From defence mode to attack on COVID-19Monday, March 22, 2021
In crisis, it is acceptable to have more questions than answers... In crisis, we should all be learners. — Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands
These are difficult and dark days for the world. A virus, which some say is man-made, has taken us to the brink. Some expect the vaccine to bring a ray of hope. Others believe it will not end the dilemma any time soon. Many fear that it could well create its own crisis.
Is there a ray of real hope? Yes, there is! Mankind, with God's help, has survived many epidemics, pandemics, and wars. Some of those disasters had much greater levels of devastation.
In the days of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King Jr, one of the songs that kept hope alive in the worst of times was the anthem, We Shall Overcome. We, too, shall overcome this COVID-19 crisis, sooner than later, if we unite in our own interest; apply critical thinking; analyse everything; take right responsible action; break the fear barriers; and take an offensive approach. We shall overcome!
Our forefathers fought long and hard for our freedom. They took a stand for our rights, for justice, for independence, for self-government, and the ability to choose and chart our own destiny. Bob Marley penned this concept and sang:
“Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny,
And in this judgement there is no partiality.
(Brother, you're right,) you're right,
You're right, you're right, you're so right!...
We gonna fight (we gonn' fight), fighting for our rights!”
We must not surrender our rights to anybody. Unfortunately, too many weak leaders in other countries around the world are content to hand over on a platter the liberties and legacy earned by the blood, sweat, and tears of their forefathers. We cannot follow them! They are handing over hard-earned rights to the sons of our oppressors and neo-colonial enslavers for a loaf of bread or simple pride of place. No, no, we Jamaicans cannot be of that ilk!
The novel coronavirus has devastated our nation on many fronts; frustration levels are high, the education of our children is being compromised. Business, social and economic life are waning. But, no longer can we simply observe the process, take a fatalistic approach, or sit back and fasten your seat belts and hope for the best. It is action time for an aggressive, objective, offensive approach to defeat this diabolic scourge.
I must applaud our Government and the team of officials and civil servants for a continued excellent job in dealing with the crisis. They have carefully and ably led us in observing the protocols and the dictates of external powers. This has been useful. However, that approach has been primarily a defensive approach, which has never and can never win a game or a war. Victory only comes by the offensive approach. You must attack to defeat.
I posit to Prime Minister Andrew Holness and fellow citizens that the recommended passive, defensive approach to date, after one year of COVID-19's destructive impact on our world, may suit and serve the interest of our oppressors and their not-so-hidden agenda, but not us! They are the sole beneficiaries of this status quo.
The evidence is evident; rising cases of infected citizens, death toll climbing, and medical services being overwhelmed. A preponderance of evidence shows many international organisations, companies, interest groups, and their spokespersons have demonstrated the consistent inconsistency in the status quo arguments. There have been repeated double standards, the withholding of valuable information, and denials of obvious truth. We have all seen conflicts of interest and excessive attempts to censor and suppress any opposing or alternative opinions.
This drives suspicion that all is not right in the current status quo. It is time for open forums to discuss the contending views and shape a path with the support of the people. That's what free democracy is about. All wisdom does not rest in one narrow camp of a few minds. History and experience have shown that whenever a position rejects, silences, or discredits any alternative view something is not right. Truth can always stand up to scrutiny.
It is an accepted fact that the efforts of our Government in this crisis are sincere. No sane Government would lead with the motive to destroy or annihilate its citizens. But an equal fact of governance is the difficulty faced in trying to hold everything in balance — to keep the economy going with the least disruption, while having to observe international agreements, honour international arrangements, and world accepted protocols.
Governments sometimes have to support the narrative of their alliances and their related leadership which, in many cases, can be questionable. These external alliances, forces, and loud voices cannot be always trusted to speak truth. For it is not always that our interests, as a small developing nation, are their interests. Therefore, I am obligated in my office as a pastoral leader for the people of my nation to address some concerns that affect their best welfare. My faith demands of me to speak truth, especially when danger lurks. Martin Luther King Jr said it well: “The silence of the good people is more dangerous than the brutality of the bad people.”
We must now move from defensive play to offensive play as the attack strategy to win. Let me share the truth of months of my research and experience to assist us as a nation. May it serve as a recommendation as part of the national strategy to attack this COVID-19 monster: It can be defeated without negative and disastrous effects on the body or continued crippling of the society.
