By Rhadawn Bibby
I am a citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and a student at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College.
I am writing to you to ask if you would use your access to the authorities as a journalism to ask about some of my concerns — and surely those of other Vincentians — as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I would like to ask, if I may, that you, being the press, ask some of the relevant government officials next time there is any briefing on the matter about some of these concerns. I am concerned that workers at hospitals might not have enough ventilators and personal protection equipment (PPE). This is due to the current lack in PPE and ventilators in several developed nations and would just like for you to inquire whether our hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and other such institutions are being supplied with such equipment.
Another major concern is the welfare of the very poor, the homeless, the disabled and other sections of the population that are very marginalised. Should the country shut down in the future, what will be in place for not just regular citizens but citizens who are dependant on certain businesses to stay alive, for example soup kitchens, restaurants such as Lady J, which offers free meals to the homeless. Further, will there be anything in place for citizens who are only seasonally employed, unemployed, disabled, homeless and other marginalised individuals.
I personally think your business – journalism — is one to be commended in St. Vincent as most press personnel don’t exercise their rights to hold politicians accountable and exercise investigative journalism, however you do.
I only ask that you try to address some my concerns and those of other. I only ask that you inquire because I fear we might not have the resources that we need to combat this pandemic.
This pandemic is predicted, if it is not handled well, to kill or severely incapacitate 20% of our population. That would leave us with 88,000 people. That, as you can see, is not a large number of people. Not only will it be devastating to the overall country as a whole but also the mental health of individuals who will be severely affected as I imagine no citizen will be unscathed by this pandemic.
It would be greatly appreciated if you address these concerns.
Thank you for your time.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].