Skinner Park virologist

BC Pires  -
BC Pires -



RECENTLY, Facebook has been, for me, what Skinner Park was for Denyse Plummer in 1986, the year she transmogrified from relatively upmarket Chaconia Inn lounge singer to decidedly downmarket calypsonian at the Calypso Monarch competition semifinals. Singing to the famously hostile Skinner Park crowd, she was booed, jeered and pelted with toilet paper (mainly for being fair-skinned, because both her songs were good).

Since covid19, I’ve been getting into all kinds of quarrels with one kind of person: the type who argues the vaccines are more of a health risk than the virus (excluding people with compromised immune systems or other conditions). I’ve fought them all, from the rabid conspiracy theorist convinced the vaccine will make him Bluetooth-enabled, to the wannabe sophisticated frustrated lawyer, who takes finer and finer points in coarse arguments about hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin or some other red herring.

On Wednesday, one anti-vaxxer posted his ta-dah moment, a Daily Mail online story headlined “Almost a third of Britons who died of Indian variant had two jabs.”

Implying vaccines were useless.

Earlier, a friend told me I had not refuted the main post on the thread (something about the CFR – case fatality rate – three initials that sound impressive, to the easily impressed).

In response to the Daily Mail story post, I said:

This is why, Jon X, I don't waste time "refuting" ivermectin, CFR, hydroxychloroquine, sniffing tea tree oil, Guyanese bush medicine or "studies" that fret over minutiae: because the real threat comes from the virus, not attempts to defeat it, and vaccines, even flawed ones, are our best defence.

From the starting pistol bat/lab leak, the race has been between vaccination rates and infection rates because vaccinating enough people prevents the infection rate rising high enough to allow variants to become strong enough to become vaccine resistant.

There is one word missing from the headline “Almost a third of Britons who died...had two jabs” but it appears in the sub-headline on the link: Study shows 29% of the 42 people who have died after catching the NEW strain had two jabs... The key word, NEW, is not readily understood in “the Indian variant.”

Now I hope it isn't but I don't doubt that the Boris variant is indeed vaccine-resistant.

I've been expecting that mutation for weeks.

And trying my best to get people to understand the real threat is not from the WHO or Bill Gates’s sinister plan to infect people by 5G cell-tower transmission to their bloodstream.

Or even the risk of injecting dangerous stuff into your body.

The real threat is the virus.

Which has been showing us how strong it is for going on two years now.

And yet many of us can't see that.

I also understand that the infection progression is always geometric, not arithmetic.

The Boris variant may already have defeated the vaccines.

If the virus cannot now be stopped, it is not because the vaccines were rushed through or were part of a plan to somehow wine on poor people.

But I am now happy to say “I dunce,” when it come to this virus, because so many people who never did O-Level chemistry are convinced they are safer in refusing than taking the vaccine.

I say, “take win” to all the Facebook geniuses who can’t plumb the depth of the difference between “you’re” and “your” but who are convinced they know more microbiology than Dr Fauci (in fact, they want him arrested).

And, if we do indeed reach the horror movie final reel, and the corpses pile high in all our city streets the way they were in Guyaquil, Ecuador, a year ago, I just want people to remember that, when mankind was telling them shut up and take the firetrucking jook, they were writing reams about three-letter-combinations in a study their Tantie Doris put on her Facebook page.

Or even about minutiae with solid foundation.

It's the most Trinidadian thing I know: to rip apart the hem of any issue and ignore the firetrucking fabric.

But I done. From where the sun now stands, I will tilt at Facebook windmills no more, forever.

And with that, brethren, I take my bow, or my toilet paper, and leave the stage.

BC Pires is giving a nod (and a wink) to Jonno, Chris Ras Cas and Gerry A for the inadvertent assist. Read the full version of this column on Saturday at


"Skinner Park virologist"

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