JUST DENNIS: Ebola in my email

Dennis Joseph
Dennis Joseph

In Spain, nurses pelted blue latex gloves at the visiting Spanish PM’s car protesting for better protection from the disease after one nurse contracted it from an Ebola patient.

In Dominica, when a nurse suffers because of her work in the hospital dialysis section, the other nurses do not stand with her for to them, it is business as usual. Some of them even put their politics ahead of their welfare.

I wonder how they would react if perchance one of them should be hit by a terrible disease like Ebola while attending to a patient.

People in power do not move except by the power of the people and that is why so many projects and gift giving happen when an election day is close. If Ebola comes to our land it is the nurses who will be on the front line as they are right now. Have we ever wondered what will happen if they simply upped and left as Savarin made them do during the strike of 1979?

I am captured by the emails sent to me about this column and also about my Monday nights musical messages program on internet TDN Radio.

Here follows one from England: ‘Keep on writing Joe, keep on writing my dear fellow.’
I responded, ‘Keep on writing about what my dear fellow, about the flu?’ and then there was this reply:
‘What is this talk about Ebola in Dominica? The Prime Minister just want to show power banning the band. Everything for this man is a show of power. Look out he might use ebola to delay the elections’

Well anything can happen in Waitukubuli nowadays including a delay of elections but the PM may very well use October while renaming the airport to call the elections.

That, however, is a matter for politicians and political battles since we the people tend to just talk and do little more. Yet though the PM may love to grandstand but if we remove ‘grand’ from the word, we are left with ‘stand’, which is right in this case. Ebola is indeed a deadly virus and for the protection of we the people a stand has to be taken.

The problem for the PM is that any time in this volatile period he created and caused by announcing and hinting since March 2013 that there will be early elections, whenever he comes to the public, the expectations are that he will talk about the date for the next general elections. When he does not do that, the people feel shafted and really do not fully take in what he just said. Skerrit’s rushing tongue seems always to outrun his discretion. He appears to overshadow the Ebola announcement with another in the same breath- a political ploy to counter major public outcry about the lack of respect for his former political bosses- by renaming the only small airport after two former Labour Party Prime Ministers who died in office years ago but had nothing to do with the airport’s construction.

However, his position that the musical band from Africa booked for the WCM Festival should no longer be welcome makes sense and really is not a major decision struggle, it being so obvious. The thing is that while it’s easy to target the band it is possible that some person or persons who are already here for the festival or coming in soon could have been in West Africa recently or in contact with an Ebola victim and will not ever disclose this. This makes the PM’s response rather showman-like, not well thought out and without substance. To my mind in recent times the PM’s strategists have been a waste of time. There is the case of one death in a Dallas hospital where the victim was kept in isolation and yet it turns out that one of the nurses despite protective clothing caught the disease and now another nurse goes down there.

The news is reported that Trinidad is contemplating a cancellation or postponement of their beloved carnival celebrations because of the disease.

Clearly, we the people and even Labour Party leader Skerrit judging by his remarks in his press conference, are addicted to this WCM Festival born under the administration of the UWP. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that a festival in which thousands locals and visitors alike gather at nights to jump tightly together and party is an ideal place for the spreading of a disease such as Ebola. It only takes one infected person to start the rush and our medical services will not be able to deal with it. If we are not careful, Ebola could become the plague some pundits have been saying is overdue.

Plagues seem to us a Biblical thing. We are very familiar with the ten plagues in Egypt in the Book of Exodus, which was a demonstration of God’s power to humiliate and convince the Pharaoh that he should free the people of Israel enslaved for 400 years. The Egyptian plagues may have lasted a few months or years and were confined to Egypt but in today‘s world it does not matter where it starts as intercontinental travel has turned the world into a global village.

Lest we forget the lessons of history, if a virus runs out of control millions could be wiped out. My history readings tell me that The Black Death Plague which is counted the number one of all natural disasters, started in China when the Mongols ruled that part of the world in 1347 and spread through rats on ships and of course human contact claiming the lives of 60% of Europe.

