Avoiding The Painful Side Effect


When the late Bob Marley said in one of his popular songs “one good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain,” I am certain that he was referring to vintage reggae that was reflective of the consciousness of the time, and not the dancehall music we hear nowadays.

This saying about reggae should not be of comfort to anyone in this century, as times have changed, and during activities such as carnival celebrations, we see what can happen when music combined with alcohol drinking hits revellers.

As we all embrace the conclusion of Spicemas 2013, we were this week continuously reminded by many healthcare professionals and moral social advocates such as the church, that a combination of music, alcohol and indecent behaviour, can result in so many negatives.

Compared to the positive effects of reggae when it hits the body, these professionals were pointing to the real pain that one can experience when alcohol, calypso and soca music hits the body. One such pain is vehicle accidents, and so the police and the church constantly had public service announcements advising for designated drivers to be identified, to reduce the ever growing number of road accidents.

According to data from the traffic department, between the period January to June 2013, there were 604 accidents. Of that number, there were 4 fatal, 27 defined as serious, and 577 defined as minor. “This is pretty significant, and there is need for more discipline on the road,” Assistant Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin said.

What the data shows, is that not only is the traffic department at pains to attend to all these matters, but that families, insurance companies and healthcare professionals constantly have to deal with the emotional and physical pain of many who are affected both directly and indirectly when poor judgment is made on the road.

Another painful — and do I mean painful — decision made by some adults, is neglecting children under the disguise “that they are sleeping, I will be back before they wake.” Mothers and fathers in particular, don’t put your child or children at risk for painful long-term emotional scars. There are too many stories told of how abandoning and neglecting children for a carnival activity resulted in sexual abuse and other forms of abuse. Families have even had to go through the pain of losing a home through fire.

Healthcare professionals will tell you that the worst pain is emotional, and dealing with emotional pain as it hits the core of the body can result in depression in its many stages. If the proper assistance is not sought, the result can be more pain to the family and friends of that individual, and so the clarion call is for persons to avoid situations for this carnival that can result in emotional pain.

Watching the news earlier this week, I saw a story that had me wondering about the pain that some 12 individuals are presently enduring as part of a different life. Who are these 12 persons? “This is 12 too many,” Judy Benoit told the reporter, as she pointed out that this is the number of persons who were diagnosed with HIV so far for the year in Grenada.

What was even more touching is to hear Dr Jessie Henry, Director of the National Infectious Disease Control Clinic, say that most of these people have to face the pain of accepting that reality all alone. The director said that it is a painful acceptance and people go through all types of traumatic experience as they have to accept the reality.

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