We are mindful of the good work being done by the private sector in Trinidad and Tobago and in Guyana to continue formulating, and implementing, strategies to deal with the detrimental effects of Non-Communicable Diseases, even during this difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is also commendable that mitigating the detrimental effects of NCDs remains a priority among regional governments, particularly with Covid-19 so deleteriously impacting on populations, causing widespread unemployment, exacerbating stresses due to loss of income and uncertainty about the future, and lockdowns that are causing extended periods of inactivity.
As a diaspora here in the GTA and elsewhere, like our counterparts in the Caribbean that are being educated about the negative impacts of NCDs by governments and the private sector, we too must remain attentive to the capacities we have taken abroad as unhealthy baggage, and which make us similarly vulnerable to the hazards posed by NCDs to good health and a long life.
While Covid-19 has become yet another layer impacting on our lives, NCDs still claim precedence, with both having similar pathologies that have lowered economic activity and productivity, and increased the region’s costs of health care. It is our hope that both illnesses, one a pandemic, the other an epidemic, do not bring major setbacks to our homelands, where the developmental and economic gains for Caricom countries could see significant reversals.
It is for these reasons why we continue to expound to our Caribbean community in the GTA, and to our burgeoning international, online readership, that as members of the diaspora with regional linkages, we must remain vigilant due to our affinity to NCDs. As we are now aware, among our daily practices should be keeping tabs on reducing sugar, moderating alcohol consumption, being cognisant of trans fat and sodium levels, and increasing physical activity, among other vigilances.
We must take care of our health, even as we look out for family and friends back home. And for the latter, put another way, it is important that part of our remittances, be it in currency, or foodstuff packaged in barrels, include guidance for a healthier lifestyle.
Amazing scenes were witnessed in Georgetown last week. The preceding is being quoted to invoke the darkest flavour of irony, and which can only be deployed from the pen of no lesser personage than the inimitable V.S. Naipaul. For indeed, what happened last week with the intervention of PNCR Chair, Volda Lawrence, into the ugly conflagration that developed after the horrific deaths of two teenagers, was nothing less than amazing.
Lawrence was lyrical: “What I have seen, I cannot as a leader, condone. We are hurting each other as a people. We are hurting each other as neighbours and friends, and we are turning on each other as though we don’t know each other…” Truly, an amazing scene was witnessed.
Witness another scene: Lawrence laying down a balming rhetoric of condolence to the grieving family of a teenager murdered in reprisal: “We’re not a people who kill our children; we’re not a people who maim each other; we’re not barbarians. We’re Guyanese.”
Lest we forget, the born-again, unifying Lawrence is before the courts on private criminal charges for allegations of conspiring to forge documents giving the APNU+AFC coalition a win in the March 2 general elections.
As we all know, Guyanese witnessed many amazing scenes March 2-August 2 – five dire months of uncertainty.