenda, this is why the doctors cannot speak, because if they do, it will be contrary to what the established measures are.

    At this point, its every man for himself.

  13. This is just like if u don’t believe America landed on the moon then ur an idiot… why?….Because America said they did so they did…….But yeah my good doctor I get your point…but I know you understand quite well these times are not normal times…we are human we are exposed to the internet which Is flooded with conspiracy theories.. why wouldn’t we doubt and critique the limited press conference?? Human nature doctor human nature….

  14. I would also like to add the wide spread of conspiracy theories are not happening only here in Antigua…Worldwide majority of people in most counties are suspicious of their governments..Why would the government lie to the people?? Because tourism is still our life support and we don’t wanna end up with a bad score in the Covid Book….RUBBISH TALK!!!! Or is it???(rubs chin)

  15. ‘nough respect to you, Doc, for this timely elucidation of the facts re covid-19 monitoring and reporting that seems to render the peanut gallery disoriented. Unlike others, many of whom have been educated at taxpayers’ expense, you have opted to use your knowledge, skills, training and experience for the enlightenment of your people so that we are not doomed to a slavish dependence on the rabid, self-serving, nonsensical opinions of people who should know better. Thanks Doc. You are highly valued and much appreciated.

  16. Reading these comments and seeing people who are calling Dr. Simon a liar is just to amusing. If anyone who knows Dr. Simon would know he is a man who tells you as it is. He doesnot mix matters. His reputation strwaches beyon the tiny shores of Antigua and Barbuda. Why would he risk that for some politicans? I can see this whole lockdown has made people paranoid and would rather believe some crazy conspiracy therioes just to satisfy their negetaive energies.

  17. Dr. Simon while I repect your medical and pathologic skills please stay out of the politics. It is the ALP government that master the art of propaganda. When it comes to lies and propaganda they make the UPP look like kids.

  18. Doc I understand your frustration trying to keep your country and countrymen and women from this dangerous virus and all you hear is this cry and allegations that you guys are hiding numbers and all sort of conspiracy theories. Being in the background and making long hours in this dangerous field is a ungrateful job. And yes you have to listen to a group of reporters trying to look smart but asking stupid question. Like where are the hotspot. As if when persons know the hotspot it would help them to avoid the hotspots. The health ministry has from the beginning avoid to indicate where the cases are from. We do not want to identify a kind of lepra colony. Barbuda Council has seen it fit to not adhere to this policy and inform the general public of the cases in Barbuda. I guess they report these cases seperately to the WHO or PAHO. Antigua hs no borders within. A person from Barbuda is free to come to Antigua and visa versa. So having reprted cases in Barbuda doesn’t mean a thing. A person fro English Harbour is not isolated from coming to St. John’s for that matter or travel to Barbuda. The council cannot lockdown Barbuda. They will get themselves in trouble with central government very soon. There is only one unitary state of Antigua and Barbuda and one PM and one Ministry of Health.
    As the good says just be on your guard and assume everyone has Covid. Follow the damn protocols that the government has put in place to protect you. These are universal recommended by the WHO. Wear your mask, wash hands frequently and keep your distance from people. And if you do not have to go anywhere, TAP A YUH YARD

    • From The Sideline the group of reporters asking stupid questions? Is that why we get answers that are even more stupid. When will you yourself stop writing such sturdiness?

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