I’m not even sure this is a stream… Maybe more of a waterfall… The kind that you find after a river of white water. It’s been a chaotic year and I haven’t been able to just sit and write like I usually do. There’s so much going on and I don’t know which emotion I’m feeling the most at any given point in time. I’ve been so angry for the last 6 or so months. People are dying. Hundreds of thousands of people and I cannot understand it. The case study from the COVID-19 Pandemic will be deep and revelatory. The countries that managed to get ahold of the crisis in the early stages and keep their citizens safe.. and the countries that did not.
I’ve just been sad and tired and frustrated and angry and I want it to end. I hate politics and I hate our local politicians. They have enabled systemic poverty and education inequity for decades. The strategies used to keep people uneducated, impoverished and dependent have finally come home to roost in a most tragic way. Previously, it was brain drain – tens of thousands of educated, capable people leaving for countries where the salaries and standards of living are better for qualified hardworking individuals. But most recently, in the face of COVID-19, it has been sickness, death and a collapse of the healthcare system that may soon be compounded and worsened by the unwillingness of many to take the vaccine because they buy into conspiracy theories and succumb to ignorance. We have no discipline. The whole fucking country is a free-for-all mess of open market exploitation due to lax regulations and instances of the government actually selling the country’s resources on the cheap. A plague of public sector corruption and mismanagement cost the country tens of billions of dollars in the last decade alone. Money that should have been used to educate the populace, update infrastructure and provide housing, lift people out of poverty and modernise the public sector. Wasted. Stolen. And hardly anyone has been held accountable. Not a single conviction. Investigations that lead nowhere. Wrist slaps and reassignments. Commissions of Enquiry that waste more tax dollars and end in recommendations that are ignored.
And so, we were woefully unprepared to deal with a pandemic. And I am angry. Angry at the government, not just the current one, but all the ones before. Angry at the tribal, partisan (p)syc(h)ophants. Angry at the religious figures spreading disinformation in the name of religion and faith. Angry at the state of the country. We are in such a bad way. And why? Because of political incompetence, laziness and selfish machinations. People are struggling to make ends meet. Industrial slavery is what we have been relegated to. All our inefficiencies carefully crafted to marginalize the masses while making a select few wealthy. And so many, just because they are comfortable (never mind that many of them are living paycheck to paycheck) ignore the fact that all around us are people suffering, struggling, dying. Some people truly believe that poverty is something to assign individual blame for. They have been steadily fed a diet of misinformation intended to vilify the people in the lower classes of society. The middle class was created as a buffer between the angry, disenfranchised poor & the government in collusion with the owners of the means of production.
A lot of them know better though. They are liars and gaslighters. They are content to capitalise on the inefficiencies created by government failure no matter how many suffer for it. They want to get rich off the industries that were created to fill in the gaps created by government failures. There was a time when these failures were due to incompetence. But slowly they became deliberate. They made money from kickbacks and personal investments into businesses that were set up to provide security, housing and utilities in ways the government now refuses to.
So much change is needed. So many improvements. So much work to be done. But there is no unity. There is no will. There is no deliberate coordinated action from those with legislative and decision-making power. And so, here we are. In a state of constant danger. Following in the footsteps of some of the worst countries in the world. Governed by those who care little about what happens to the rest of the population as long as they are comfortable and have the opportunity to get richer. I am tired. For the first time in almost 4 decades, I don’t want to be here anymore. As a woman, I am constantly in danger. And we have a gender minister who during a spate of particularly heinous rapes, abductions and murders of women, felt it was more timely to talk about letting men know that they could seek help as well… When statistically, they aren’t in even a fraction of the danger as local women are. We are 2nd in the hemisphere for femicide. 3rd in the world. Our tiny island that many refer to as ‘paradise’ is a hellhole of fear and trepidation for women who just want to exist safely and go about our business. Outdated laws, corrupt police officers recruited from the misogynistic stock our society provides, inadequate resources… and silence. A deafening, frightening silence from the people who have the power to make changes. And when they do speak, it’s platitudes and thoughts and prayers and lip service to all the changes that need to be made but never are. Years of debates and commissions and papers drafted but never enacted. While our women die.
I am tired. I am on edge. I feel hopeless in ways I have never felt hopeless before. I have never felt like leaving this island the way I do right now. I don’t know if this feeling will pass. I don’t see a future for this country. And so many of the people who are politics adjacent and vocal with it are hypocritical in their own choices. They have left, taking their children and their parents and their siblings with them, while admonishing those of us who call out the incompetence of our administrations. This year will be one of hard decisions. For me, certainly & for many others, I think. Something needs to change. I need to settle my spirit. I need better for myself, for my loved ones, for as many people as possible.
I am tired.