A new, new regular
A Beaconite misses her life from a few months ago. She remembers swimming at Josiahs Bay, describing to her friends how she felt the happiest she ever had in her life. Though it hadn’t been long since she moved to the Virgin Islands and she still had a lot to learn, the territory was starting to feel like home. In recent weeks, she felt as though all of that was falling apart. But as Premier Andrew Fahie stated Friday evening, residents must adapt to a new way of doing things in the territory in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The reporter was honoured to be a guest speaker at a virtual meeting of the Rotaract Club of Virgin Gorda last week. She spoke about an article she wrote on her own experience of testing negative for Covid-19 after suffering various symptoms, and she appreciated the thoughtful questions about the testing and the quarantine process. The online gathering reminded the journalist that there is still a strong sense of community to be found in the VI.
Beacons of hope
The prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago recently hailed Muslims as a beacon of hope during these trying times as the month of Ramadan continues, and though Muslims are a minority in the Virgin Islands, the message of keeping faith has not fallen to the wayside here. When a Muslim Beaconite thanked the premier for working around the clock to lead the territory, and for taking hard decisions (which may be confusing and which this reporter may not always agree with), she was met with the response, “To God be all the Glory.” It is amazing to be Muslim at a time like this. Hygienic practices are clearly outlined in the religion: what is and isn’t healthy to eat, washing one’s body for prayer five times a day, and limiting physical contact. The lifestyle of Muslims already fits in with this “new regular” of life. This lunar month of Ramadan tests Muslims across the world and exposes them to hunger and thirst. It allows them to feel true suffering — what many people go through each day. It provides an equal platform for all, as the poor and needy are fed, and everyone starts and breaks their fast at the same time according to the sunrise and sunset. There is a connection to the moon, the sun, the earth, and each other. As the reporter continues to navigate this world, exposing herself to a wealth of knowledge from all sources, she gains clarity in understanding what really ties humanity together. Food is one such thing. She commends all those who played a role in the food assistance programme, and she encourages complainers to show a little appreciation and respect, and to let go of the negativity. The reporter believes in a oneness and pureness of life.
On Monday morning, the first day of the relaxed curfew, someone on a local community Facebook board posted grainy photos of two people walking down a deserted beach. Another person even suggested the police be called. Although these beachgoers were violating the letter of the law, one Beaconite believes they were harming no one and thus still following the spirit of the law, which is to social distance. On the same day, supermarkets in town were crowded with residents clamouring to get their shopping in before the 1 p.m. curfew, presenting a far greater danger to social distancing protocols and presenting a much greater priority for police than responding to the “emergency” of two people on an empty beach, the Beaconite thinks. In any case, no matter what side of that debate one falls on, she believes that it benefits no one for residents to turn into busybodies and self-appointed “social distancing police.”