The Modern Plague also originated in China in 1866 and over 20 years spread to seaports again through contaminated fleas on the backs of small stowaway rats and killed 10 million people. In those days, it took ships months to reach ports but in our time, it takes a plane just a few hours to the next airport. In other words, it will spread one hundred times faster. The Spanish Flu of 1918 killed more than 30 million in just its first six months

The resulting consequences of a rampant deadly silent killer could be that hospitals will be overrun, agriculture will stop working, people will stay home and stop working, police will stop working, government will fail as those loud mouthed representatives will be tested and found wanting and dying will be an hourly occurrence. There will be barricades around homes, residents will fear walking out of their homes, superstition will rule and even villages will be quarantined as fear and panic take hold of the living who may not even want to bury the dead throwing out corpses in the street.

Vicious and inhuman violence and the search for food will be rampant and uncontrollable. Locally LIAT would not only be late it would stop operations altogether regardless of the new name of the airport. These are just some of the effects and that destructive power has not escaped the attention of world scientists and warmongers who have developed in laboratories artificial plagues to unleash on cities and whole populations in something they choose to call controlled chemical warfare. For those who are quick to label me a prophet of doom and gloom well it has happened before and could happen again.

A scientist once told me that while many people think the end of the world will come through cataclysmic nuclear destruction, or by super volcanoes or the riders of the Apocalypse, he though believes it will come through a quiet killer –an uncontrollable virus whether natural or man-made. “This is a fluid and heterogeneous epidemic. It is changing quickly and it’s going to be a long fight,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at a high-level meeting of major donors at the World Bank. Frieden compared Ebola to AIDS and said, “Speed is the most important variable here. This is controllable and this was preventable.” Perhaps it was preventable but to what extent is it controllable? Ebola is no ordinary flu and when this killer is around, it is the nurses and medical staff who are expected to fight the initial battles. Nature has many ways it uses its forces to kill helped along by the carelessness of earthlings with the environment.

The Health Ministry must now equip our nurses for this possible coming pestilence and make no mistake about it, this is also our fight as well as theirs so rather than play politics as usual and shielding our favourite politician, it is time to insist with one voice that our government gets moving and fast.

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31 Comments

  1. October 18, 2014

    Siver bird Lol LMAO real loud.
    There is this popular saying in DA. “You go to school in Silverlake man!”
    It seems you did man!
    you are probable more poor than dennis.
    Lower case for the man’s name .
    More poor than Dennis. I thought they taught us Poorer than?
    I heard you did university in Fond Cole.

  2. October 17, 2014

    Hip hip hip! Hurray! for Dennis everyone!
    Dennis a D/can wrote an article when your current party U now support was in power , on stage and incharge.
    It was complelling and so correct not only for your current but former party the one of today.
    It was entitled: “It could happen like that.” It was in the Tropical Star if memory serves me right. Taking into account we are all aging and maybe in need of Yes we care’s Pampers $ 200.00 EC etc etc ask Karmala lol! so that having been added for effect like in Hollywood.
    Talking Hollywood your story Ebola in my mail could be a script for Hollywood. But reading you It could happen like that could have been a re-make lol!
    Hey there fellow old fellow! you sound like you have changed fields from your:A scientist once told me that while many people think the end of the world will come through cataclysmic nuclear destruction, or by super volcanoes or the riders of the Apocalypse, he though believes it will come through a quiet killer –an uncontrollable virus whether natural or man-made. “ So all of a sudden you rubbing shoulders with scientists? You are like LL .LL love stars did you know that about him?
    Dennis I loved you in the 70’s on radio for radio. Now as they say in hind sight everything is 20/20 Monday morning quarterbacking etc, etc. good luck with the new Solid team/Team DA those who were on stage and incharge hope you help in assiting the removal of ur former teamonly in Name Labour in name only/alone LINO my invention. I have to check with Mc Marie re: patent rights or Shilling ford
    Bye Den!

  3. October 16, 2014

    DNO stop making a fool of yourself by making up excuses and print the comments especially since they do not violate your policies , I’m sure you have heard the old saying actions speak louder than words, I was defending you but not any more..
    How long not long !

  4. DR.OF.LETTERS
    October 16, 2014

    life is politics. But I do not find this as political as I find it objective and very relevant to crucial current world situations with respect to health, safety and security. And so much useful information that perhaps 90% of us did not know or never bothered to research. So thanks Dennis for the information and the analysis. Now I go to the internet to verify these facts. But congratulations on a beautifully written piece even if all the facts in the end do not hold up. I award you THE HONORARY DOCTOR OF LETTERS from DOMINICA’S LIFELONG UNIVERSITY. Keep up the good work!