1. We must, as our new-era prime minister and Government has asked us to, commit to observing the protocols.
2. All citizens must work hard and be taught how to build up their greatest possible virus defence — the immune system. It is our best offensive approach to ward off COVID-19. Yet it has not formed the centre of our international public education focus. This means eating fruits and vegetables, getting adequate rest, and taking additional vitamins like C, B complex, D, and others recommended.
3. We must cease throwing out and discrediting proven medication that doctors have used and are using to help millions. Then there are the homeopathic and alternative modalities.
It must not be lost on us that there existed a 99.7 per cent recovery rate without a vaccine. What has cured the 99.7 per cent of infected people to date? I suggest that, for most, it is the wonderful God-designed immune system, plus drugs known to doctors worldwide.
Great care must always be taken not to lightly do anything or apply any approach that infringes upon the rights, freedoms, and liberties of a society. Free people in a free law-abiding society must be given the truth and options to allow them to choose their courses of action. Moral suasion should always be the preferred options.
It cannot be successfully argued or denied that, with the tremendous scientific and medical advancement of the last 50 years, there are not known, tested, and proven existing medications that, although may not be perfect, can considerably contribute to contain and control most viruses and bacteria. I state this here as facts known to me that there are available drugs that are both preventative and highly curative. There are many people here in Jamaica and overseas who these drugs have helped; many in the upper echelon of society.
A personal friend of mine and pastor of one of the largest churches in New York City had one of the worst attacks early in the outbreak in New York. He nearly died as he had a lung problem. He was hospitalised and his doctors tried everything. In desperation his doctors agreed to try alternative strategies, as he had nothing to lose. Although they knew a medication had antiviral properties there was no medical evidence that it would work for COVID-19. As a last resort, they, with his approval, tried it.
In his own testimony he declared, “It saved my life.”
Scores of doctors have been using it and have had no fatalities. The drugs of which I speak combined hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc. The American Journal of Medicine now recommends their use for treatment of COVID-19 outpatients. Hundreds of millions have used these drugs around the world since 1955. It is sold in many countries as an over-the-counter drug with a high safety profile.
The Virology Journal, the official publication of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), published on August 22, 2005 what is now a blockbuster article. Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread. “We report… that chloroquine has a strong antiviral effect on SARS-COV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage.”
NIH continued, “Concentrations of 10vm completely abolished SARS-COV infection... Chloroquine can effectively reduce the establishment of infection and spread of SARS-COV.” It is of interest to note that Hydroxycholoroquine is a much milder form of Chloroquine.
Another known drug being used by doctors in many nations with all successful results is Ivermectin. Data abounds on the great results in prevention and its aid in the curative.
An attack approach as a nation involving some of these tried medicines should begin by deliberately educating and equipping our people to the efficacy of these alternatives. We could possibly break the back of this COVID-19 monster with this approach.
We cannot continue the defensive, fear-filled approach being driven by external forces with their own agendas. On what basis are we being told they cannot work when others are seeing results. All this, while the recommended vaccines that have been rushed to the fore are not yet tried and proven.
There are many other such anecdotal and alternative medical testimonies. Some of you reading this have the evidence in front of you, right there on your desk, in your medical journals, or electronic device. It's undeniable!
In an op-ed published in The Guardian newspaper of Britain, titled 'Watching New Zealand's COVID success from bungling Britain has been torture', author Todd Atticus said, “It is clear to me that these alternate realities aren't just dumb luck or geographical good fortune. They are the result of different political choices.
Let the people choose
Let's be the next Commonwealth country role model to beat this dreaded virus. Let the world experience the power of the Jamaican State combining with the power of the Jamaican people to allow for choosing life-saving alternatives as we battle the virus and positively reshape our future together.
So, Prime Minister, allow our citizens to be educated on possible options and methods that can prevent infection and let them choose. When people feel a part of the solution, as part of a strategy to attack and conquer, the compliance rate will increase to make us win the war.
In a modern democracy, we must engage the people in dialogue on the issues that affect their survival and direction. Let's together attack COVID-19 on all fronts and beat it.
Rev Al Miller is senior pastor of Fellowship Tabernacle. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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