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Moving forward together

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On any given day, those who operate food shelters and deliver to the needy are constantly asked the question, "When will things get back to normal?”

I assist at a food shelter, so I hear your questions and concerns first-hand.

Thousands of Bermudians are working from home; some have been sent home permanently; children have to attend school via Zoom, with some having either no device, or working between devices.

Parents are struggling to divide their time between working from home and facilitating their children's education. Hospitality workers have been out of work for much of the past 13 months, and many small businesses are just trying to hold on.

Our taxi drivers, who have had very little work, are struggling to keep their heads above water. This government has spent more than $80 million in unemployment benefits to our community since March 2020.

Everyone is asking the same question: “When will things get back to normal?”

Sadly, there is no returning to normal for families who have lost loved ones over the past few months and I extend sincere condolences to them from my family to yours. Our prayers are with you.

Family, as a country, we have to make the best decisions to get back to some sense of normality. Not just for ourselves, but for those we love and care about: our children, parents and the many seniors in our communities.

Make no mistake, there are steps that can be taken, which can guide us towards getting back to a state of normality.

First, we all need to continue to follow the Department of Health guidelines such as sticking to the curfew times and gathering sizes. Ignoring these guidelines can result in the serious spreading of the virus and variants, as we have seen with the latest outbreak. We may not like the restrictions — believe me, the Government doesn’t, either — but they have been shown to be the best ways to minimise transmission and to maintain our healthcare system.

Second, as simple as it may sound, wearing a mask, washing or sanitising your hands often and physically distancing has been proven to lower the transmission of Covid-19 and as a result save lives.

Third, taking the Covid-19 vaccine is completely a personal choice. I would like to encourage each of you to research reliable sources and please speak with your doctor to confirm if you are able to take the vaccine. Then you can make an informed decision. I have taken the vaccine to protect myself, my family and my community.

Those who choose not to be vaccinated, for whatever reason, we ask that you continue to adhere to the public-health guidelines in the event that if you do contract Covid-19, your exposure to others will be limited.

Over the next few weeks, the Ministry of Health will have pop-up testing and immunisation stations around the island. If so inclined, look for the one closest to your home.

Each of us has a role to play in stopping the spread of this pandemic, whether vaccinated or not. We will get through this together!

Michael Weeks is a government backbencher and the MP for Pembroke East Central (Constituency 16)

As most of you know, I am always a message or telephone call away. If you need to reach me, I'm here.

Stay safe everyone.

Michael Weeks is a government backbencher and the MP for Pembroke East Central (Constituency 16)

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Published May 11, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated May 10, 2021 at 6:27 pm)

Moving forward together

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