  5. Question
    October 16, 2014

    We are having trouble dealing with chickengornya or whatever it’s called; are we ready for Ebola? Recently, a doctor questioned the level of healthcare in DA and our PM went to the house of assembly and chewed him out. How do you think these doctors and nurses will respond if Ebola hits DA. We have a government that is blatantly neglecting the part of the country that did not support them; even the hospital in that area is gone to shambles, despite its proximity to the nation’s only airport…and then you say you care about DA and ready for Ebola? Are you serious?

  6. @
    October 16, 2014

    Great piece of work!

  7. love I
    October 16, 2014

    Denis , well said….DOMINICANS open all you eyes wide wide wide, this sickness is no joke…Government is still playing around with the serious measures they should be addressing…..Pray people every day, ask God to spare us and the world of this horrible pestilence…

  8. Dr.Dre
    October 16, 2014

    ennox ,send jay jay cottage and please give us Dennis in Portsmouth.

  9. October 16, 2014

    let the bloa come so we will know if ready or not

  10. Is that
    October 16, 2014

    well said Sir & thanks who have ears let them hear! Stop the ignorance my people!!!!!

  11. FAST N FURIOUS
    October 16, 2014

    Sir,with all due respect to you;It would have been better if you had done some research before you began your opening paragraph.
    But it’s not surprising since you are one of them who will try anything to make Skerrit and the Government look bad. Your motive is to write only on matter you think will be in the interest of the opposition.Sir like you said,Ebola is in your email;You are truly a POLITCAL EBOLA.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      October 16, 2014

      Now you are accusing Denis of trying to make Skerrit, and the government look bad. The fact is nobody have to make any effort to make Timothy, Skerrit, and the rest of his cabal look bad, because they are making themselves look not only bad but indeed stupid!

      Here is an example of their stupidity; Timothy informs the nation that Dominica is prepared to deal with the Ebola virus. How can Timothy, and Skerrit be prepared to deal with a disease for which there is absolutely no know cure. The three white American doctors who survived it thus far were treated with an experimental drug!

      Since then the first person to be diagnose in the United States in the person of Duncan, an African, also was treated in a Hospital in Texas, died last week. He was treated with the same experimental drug, yet he died. Here is a bit of news for you, two nurses who treated him are now in hospital infected with the Ebola virus.

      Throughout the day it is reported on national Television, and radio stations, that the United States of America is not “prepared” to treat this horrible disease. If the United States where R&D is conducted to find a cure for the disease is not ready for an epidemic, why has Timothy lied to the nation talking nonsense about Dominica is prepared! Prepared for what?

      Prepared to bury sixty thousand people or less? If the country is not prepared to treat a mild stroke, how on earth can the country be prepared to fight Ebola, if the medical establishment of which Timothy is the head, minister health, when he had a mild stroke which simply require some blood thinner, even an aspirin may work, apparently he had no aspirin in his hospital, so he ran away from the hospital where everyone in Dominica goes to die, and went to Martinique to be treated with blood thinners, and physical therapy.

      If a mild stroke cannot be treated at Princes Margaret Hospital, how can the medical establishment be prepared to treat Ebola? The man is an idiot, they all are idiots; and that is why they continue to embarrass and make themselves look stupid!

      If anything Denis simply exposes their stupidity, and incompetence!

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • October 18, 2014

        If a mild stroke cannot be treated at Princes Margaret Hospital, how can the medical establishment be prepared to treat Ebola? The man is an idiot, they all are idiots; and that is why they continue to embarrass and make themselves look stupid!

        If anything Denis simply exposes their stupidity, and incompetence
        You hit the nail man bang on it’s head you did not hit ur finger.
        Tim is more than an Idiot Idiot x 65. He Did not visit Autism in DA for the months it had been there. he went to St.Vincent
        Where Autism returned did he visit Autism or just went to the conference. If he cannot take care of his Autism can he take care of Ebola?

    • @
      October 16, 2014

      You are an idiot.You did not understood what the brilliant man wrote.

    • ########
      October 16, 2014

      are you really that foolish? the level of stupidity that some of you who support this government has is beyond disbelief. do the world a favor, dig a hole a go in it, and please stay there.

