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Bermudians must come together 'like never before' - OBA

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Cole Simons, Opposition Leader (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Sandy DeSilva, executive director of Family Centre (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Leader of the Opposition has said that Bermuda must come together “like we have never done before” in face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cole Simons was speaking in light of new restrictions imposed yesterday including a stay at home order. He emphasised the importance of reaching herd immunity and everyone had a responsibility to see that it is achieved.

Mr Simons said: “We all must do our part by making a personal contribution to help reduce the spread of this virus. Let's be real, this is a community problem. It is not just the Government’s problem and it is not just the Opposition’s problem. It is a Bermudian problem.

“In light of this, I encourage those members who have been immunised to do more to really encourage their family members who are vaccine hesitant to get their shots or encourage them to visit their physicians for more advice.

“In the end, if Bermuda does not get the 70 per cent herd immunity, this pandemic will continue to cause havoc, illness and death within our families, and will cripple our communities.”

Sandy DeSilva, executive director of Family Centre, said that many families were feeling the brunt of the pandemic more severely than during the first year when there was more hope of emergence. She said that “herd resilience” was key to rising above the challenges we face as a country.

She said: “Last year, the hope for change and some level of normalcy in 2021 kept many people and families progressing one day at a time despite feelings of distress, helplessness and angst. The difference is that there was still hope. However, distress turns into despair, helplessness into hopelessness and angst into anxiety when change does not follow hope. This is what we are now experiencing in 2021.

“An antidote for hopelessness is resilience. This is quite critical to emotional survival and our levels of happiness. Positive coping skills and behaviours such as exercising, practicing slowed breathing and mindfulness promote healthy emotional and physical wellbeing, so we need to keep them up.”

Ms DeSilva said herd resilience could be achieved through healthy human communication and having meaningful interpersonal relationships and connections, even if virtually.

“A community of people who are emotionally and socially balanced contributes to the healthy functioning of the economic, healthcare, environmental and ecological systems that impact our everyday lives. So, what can you do today and tomorrow to help make this happen?

“Let’s not suffer in silence and instead access the resources needed, lend a safe helping hand, and build each other up.”