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First, we heard of a fifty-dollar gift certificate to a certain supermarket if one took the vaccine. And yes, there have been a number of other cheap gimmicky giveaways to those taking the vaccines. For example, we have heard of gas vouchers to those who bring folks to take the vaccine, not to mention the ability to attend fetes and parties, if one is fully vaccinated. Talk about tawdry incentives.

  And then, as if those were not enough, we are now hearing that a family bucket of fried chicken will be offered to those who opt to take the vaccine. Good grief! Is nothing sacred? Aren’t there some things that are infinitely of more worth than the so-called ‘mess of pottage’ – a bucket of spicy wings, or a supermarket shopping voucher, or a gas voucher? We mean, what have we come to in this fair State? Is it the calculus of this shameless government that everything – even one’s religious conviction or one’s conscientious objection, or one’s reason, can be brought for a cheap, fleeting moment of self-gratification? Apparently, it is. Rather than ramp up the education campaign with thoughtful Public Service Announcements (PSA’s), and by making use of well-respected voices in the community to extol the benefits of the vaccinations, this administration, as is its wont, is desperately grasping at the cheap and easy fix. This administration is apparently willing to give people the jab, even though their decision to take it may not have been the product of a well-informed thought process.

The thing is that it does not appear to be working. The numbers of those who have opted to avail themselves of the first dose of the AstraZeneca under phase two, are way below what they should be, especially if we’re thinking of vaccinating at least seventy thousand souls by summer’s end. So, last we heard, even after three weeks of phase two of the vaccination effort, we’ve vaccinated less than two thousand people with their first dose. Seems, the extra crispy wings with fries and a biscuit will not suffice.

Of course, we’re disappointed. The vaccine hesitancy, or opposition, does not auger well for our effort to emerge from this Covid nightmare any time soon. Our Prime Minister, the Honourable Gaston Browne, had spoken optimistically of us reaching herd immunity by the summer. It now appears as though that rosy-tinted prediction was overly optimistic. We believe that he will have to prevail on the good Minister of Health and his team to seriously up the campaign accentuating the benefits of the vaccine. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will help prevent serious illness and death, and it will certainly keep our families and loved ones safe. As one of the PSA’s ends, “Each vaccinated; all protected.”

The thing about the sticky situation in which we find ourselves is that it speaks to the low-brow nature of this administration. Those in high places, for some weird reason, believe that they can always win over the people by appealing to our baser instincts, rather than good judgment and sound reasoning. This administration will forever bank on keeping the people in ignorance and deprivation, with the cynical hope that we will eschew the long-term greater good of this country for a selfish and transitory reward. It is an insult to us all!

As the administration, with its patented penchant for ‘screwing-up’ everything, races to the bottom, we will not be surprised if we hear that they have sent the mobile vaccination team down to Dickie Lake’s, offering to vaccinate the brain-addled alcoholics down there for a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of rum. Talk about the ends justifying the eyebrow-raising and unorthodox means. Sigh!

               Go easy on the ketchup, Comrade Minister! Pass the fries and the biscuits! Just give the people a little ‘sum’n sum’n;’ they’ll roll up their sleeves and comply. It is our stock in trade!

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