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Prevention better than cure

Prevention better than cure


There are times that old sayings come back to you in vivid ways given current circumstances. Some of these are very relevant in today’s world, among them “Prevention is better than cure”, “Nip it in the bud” and “Don’t spare the rod and spoil the child”. It would be wise to heed these bits of advice.

Take the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic for instance. Our Midweek editorial of July 14 lamented the inconsistencies in the messages being given by local authorities. Since the near-panic in many quarters after the announcement of the first positive case, we moved to cautious acceptance and now, we have almost slipped into a state of complacency.

The present state of affairs has been aided and abetted by the signals from some official quarters, especially a curious indecisiveness in the face of evidence that there are persons who are openly violating regulations and betraying the faith displayed in their supposed better judgement. We cannot afford to let such irresponsible persons jeopardize the health of the nation. We have passed the stage of warnings and advice. It is time to take the gloves off, put the hammer down, and enforce the regulations.

Prevention is better than cure.

Then there is the confrontation with vendors outside the Massy compound at Arnos Vale, not just brewing but on the boil. There are genuine concerns on both sides, those of livelihoods on the part of the vendors and health, safety and security on the part of the authorities.

Clearly the matter has been badly handled by the authorities. It is a recurring feature of how we have responded to such situations for ages now, under successive governments. We always seem to wait until a situation gets out of hand completely before trying to rectify it. That is why capital city Kingstown is still in its chaotic state.

By the time an effort is made to rectify it, partisan politics steps in blurring the realities and creating a field day for politicians.

Prevention is better than cure

Then, this week the Central Leeward constituency , a bone of contention for five years now, forced its way into the news with an unnecessary row over the registration process and the insistence of some politicians to insert themselves into what should normally be an administrative process.

That altercation and the associated allegations about the accuracy of the Voters List, provide warning signals that there are matters which ought to be resolved, before the contentious election season when reason seems to take leave of the best of us. SEARCHLIGHT has on several occasions pointed to the need for our politicians to minimize confrontation by seeking to address matters relating to the conduct of elections and possible electoral reform well before the elections. This will undercut the room afforded to unscrupulous politicians to exploit the feelings of voters and so minimize the risk of confrontation and possible violence either during the campaign period or post-election.

Much is at stake, so Prevention must be better than cure.