Yesterday, on the occasion of the National Day of Prayer, Preisdent Paula-Mae Weekes, in speaking about the need for the State of Emergency, referenced a description many Trinbagonians may have found strange — "the somewhat schizophrenic nature of us Trinbagonians."
According to President Weekes, as citizens we exhibit the disorder in its classic dictionary definition — "a breakdown between thought, emotion and behaviour, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation."
If society reflects on the current COVID-19 situation, we would probably realise the President was indicating that while citizens know fully well the consequences of our actions at a time when the virus is raging, it's as if they delude themselves into believing the virus will not touch them personally. That is, of course, until someone they know or love tests positive or, worse yet, dies from the virus.
These are not normal times and yet, from all we continue to see and hear, some people seem intent on behaving as though the virus will always pass them by.
On Saturday, epidimiologist Dr Avery Hinds warned that the spike in current cases had its genesis in the numbers of people who flocked to food and other establishments when the lockdown was announced two weeks ago.
This country is mourning the loss of close to 400 citizens as we begin another week. What sparked the spike is now perhaps a moot point, but it comes back to the reality that our own stupidity and believing we are invincible has a role to play in what happens next.
No one can deny that the measures taken to curb the virus' spread have impacted every level of society. The business sector is reeling, many have lost jobs and children are suffering from lack of face-to-face schooling and socialising with their peers, families are falling apart and domestic violence and child abuse are on the rise.
No noe can say when this pandemic will end but we can chart our course and do our part to ensure we bring this beast under control here. Citizens need to follow all protocols and ensure we get vaccinated, as it offers another layer of protection.
Let us heed the words of President Weekes as we begin this week. In her usual tempered tones, she sought not to bouff, blame or play politics, but to enjoin all of us in a battle against this invisble enemy.
Her plea to all of us was simple. If we are to repel this virus, we will need to be not only our brother’s keeper, but all of our fellow citizens, especially the health care workers who are struggling to keep more citizens from dying.
Time is not on our side. Unless and until we fess up to the fact that each of us has a role to play in abating this crisis, it will be here for the long haul.
Let this week be our individual starting points to destroying this disease threatening the soul of our nation, so that sooner rather than later, we can resume normal life.