Last year Trinidad and Tobago ranked as the 42nd happiest nation according to the world happiness report. This year we did not even feature on the list that rates countries based on GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, perceived corruption, and generosity. However, a look on the world happiness report website for 2021 notes that this year the ranking focused on the effects of Covid-19 and how persons have fared during the pandemic.
It said: “Our aim was two-fold, first to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, and second to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic.”
Armed with this knowledge PSA media contacted three workers to determine how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of workers and how the government’s handling of the pandemic impacted their daily lives in such a way that imposed on their happiness.
One worker who works at the Civil Aviation Authority noted that one of the reasons that Trinidad and Tobago would not feature on that list for 2021 would be because of the medium of communication used by the government to bring across their message to the nation. While the worker agreed that the weekly press conferences were a good idea to bring across information, he said, “It was a one-sided medium of communication and one that did not take people’s issues into consideration.” He said it came across as dictatorial.
Another worker who said she worked at a Ministry pointed out that the government said many things to sound good and it was never transferred into action. She gave the pandemic leave as an example and said at her job she was having problems attaining the leave despite telling her manager that she had two young children at home and she did not have anyone to assist her in taking care of them. She said once the government left decisions up to employers to mandate as they see fit then some people will be taken advantage of.
Asked the same question, a woman who said that she was working at the Blind Welfare Association and attended the University of the West Indies stated: “We must be not on that list. Look how much people lose this year alone. They lose their work, they cannot have a Carnival, is Covid deaths, we cannot even get back pay, groceries gone up.” She continued and said, “Ramen noodles, the favorite snack of all UWI students gone up.”
The entire list showing the world’s happiest countries can be found at https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/happiest-countries-in-the-world