Government employee PPE

A Beaconite has seen many government employees working in dangerous environments without personal protective equipment, or PPE. These environments include construction sites, trash trucks and sewage infrastructure. But perhaps the most egregious example is Pockwood Pond. Despite the smoke and other fumes that routinely waft from the hillside dumpsite in the area, there is no respirator in sight. He believes there should be. Different from an everyday N95 mask, a respirator has rubber gaskets for an airtight seal around your nose and mouth, and it uses dual filters to maximise airflow. This essential safety apparel is the bare minimum for a place like the dumpsite, where the air quality takes a noticeable turn for the worst. Exacerbating the situation is the dust from the quarry and cement plant next door. In the Beaconite’s opinion, people who work outdoors in the area should be wearing respirators. If you don’t believe it, look up what cement dust does to lungs. It’s not pretty, and it can be deadly. The only time the reporter has seen masks on each face in a specific area was at the top of the dump at Pockwood Pond. But there, the excavator operators wore not respirators but the regular masks normalised during the pandemic. The reporter didn’t have a mask on then, and he was feeling it in his sinuses the following day. He believes those guys should have a respirator for every day of the week considering the nature of their work environment. Next time he decides to take a stroll up the mountain of refuse, he plans to bring a donor respirator.



New faces

Following the swearing-in of Governor Daniel Pruce on Monday, movers and shakers from around the territory were invited to his new (to him) home above Queen Elizabeth II Park for a meet and greet. In the press information group chat on WhatsApp, members of the media were asked to attend as guests and limit their journalistic tendencies. The Office of the Governor said reporters would be allowed to interview Mr. Pruce in due time, but for this meet and greet, they should attend just to say hello. Having downloaded the 600-something-odd photos he snapped throughout the preceding swearing-in ceremony, a Beaconite strolled to Government House fashionably late to do some hand shaking and head nodding. Little social gatherings of the island’s representatives and cultural icons have become a favourite of the reporter’s. He enjoys seeing the people with whom he has developed a connection, alongside trying to meet others to add to his rolodex. It’s not exactly careerist, but it is a part of work — and it just happens to be something done on the clock which he enjoys. This event was special, of course, because it was the reporter’s first chance to meet the new governor. Upon shaking his hand and overcoming the always-awkward cold introduction, the reporter found Mr. Pruce and his wife, Rachael Morgan, to be kind and conversational. They must have had to make small talk with well over 100 people that day alone, and they still found enough interest in the Beaconite to spend a few minutes chatting and getting to know him. The reporter hopes his good first impression of the governor continues with his political career in the Virgin Islands.