Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Do You Go About Fixing Things....2

Quote from a response to a disgruntled letter (http://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/opinion/letters/10/07/please-stay-dont-go/ in the local newspaper: 'the hidden defects of colonization is the silent culprit that will forever influence the leadership psyche of those who aspire to govern.'
One wonders when exactly will we be able to shrug off the mental shackles when even those countries guilty of manipulating the Global system are up Shit Creek themselves?  The letter-writer himself says that 'there is the near total lack of standards and ethics in the national character. It is where many are on the take, and others long to be taken.' and his warning for those on the outside contemplating returning:  'They will run into the steel wall of the local mindset that is ensconced intractably in mediocrity and fear. It is the fear of unskilled, untutored, and unexposed natives who feel threatened and apprehensive that their game might be up, and that they could be sidelined or overwhelmed, or revealed for who they really are; of how much they lack and how prehistoric they just might be.'

So with the happy thoughts above, I note that four students from one of the top high schools were posted on Facebook quite unashamedly engaging in oral sex seemingly at school (turns out in a private home but they were in school uniform) -- of course the girls giving the boys--- still a sex imbalance in the field. No doubt the ready availability of pornography via cell phones has contributed to the desensitizing of the act and as someone noted-- they WANT to be caught. There seemed to be a free exchange among adults before FB pulled the video. One suggestion was to expel them...then what? This was the same school where a teacher or two were caught on camera exposing their backsides and underwear during a post-election upheaval incident. It strikes me that we simply are overwhelmed - bad parenting notwithstanding, it is difficult to police people shrieking Human Rights while breaking whatever rules-- unwritten moral ones and written ones referring to a bygone era.
The so-called leaders just out to get the glory of leadership while being clueless about what to do-- I left our little (un)friendly society when the members started belly-aching about poorly qualified people coming out from the local university while making plans to employ them?
The mindset of no tomorrow has sadly extended to the more accessible interior - overhunting and fishing is beginning to make its presence felt and I feel a bit sorry for the locals who might have been dependent on supplementing their subsistence farming, but I am reliably informed the young are now all drifting to the cities to engage in the local hustle of money by any means.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Unsurprising really

The news reported that a 40-something yr old Liberian decided in early September to join his family in the US as the Ebola epidemic is poised to explode further. He had no strong ties to Liberia, living in a rented room. He assisted his landlord's family to carry their 19yr old 7-months pregnant daughter to several hospitals but she could not be admitted as there were no beds. She died of the disease a few days later, apparently having caught it from a cousin who came to visit her at home-- now with all the information going around ... why the need for touch?? Dying of ignorance! I believe the man knew he was at risk and I was reading the outraged comments of Americans who are furious that he was admitted into the US to sponge off their health system. To which I say-- the world is interconnected-- you can't manipulate the system to be top-dog and think that it would not find a way to bite you in the backside at a later date!  Extreme poverty is responsible for the unwarranted spread of this disease... the variables that could lessen the terrible outcomes all have this as their root cause- from simple communication of health promotion messages and alternatives to dangerous practices, to lack of beds to isolate the infected from transmitting the disease.
I read of the UK Foreign Secretary -Philip Hammond considering the alternative to last-minute efforts - that of letting the disease run its course--- sounds cruel but what else can you do with such large numbers of people? If that would be the case, the world can expect hordes of the educated ones with the means to 'visit' friends and relatives in 'safe' countries by any means - I would certainly be considering that possibility if I were in their shoes!  In fact, I half-expected something of that sort when Sierra Leone announced their shut-down for three days! Truly interesting times we live in.

PS -- most amusing to see the Americans getting their knickers tied up in a twist... one faux-pas after another: from totally missing the possibility to an Ebola case in Texas -- the man's nephew having to contact the CDC in Atlanta  to forcing the man's family to stay in the apartment where he had shed bodily fluids, confusion about getting a 'specialist crew' to decontaminate the place (shouldn't they be moving the humans out??!) then the crew not being given permission to transport the linen he used. What will they do if there are more then 10 cases?