3403111

Throughout the Caribbean region and among the diaspora, Trinidadians and Tobagonians are often teased and referred to as “Trickydadians.”

It may be a label unfairly given to citizens by our regional brothers and sisters, but if there was anything the COVID-19 pandemic has proven is that there is perhaps a small measure of truth to the tale.

The controversy surrounding a Boxing Day holiday event held on a party boat is just the latest in a string of incidents where people have attempted to and indeed found a loophole in the Public Health Regulations for their own gain.

While the jury is still out on the matter to determine if any public health breaches occurred, claims that the vessel was converted into a floating restaurant of sorts and reportedly remained docked at sea to accommodate the holiday event cannot be brushed aside as ingenuity, particularly when the country is up to its neck in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attempts to avoid adhering to the regulations have been rampant since the country imposed its first set of restrictions in April 2020.

Stories of bars selling mops and brooms to keep their doors open as hardwares and restaurants erecting a shelf or two to disguise as a grocery while selling packaged food are all too familiar.

Many legal challenges against the regulations have reached the courts but before they were dismissed took up precious time, money and resources of the State.

Government officials including the Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi have urged citizens to desist from attempting to find loopholes in the Government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Those appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

Almost two years into the pandemic and many have failed to realise there remains no easy way out. Jumping through hoops and trying to subvert the law, will only add to our woes.

Yesterday T&T passed 2,800 COVID deaths. Given the trend over the last few months, the country could reach the dreaded 3,000 deaths milestone in just a matter of weeks.

What more must we endure?

Restrictions on the opening of beaches were recently relaxed, adding to avenues for recreation available to the public alongside the TT Safe Zone initiative.

Patience, discipline, restraint and adherence to the regulations must be practised if T&T is ever to see the end of COVID-19.

The “Trickydadian” trait will not only leave us longer in the abyss of the pandemic but may very well cost the country more lives and grief.