  12. GANIBBS
    October 16, 2014

    i am amazed at the sleeping Dominica Nursing Assosciation, a once vibrant abd pro-active organisation. Please consider the plight off you fellow nurse who is presently disabled from an electrical shock on the job at P.MH Please put politics aside and stand together-you never know who is next,especially with the fear of ebola making its prescence in Dominica with a health system that is not even equipped to safely control the eradication of a mosquito that wrecked havoc in Dominica muchless EBOLA

  13. Just Observing
    October 16, 2014

    It would be a “a politically blessed opposition day” if soon enough the news would declare that Ebola has been diagnosed on Dominica and the health services is put to the test more failed. The scenario painted by Denis in this piece consequent upon the arrival Ebola is the kind of Dominica, the UWP and its mouthpieces have been predicting. It would a great day for them. But keep on dreaming

    • Nac Vibes
      October 16, 2014

      Funny how ebola knows no colour, so keep your ears closed and worship your red kings.

  14. Oh Yes
    October 16, 2014

    Thanks for your insight in this matter. Your style captivates the one who yearns to learn.

  15. October 16, 2014

    dennis i know you for a long time ,teacher, song writer, manager of the GAYLORDS Band, journalist and avery thought provoking writer. keep on doing what you do best.

    • October 18, 2014

      When the Gaylords Power Union was in it’s glory days , I was a little bit of buoy!
      As I grew up, they had already disappeard,left for England.
      Up to today not for the life of me I can imagine any serious group of men would call them selves the Gay Lords.
      Now, this guy Dennis who writes conventionally well enough
      was their manager. How can I accept anything you say today when you can allow, manage a band named gay lords?
      Reason I cannot support ur politics why would you willfully sit back and manage a group called gaylords and expect me to take you seriously in politics?
      Noway Jose something is wrong with that picture. Dennis.

      • October 21, 2014

        before homosexual men and lesbian women called themselves gay , the word gay was define as happy. there was atime when it wasno problem for someone to say that they are happy and gay.

  16. la poite my big toe
    October 16, 2014

    In Spain, nurses pelted blue latex gloves at the visiting Spanish PM’s car protesting for better protection from the disease after one nurse contracted it from an Ebola patient.

    DENIS get ur facts right the car was pelted with gloves because the nurses dog was put down because of fears it may have contracted the disease from the nurse and it was animal rights activists throwing the gloves not nurses thats just poor on your account did u not research before u wrote ur article?

  17. Oct 16.
    October 16, 2014

    made some interesting Point Dennis, some I never thought about.. Thanks for painting a picture of what the island will be come in the event of the virus reaching Dominica..

  18. Corona Gold
    October 16, 2014

    First time reading your article…..fantastic style and manipulation of prose. Great points made and I concur fully with the premises arrived at.

  19. Pure
    October 16, 2014

    LMFAO…Days after Nigeria was declared ebola free..They stopped Flavour from coming..Now Ebola is in EUrope and US let us see what is gonna happen…Now Nigeria is free of ebola, no flavor is coming anymore, no worries about Nigerian students… Now how about Americans and the Europeans who are coming in, Ross University students, and will be coming for the Tourist season… Because there are not from Africa..They are not black??… lmfao…Racism and discrimination is not only among white and black,it is found among our own black people especially the foolish and ignorance ones..Ebola is not a racist!!!!!

  20. `
    October 16, 2014

    Any suggestions how the government should approach this? Do you think they should cancel the WCMF? Do you think we should close our shores to certain nationals? I am just asking because there is no easy way to deal with a problem of this magnitude.

    • October 16, 2014

      It is always better to err on the side of safety and caution than to be sorry after. on about two occasions when there were inpending storms threatening the island, the PM advised dominicans to remain at their homes and places of safety to protect themslves and dominicans across the political divide supported that decision. if we postpone the WCMF this will not be the end of the world for dominica. the propobility for the ebola virus to come in at this time is very high, are we really ,really ready?

  21. Kubuli Kountry
    October 16, 2014

    i agree with you 100%…in Dominica people still have the mentality that ‘it wouldn’t reach here man’…they so desperate for de sewo, they don’t even care. As far as they concerned, is sewo now, die later…Lord help us.

  22. jomo
    October 16, 2014

    poor Dennis Poor.

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