Letters & Opinion

COVID-19 can be a Blessing in Disguise!

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

If you have been schooled and educated in a particular way and have adopted a particular lifestyle and mindset, it is difficult to deviate from what you consider the norm.

Nobody thought that a pandemic could have created such a dramatic and drastic change in our lives.

As the saying goes, life must go on. But we may have to adapt to new methods of doing things.

We are caught between two worlds — one being having secure our health and the other creating a means of survival. The state has the responsibility of caring for its nationals and if there are setbacks or circumstances that force you to review or redirect your original plans or actions, you have to bite the bullet.

Many hope that things will return to how they were. They had plans and methods in reaching their goals and ambitions, but all that is now disrupted. To deviate or change course from the norm can became problematic and cause people to lose focus or have to reevaluate their plans. However, what worked then may not necessarily work now. In the past, we frequently depended on imports of all types. Our major industry is still tourism and it is also still said that we lack self-confidence and development skills. At the same time, we do not approach development holistically and we do not care about eating what we grow or take pride in what we produce.

All that may have to change, because things are not like it used to be. We have to chart our own course and only the fittest will survive. If we do not become self-reliant, we will be left behind. If we do not become more industry-oriented, we will also be left behind.

We have to review education, agriculture, health services and type of employment. We need training and guidance, as well as vision. Yesterday, all of that was lacking. We are yet to deal with crime, although at present we glorify our police force.

We must see things in a new light, build people before buildings and build a nation not a holiday country.

For me, if the present or future government cannot see that vision then woe be unto us.

Discipline is lacking in so many ways – we spend more than we save, we fight rather than make peace, we criticize instead of offering advice, we divide rather than unite, we discredit rather than give merits, we care more about others than about each other — and we take pride in out-smarting each other.

COVID-19 can become a blessing in disguise, if we can learn from it rather than only cry, cry, cry and spit in the sky for it to fall right back in our eyes. We can learn from the past, but we also have to shape our future and COVID-19 is not waiting for us to make our minds up. We have to make our minds up right now, or, like the old saying goes: ‘Too late shall be our cry!’

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