Kudos to the premier
A Beaconite is happy to see the premier hosting press conferences regularly to update the public on important topics. Dialogue between leaders and everyone else should be kept as clear as possible, especially when decisions are being made that affect the population. Likewise, anyone in a position of power should keep those who depend on them informed of important decisions that affect livelihoods. Even if a lot of work is being done in the background, such efforts could be brought to light to assure the people that they are not forgotten and that they are valued. Such actions could also quell fears and reassure people that all will be well. The Beaconite hopes the premier will continue hosting press conferences that inform the public and give the media a chance to ask questions on their behalf.
Stand up for students
While reporting for the 2021 Hurricane Irma edition of the paper last week, a Beaconite was reminded of how the community’s young people have faced a spectrum of challenges over the past year. Some families were just getting back to more stable ground after the 2017 storms when they were hit with the pandemic. For some students, adapting to online learning was difficult but still manageable with help from teachers and relatives. But it’s important to remember that truancy doesn’t just come down to forgetting to log in for a class nowadays. How is a student supposed to focus on learning when their family had to drain their savings and doesn’t have a permanent home anymore? Besides the practical barriers of affording internet access and devices and child care, students also have to contend with the mental and emotional toll of the pandemic just as much as adults. The reporter loves to celebrate the academic accomplishments of the community’s impressive youth. But she also recognises the students who are just doing their best to get through this difficult time, even if that doesn’t translate to typical scholastic success. The Beaconite also urges leaders to redouble efforts to help those students now that they are back in the classroom.
After months of reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic, a Beaconite was anxious when it was finally his turn to complete the BVI Gateway travel portal ahead of his return to the Virgin Islands last week. He had read so many testimonies of people who have had trouble with the software that he was expecting an arduous process, but he was pleasantly surprised that his experience with the portal was a breeze. His negative PCR test was approved two days after he uploaded it to the website, and though the officials processing his application requested some additional forms before they could grant him the letter approving him for travel, they were quick to respond to his questions and to accept his submitted documents. The Beaconite is thankful for the hard work of those in charge of managing the travel portals and is happy to have made it back to the VI without issue.
A Beaconite, as she does around this time every year, is reflecting on the monster Category Five hurricane that served as her introduction to the Virgin Islands in September 2017. One year after the disaster, social media feeds full of smashed homes and businesses, barren hillsides and streets littered with debris were hard to look at, though it was nice to engage in a collective reminiscence. Four years later, they’ve become more like historical artefacts that no longer elicit an immediate visceral reaction, although the memories remain. As introductions go, it was not the one she would have chosen if she had a choice. Four years later, she is still working on finding ways and ties to keep her in the territory, despite new challenges. But there was something about Hurricane Irma that cemented her connection with these islands in a way that is unlikely to ever be severed.