AS we near the end of a dreadful year, we hope that 2021 will bring better things.
But we should be clear, things aren’t getting better in a hurry – and stories in today’s Tribune show just that.
There’s Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar, for example, admitting he’s not happy with the tourism numbers and coming to grips with the fact that “everyone understands that due to COVID-19, people are just travelling less”.
Then there’s the news of at least 50 job cuts at the Ocean Club on Paradise Island – which has reopened but is not seeing as strong a demand for the first quarter next year as it might have hoped for.
Farther afield, we can look to the US where the much-vaunted “Operation Warp Speed” for delivering vaccinations has been questioned as to whether it’s working fast enough to build up herd immunity in the population there by June next year.
Worse news still is that the COVID-19 variant causing difficulties in the UK – because it appears to spread more easily – has hopped the Atlantic and has now been found in Colorado too.
All this against a backdrop of Health Minister Renward Wells talking in positive terms about us not having seen an uptick of cases here over the holidays – but that it will take time for any cases spread during Christmas parties to become clear.
The problem is still with us. The problem is not going away any time soon. And tourism isn’t rebounding in a hurry.
So we carry the same old problems with us as we go into a new year. One thing we do have is hope. More vaccines are being cleared for use seemingly every week now, and we are still on target to start to receive vaccinations in the spring.
We wish the news was better. We wish the prospects of a recovery could be sooner. But the reality is we must keep on going. As the poet Robert Frost said, the best way out is always through.
We shall get through this, and we shall know to value our normal world all the more once we have.
Action on domestic violence
It is sad to note that another reported case of domestic violence has turned fatal.
Angeleta Pritchard was 36 years old and a mother of seven. She was said to have been killed in front of her young child at home.
This is not the first such case this year, but one of the concerns raised early in the cycle of lockdowns was how there might be a rise in domestic abuse.
Earlier this month, a grandmother was killed in her home and her daughter also attacked in another reported incident.
In September, another case saw eight-year-old Ednique Walker murdered alongside her mother, Alicia Sawyer.
There was talk of action in the wake of that killing. Police Commissioner Paul Rolle promised a “media blitz” on the issue of domestic violence that never came.
And now we have another reported case that has turned deadly.
Women United Northern Bahamas speak out today on the issue, and rightly so. They call for stiffer penalties and legislation that will become a deterrent and will protect our women and girls”.
They also call for shelters in Abaco and Grand Bahama, counselling and support services. They call for the police to receive training to appropriately deal with such cases.
To those in government, to those who head the police, we would say the call has been made – many times now. The question is, what will you do?