Celebrate good times
The Virgin Islands has had no shortage of things to celebrate the past few weeks: all three Olympians in the 2020 Tokyo games performed incredibly, setting national records and making history left and right; the National Parks Trust of the VI clocked 60 years of working to protect the territory’s national treasures; and the territory observed the anniversary of emancipation. It’s a confusing time to be celebrating such momentous, typically joy-filled events amid the losses the territory has experienced recently. But it is important to recognise the accomplishments of Virgin Islanders and others past and present who have worked hard to create a brighter future for the territory. A Beaconite commends organisers of the Olympics motorcade for finding a way to spread national pride in a relatively safe manner, with passengers waving to onlookers from their vehicles. The Beaconite couldn’t help but smile and drum her fingers to the beat of the music as she drove behind the parade. Congratulations to long jumper Chantel Malone, hurdler Kyron McMaster and swimmer Elinah Phillip!
Jelly fish encounter
While exploring Virgin Gorda during one of the August Emancipation Festival holidays, a Beaconite went to The Baths with some friends. A purple flag was waving outside the park, but she didn’t pay much attention to them before heading down to the beach. She grabbed a Baths Sunset drink from Poor Man’s Bar — which she recommends anyone to try — and went through the trail to Devil’s Bay. That day, the bay surely lived up to its namesake. After floating in the water for nearly a half hour, she shrieked in pain as she realised she had been stung by jellyfish. With lashes on both her legs, her wrist and her hand, she sat in pain for a few minutes, resting her burns on the hot rocks and sand to ease the discomfort. She read that people should put vinegar and baking soda on their stings, but she didn’t have either at her disposal. When she returned home, she rubbed an Ayruvedic medicine called Nixoderm on her stings and continued to apply the medicine for days as the swelling and burning on her hands subsided. Having learned her own lesson, the Beaconite urges beachgoers to always pay attention to a purple flag, which warns about the presence of jellyfish.
Early last month, the government’s chief epidemiologist predicted that the Virgin Islands could see as many as 5,000 Covid-19 cases over the course of four to six weeks. A Beaconite suggests that she release her methodology for determining this number. The case count ultimately reached only a fraction of the projection — just over 1,600 — which of course is great news. And as of last Thursday, the case count was 441 and falling. Premier Andrew Fahie already has used the 5,000 projection to tout his government’s response measures, which included the 7 p.m. curfew and full or partial closures of some businesses, many of which were already crying out for financial relief that doesn’t seem forthcoming. But if the projection methodology is not disclosed, how can anyone evaluate his claim?
A Beaconite who travelled to the United States recently is happy to report that the process was smooth from start to finish. He took his Covid test at a private clinic, and the results came back the same day. A slight delay with the US Virgin Islands’ travel portal was cleared up with a quick phone call. And taking the ferry to St. Thomas didn’t take any longer than usual despite the border restrictions there. From there, travelling to the airport and on to the mainland was a breeze. He hopes coming home is as easy.