EDITOR, The Tribune.
On National Heroes Day, 2020, as well as congratulating those receiving national awards, I salute the thousands of Bahamian COVID-19 front line workers, who continue to give selflessly, including those who have lost their lives because of COVID-19. Their sacrifices can give us pause to rediscover what it means to advance the common good.
We are living the balance between individual rights and collective responsibility. Spiritual leaders, including those of all religions, continue to implore humankind on the responsibility of being our brother’s keeper.
The front line workers, I hesitate to list categories in case I miss any, rose to the occasion.
Before we knew about asymptomatic and aerosolised spread, they were on the front line. With limited access to free testing and no guarantee of a vaccine, they are still on the front line. They are responding to the call to be our brother’s keeper. In doing so, they are keeping our community functioning.
This is what Bahamians do, face and conquer challenges. It would be wonderful to salute those who lost their lives by having a space, where their names could be recorded, and their service remembered.
What can we do to say thank you and to be our brother’s keeper?
Even while knowledge of the virus is evolving, scientists confirm that a few things work:
(1) properly wear your mask whenever you leave your home and encourage people whom you meet to properly wear their masks too;
(2) frequently wash your hands and sanitise cell phones, remotes, door knobs, light switches and other surfaces;
(3) if you can, work from home, leaving home only when necessary;
(4) encourage the young people in your house to stay home; and when you or they go out,
(5) while properly wearing your mask, stay six feet or more away from people whom you meet. When we think about it, doing these things is getting back to basics.
These actions work. They save lives. They will decrease new COVID-19 cases. They will enable hotels, restaurants and other facilities to safely open so that we can move to sustained economic growth.
If everyone does these five things, as well as being our brother’s keeper, we will be: showing the world that the warmth and generosity of the Bahamian spirit is alive and well; rebuilding The Bahamas; and, saying thank you to those, on the front line, who gave their lives and those who continue to serve on the front line.
Thank you to all front line workers who serve, without seeking recognition or reward, and thank you to all front line workers who have lost their lives. You exemplify national service.
National Heroes Day 2020 is a time to acknowledge those who daily make sacrifices and for introspection, and action, on what each of us can do, all of which advance the common good.
October 12, 2020,