Will we leave noth­ing for Ebola?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Last week a long-time friend sur­prised the heck out of me when she wrote: “I read your ‘Last Days’ ar­ti­cle and I thought you set it up well be­fore you drove your point home. But I have to tell you it left me re­ally wor­ried about our coun­try’s im­me­di­ate fu­ture.”

As I say, we’ve known each other a long time. I knew she had held some­thing back and I wanted to know what that was. So I texted her: “Did I ex­ag­ger­ate the facts? Did I tell a lie?”

“Damn right, you ex­ag­ger­ated,” she mes­saged back.

This is what had made her blood run cold: “As more and more VAT-bled busi­nesses go un­der; as more un­em­ployed fa­thers are sent to prison for their in­abil­ity to pay child support; as more chil­dren die of hunger or be­cause their moth­ers could not af­ford the cheap­est med­i­ca­tion; as oth­ers con­tinue to make sac­ri­fices to no avail, so the re­ports of sui­cide have in­creased. Co­in­ci­dence?”

The hor­ror story had taken up two full pages of facts that my friend agreed were in­dis­putable. But the quoted few lines were what had set her off bal­ance. What to do? She chose to sug­gest I had sunk to ex­ag­ger­a­tion. Of course it didn’t take long to con­vince her oth­er­wise. Facts are facts, how­ever in­con­ve­nient.

I won­der how she’ll re­act to what I am about to write about life as Saint Lu­cians are now forced to live it. We now av­er­age three homi­cides a week. As I write, more bad news: a young man has just shot dead the fa­ther of his girl­friend at Ciceron.

The early word is that he went to her house, an al­ter­ca­tion de­vel­oped, and the girl’s fa­ther let the un­wel­come vis­i­tor know his less than gen­tle­manly be­hav­ior would not be tol­er­ated. Seconds later the thirty-some­thing man was ly­ing dead on the ground, a bul­let in his brain.

An uniden­ti­fied body dis­cov­ered months ago at Marisule Beach turned out this week to be a well-loved young man, a lead­ing mem­ber of the Na­tional Youth Coun­cil, by all ac­counts full of po­ten­tial. He wanted very much to be a jour­nal­ist.

Mean­while sev­eral other young peo­ple who were stabbed by uniden­ti­fied as­sailants re­main hos­pi­tal­ized, their loved ones pray­ing they do not end up like Daniel Es­nard who died 17 days after he was stabbed in the chest and treated at one hos­pi­tal for in­di­ges­tion. Not un­til a week after the stab­bing was he cor­rectly di­ag­nosed: per­fo­rated or­gans, in­ter­nal bleed­ing, lung prob­lems and so on—all re­lated to that knife wound.

Mean­while our MPs squab­ble with just one thing on their tiny minds—and it has noth­ing to do with re­lief for the hun­gry, the unat­tended sick, the lousy health care.

Oh, I almost for­got: so far this year 28 peo­ple have been killed by gun or knife. Doubt­less this year’s batch will be added to the un­re­solved over 400. Did some­one men­tion our crime lab? What can I say, save that the multi-mil­lion-dol­lar crime lab is it­self a crime?

Ebola? The good news is— bear­ing in mind the homi­cide rate—that by the time the killer reaches our shores there’ll be no one left to kill!

--RW

Ebola scare? How about crime scare! Pic­tured here is a vic­tim of another act of vi­o­lence in the city this

week. The po­lice, fire and emer­gency ser­vices, nurses, doc­tors all seem over­whelmed by the spate of mur­ders and vi­o­lent crimes grip­ping the na­tion. There seems to be no end to it all and no quick fix

so­lu­tions.

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