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Regrouping after the pandemic

The task of regrouping after a devastating pandemic that has ravaged countries around the world with widespread death, taking a heavy toll on economies, and creating a nightmare for education systems has been a Herculean one.

Children have been unable to attend school as a precaution to halting the spread of the coronavirus, whose Delta variant has been prevalent and very contagious — adding to what was already a challenging time for medical professionals globally.

It could be premature to use the term “regrouping after the pandemic”, with people still falling victim in our small domain, compared with larger countries where millions are suffering.

Here in Bermuda, we are still battling with too many people reluctant to be vaccinated, thus slowing the process of trying to bring the situation under control.

Everyone has a right to an opinion, which is respected, but that opinion should be based on logic and overwhelming evidence, rather than an emotional reaction.

There are those in our Bermuda society who glare at anyone, even a relative, if they suggest vaccinations save lives and are the best protection against Covid-19.

This negative attitude globally has resulted tragically in thousands falling victim to the deadly invisible killer, with some recorded during their final moments of struggle saying: “I wish I had taken the shot.”

Getting the shot has been proved to offer protection, even if one becomes infected. Medical experts the world over are united on that scientific fact. Governments the world over are still striving to have as many people as possible vaccinated, knowing the virus would have fewer targets.

When that day comes, hopefully sooner rather than later, the challenge of regrouping can really begin. However, there are hospitals in several countries where the number of infections have pushed medical facilities to the breaking point. For example, in Alaska recently, the situation was so critical that staff were unable to provide urgent dialysis to patients in need, with tragic results.

Our hospital has been hard-pressed, pushing medical staff close to the brink in efforts to give the best care possible. There are hardly words to commend that effort.

Not every story will make the headlines, but each loss of life is a loss to our Bermuda community.

Our seniors have seen Bermuda regroup after extremely difficult times, especially during the war years when not having was a part of normal life. Reflecting on those challenging times is helpful, as many Bermudians back then would push differences aside to help one another because the fate of the family infrastructure was at stake.

It was a difficult time because in an atmosphere of structured social injustice, the task was made even more challenging. Apart from food shortages, often one had to wear shoes until you could feel the gravel on the soles of your feet.

It was not funny when students had to wear uniforms until the trademark was no longer visible. The amazing part about that truly testing period was that, despite shortages of just about everything, people managed to smile and find time to share laughter in the spirit of knowing better days were coming as long as our community could remain positive.

These days, we are in great need of that spirit.

In any crisis — and we are in a crisis at the moment — we urgently need co-operative thinking trying to solve problems, instead of having people in positions of power seemingly unable to bridge the gap in differences of opinion, and in reaching agreement on sensitive matters in the interest of serving the people. All the people.

A lesson in sport is that when two teams are competing, be it football or cricket, if one team observe the other in heated arguments, they realise they have an advantage because any team fighting over whatever is weakened because, simply put, a good team puts unity ahead of differences of opinion differences.

Our leaders need to think more of the island community as a Bermuda team in sorting out matters affecting the people. It will never be easy, but as no one is right all the time, there will be times when both sides in a dispute might have to eat a little crow together before moving on.

Even after the pandemic is finally brought under control, and we all have our fingers crossed for that, there will be tough challenges ahead such as violent crime, reckless driving and speeding on our roads, gang activity, trafficking and use of illicit drugs, and improving our education system.

The future will get brighter only when every Bermudian is willing to play their part in moving Bermuda to the higher ground of safety, security and, hopefully, prosperity. It will not happen overnight, but that is no reason not to stay positive.