“Get di jook, man!” More vaccines have arrived in Kingston, Jamaica-July 31, 2021

This afternoon, Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton tweeted footage of a British Airways plane taxiing on the runway at the Norman …

“Get di jook, man!” More vaccines have arrived in Kingston, Jamaica.

Getting vaccines into most Jamaican arms can now really start-July 30, 2021

The UK donated 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Jamaica, which arrived today. All over 18 are eligible and blitzes will occur this weekend:

Olympics running hot on the track-July 29, 2021

Jamaicans were right to be excited when athletics started at Tokyo 2020. The women’s 100 metres began an our three runners looked awesomely good, with Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.82) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.84) sizzling. Ta-Lou 10.75, Coté d’Ivoire) ran hard and looked great equalling the African record.

Fast times but were they due to the track? Some commentators thought so.

Semis to come and pot covers being readied. 👍🏾🇯🇲👏🏾

Jamaicans in the men’s 400 metres hurdles all made it through to the semis.

Just day 1 and goosebumps already.

When ‘policing’ is State oppression: freedom to speak?-July 28, 2021

It’s worth keeping an eye on where an interesting incident goes, as the Jamaica Constabulary Force did a hasty reverse step, after apprehending a man who uttered public criticism of the PM. The charges have now been dropped, but matters of civil rights are still to be resolved:

Does the PM have rights higher than others in terms of public respect? If so, why?

People in countries like Jamaica are often deferential and think that ‘position’ alone demands a certain level of subservience. Given freedom of speech provisions in our Charter of Rights, it’s not clear that the framers saw any as being privileged in this regard, as far as public utterances go.

January 6th Committee-July 27, 2021

The January 6th Committee began hearing testimony on July 27:

Let’s never forget or mistake what took place at the US Capitol on that fateful day: an attempt at insurrection.

Back to the future: curfew hours tightened, again-July 26, 2021

PM Holness held a media briefing this evening:

The main policy change is that, from July 27, things go back to where they were at end-June: curfews will be 8pm-5am, Monday through Saturday; for Sundays and public holidays, curfew will be 3pm-5am.

Other restrictions will also be tightened again.

These measures are preliminary until August 11.

This change is hoped to head off a possible 3rd wave, in light of a rapidly worsening situation with rising cases and a reproductive rate rising above 1, to now 1.4.

The measures are also meant to help ensure a return to in-person schools in September.

Many will wonder if the changes from July 1 could not have been seen as premature, notwithstanding calls from certain quarters to loosen restrictions. Government’s role is to decide in the best interest, not to capitulate to positions that it truly beleives are not well-founded or in the best public interest.

Officials also gave an update on vaccination and COVID trends, with news of new vaccine supplies due in coming days and weeks, and ambitious vaccination targets by September:

About 1 million doses of vaccines are expected during the next two months:


So, despite arrogant, bigoted chants of “Football is coming home” from British boors, “home” turned out to be Rome. Then nerdish liberals (and BoJo) suddenly sounded astonished (nothing was said when spectators booed teams who kneeled before an earlier game) at post-final racist abuse heaped on three non-white English players who missed penalties in the […]


COVAX cock-up and rich countries’ selfishness hampered a global attack on COVID-July 24, 2021

Governments in many countries are coming under criticism over a range of COVID-related policies.

When it comes to vaccinations, let’s get something clear: developing countries have been dependent on a global programme co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) for fair distribution of COVID-19 to vaccines, with a target of delivering 2 billion doses by the end of the year. So far, only 90 million doses have been distributed; up to late-July, that’s about 4 1/2 percent of the target. Let’s be generous and say that represents an annual rate of about 7 3/4 percent. That is a shocking failure!

Countries have tried their best to go past COVAX and source vaccines from other suppliers or through gifts, but the industrial countries have so cornered the market that it’s near impossible for countries of any size to succeed. (One risk with that is some vaccines, eg SINOVAX from China, is not being accepted in Europe and North America.)

If your population is less that 500,000, things can look rosy easily with a nice gift or two from ‘kind’ industrial countries. If your populaiton is about 10-100,000, you could have your needs met with one shipment. With a small geographical space to cover, it wouldn’t tax most such countries to get well over 50 percent of their populations the 2 doses most of the vaccines need to give full coverage. Otherwise, you’re wishing and hoping.

It’s nice of the USA and the UK to promise to release some of their excess supplies, but with no timelines, what real good is that beyond the news headlines?

Jamaica and some other Caribbean countries are living this near-nightmare that has resulted in barely 10+ percent of their populations fully vaccinated; some of the world’s poorest countries have vaccinated less than 1% of their populations. We can but hope things will change, but it’s really not easy for us to control.

GAVI, the global alliance working with the WHO is revamping itself and this will mean covering fewer countries and raising costs for participants. Most countries cannot be like the richer/industrial countries and buy directly from manufacturers. In any event, they would lose on on simple buying power. Rich countries’ self-interest may well be their own demise as the largely-unvaccinated world provides incubator conditions for new (and harder to deal with) variants.

We haven’t even had chance to deal with any real logistical problems of storing vaccines and managing them (at low tempatures) because so few doses have been available in many poor countries. But, let’s hope that we can soon look at problems like that.

Jamaica looking again at the oncoming COVID train-July 23, 2021

Anyone who thinks the COVID pandemic is one and done or behind us is not paying attention. All around the world, countries are finding themselves facing another wave of infections, even where vaccinations have covered well over 50 percent of their populations. What, then, for countries like Jamaica, which are struggling to find vaccines to cover even 10 percent of its population?

Well, we’re on the brink, again, of another wave:

Few outside the hard-pressed entertainment business really believed that Jamaica had reached a point where we could relax restrictions as we did on July 1. It’s been associated since with a shift in infections and positivity and reproductive rates, now above 10 percent and 1.2, respectively.

The issues facing us were well covered last night in the latest ‘COVID conversations’:

They are also well summarized in the following thread:

New NIDS Bill goes to Parliament-July 22, 2021

The Joint Select Committee’s work is done and their report was presented to the House of Represenatives, yesterday. One of the main provisions will be that the national identification number (NIN) will be the same as the tax identification number (TRN).

For some of us, this is sort of inevitable and had been pointed out a few years ago:

The TRN is well-established and understood and, logically, those who have it really don’t need much else in terms of confirming their personal identification, especially as its also embodied in driver’s licences (which have picture ID), and both have digitally stored information, already. This is something I pointed out in my comments to the select committee.

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