COVID-19 is global news for good reason. In four short months it has spread around the world to become a pandemic. Daily news updates are circulating on its origins, progress and how best to manage the dreaded outbreak. Governments, businesses, organizations and individuals are at wits end to combat the disease and remain healthy. More and more countries are reporting their first cases. To date and as of writing, there are no reported cases of the virus on the island of Barbados. However, statistically speaking and inevitably, it is not a matter of if it will occur but when. That may not be too far away. Already our closest neighbor 100 miles away have reported their first case.
This corona virus though not the deadliest of diseases in the world today has thrown the world into a tizzy because of the speed in which it has spread internationally. I am observing some reactions and have already experienced a few reactions in people locally, but I want to single out just three: mass hysteria and panic, humor, religion.
It would seem a large majority of people belong to the first category. Panic and hysteria have caused many to swarm supermarkets and pharmacies in an effort to secure products that would help in sanitizing themselves. Here on the island, large crowds had in no time cleared shelves of items like hand sanitizers, wet wipes, disinfectants, toilet paper (unsure why this product) and other cleansing agents. Some people bought in bulk to stockpile, especially the hand sanitizers, thereby depleting existing stock, creating an early shortage and limiting or denying other customers from buying the same.
In another incident, while transacting business, I walked up to a glass door and found a young lady standing on the opposite side, I pulled the door open and before I could enter, the young lady practically ran through. She was standing there (don’t know how long) not wanting to touch the door handles and was waiting for someone to pull the door open for her.
The second category helps to lighten moods and ease tensions. Not a day goes by without updates of one kind or another via regular news channels and social media. While the messages are of a serious and precautionary nature, people are still finding the time to joke about it. Although contracting COVID-19 is no laughing matter, in my opinion, using humor in light of the situation is good diversion therapy. The jokes, memes, satire and puns are hilarious. Just yesterday I was thrown into fits of laughter at the barbershop as waiting customers and barbers talked about the peculiar methods people are adopting and the lengths to which they go to protect themselves. After all, laughter is still the best medicine.
Earlier in the day, I was standing in line and the gentleman in front of me coughed. I looked at him and he misinterpreted my look, turned to me with a smile on his face to inform me he did not have the corona virus. I chuckled and told him it did not cross my mind, and it really hadn’t until he mentioned it. I laughed because it made me realize everybody is becoming paranoid.
Currently, the island-wide “We Gatherin 2020” initiative is in full swing calling Bajans around the world to return to its shore. Well, now as the travel industry faces it worse nightmare and people are reconsidering their travel plans, we may see that many of the crowd drawing events may have to be postponed because if those expats come, as we would say in popular Bajan vernacular “we scattering” 🤣.
The last group are those who believe as the scriptures state that we are living in the last days of earth’s history. Their concern is not the current virus, but the deadliest virus known to man that is called SIN. Christians seem to be calmer and more collected in their approach of dealing with the outbreak of the corona virus, and so they are using this opportunity to tell others of the real danger of SIN. The corona virus can only take the body, but SIN can take both body and soul according to the sacred scriptures. I too belong to this last group. While I am paying attention and taking every precaution to safeguard myself and others against COVID-19, I recognize that there is a greater virus that infects mankind and we need to be aware of its deadly nature and accept the only known resistance and cure – Jesus.
Community Peeps, what’s going on around you? Are you taking all the steps to secure the health and well being of your loved ones and others? Please share your thoughts on the climate and perspectives around you in the comment box below. Don’t forget to practice the simple steps I gave in a previous post. Check the recommendations here.
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