A Beaconite feels moved by the widespread offering of support she’s seen from the Virgin Islands and Caribbean neighbours in response to the volcanic eruptions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Even though times are tough for everyone right now, she’s seen individuals and organisations band together to offer whatever resources they can. The reporter admits she was a little out of her depth while pushing a cart around the grocery store last week figuring out what to buy. She opted for canned meals that could be eaten cooked or cold if need be, bottled water, and a package of children’s formula. She wasn’t sure if it was best in the immediate aftermath to prioritise food or if it was worthwhile to send coffee, dog food and other items, but she tried her best to help. It was hard not to tear up when her friend who has family fleeing the red zone gave the Beaconite a hug when she dropped off the donation. Whether by donating money, sending supplies, helping with shipping, volunteering time, or offering emotional support to community members who are anxiously watching the events unfold, everyone here can play a part in responding to this crisis. Kudos to the Immigration Department too for its work to allow the VI to host evacuees. The Beaconite urges it to act with all possible haste.
It makes for an unpleasant customer experience to walk in the door of a retail establishment and be instantly screamed at to “Sanitise your hands!” by whatever employee happens to be stationed there. It’s quite a jarring change from the pleasant “good morning” or “good afternoon” one used to be able to expect upon walking into a VI business. A Beaconite, like she assumes most shoppers do, has every intention of sanitising her hands before venturing further into any store, but the location of the sanitising station is not always obvious. Thus, her plea to businesses is to not immediately ascribe rule-breaking intentions to every shopper and at least allow them a few seconds to orient themselves before perhaps nicely asking them to please sanitise.
On Monday, a Beaconite had a video chat with one of the newspaper’s most magnificent readers — her grandmother. Grandma Joyce was celebrating her 90th birthday with a small group of family members, and it pained the reporter not to be there with them. But on that same birthday call, Grandma Joyce commented on the quality of articles written by the Beaconite that were in last week’s issue (which she has delivered every week), and she said how proud she was of the reporter for her hard work. The Beaconite takes that to heart, as Grandma Joyce is a talented writer herself. What more could a granddaughter ask for? Dealing with this pandemic remains challenging, but the Beaconite is grateful for the light she sees at the end of the tunnel, when family gatherings will be a bit easier to make happen.
Last week, after yet another resident was murdered, lawmakers opened up the meeting of the House of Assembly by airing their grief and calling on their colleagues to come up with a plan to tamp down the spiraling violence. It was the first time the Beaconite had heard lawmakers discuss a tragic event at such length in the HOA, and he was moved by how emotional some of the officials were and how they pleaded with their peers, neighbours and constituents to make the Virgin Islands safer. There is obviously no easy answer to the violence plaguing the territory, but the testimonies at HOA made it clear that the leaders of this territory are in agreement that one must be found.