Change has been the one constant in 2020
We started 2020 with worrying news. News of people we did not know; suffering in cities most of us had never heard of. When sometimes it seems like there is so much going wrong in the world, speaking personally, it can be all too easy to disengage. If there is one thing that 2020 has taught us, it is just how connected we all are and just how much we benefit from those connections.
While social distancing has left us feeling separated from our nearest and dearest, many of us have seized opportunities to become more connected to those farther away; to reconnect with those we have lost contact with; to attend gatherings that would not have been possible if they were in-person.
Change has been the one constant this year.
We have adapted. Changed the way we work; changed the way we socialise; changed the way we worship; and changed the way we communicate with each other. Change has become our new normal.
I extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone that has played a role in Bermuda’s response to the pandemic. To each and every one of you that has made the necessary sacrifices to minimise the impact the virus has on our community. Thank you. Bermuda would be a very different place today had it not been for the collective efforts.
We can take some comfort from knowing that vaccines will be available in the new year but we are not out of the woods yet. I would encourage everyone to remain diligent in following the Government of Bermuda’s regulations.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shaped 2020. But this summer we had what was a wake-up call for some and another brutal reminder for others. Communities across Bermuda stood in solidarity with people across the world to say that Black Lives Matter; and to make clear that racism and discrimination of any kind has no place in Bermuda in 2020. There is so much more to do to shape the inclusive societies that we want to be part of.
We also cannot afford to be complacent about climate change. With increased extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, flooding, the most active Atlantic hurricane season ever and here in Bermuda a greater number of hurricanes per season, there is a louder call to arms for us to make changes to the way we live. As we prepare to put 2020 behind us, I hope that here in Bermuda and across the world we will seize the opportunities to live in a more sustainable way. To reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. To move towards the development of more renewable energy. To maximise the potential for Bermuda’s blue economy.
From what I have already observed, albeit from a distance, it is clear that in times of crisis, this community pulls together, supporting the most vulnerable and those facing economic hardship. That collective spirit, if applied more generally, can achieve great things.
The year ahead will be challenging but if we all work together in a spirit of friendship and fellowship, we will certainly accomplish more than working individually.
For now, please stay safe.
I wish you and your families a very peaceful Christmas.