Coping during a pandemic pt. III
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Over the last view months, I have been interacting with family, friends and strangers online and one of the things I have noticed is the presence of compassion in most people no matter where they were from or their race. The pandemic has adverse effects on the world but lots of positive things are emerging. Pause and reflect on the pain the world is seeing and weeping with those who weep. I think the compassion we are witnessing of over the world because of the brutal murder of George Floyd is partly due to people having time to pause and reflect on the pain the world is experiencing through this pandemic and we need each other in more ways than we would want to admit. Nothing changes until our mind changes. We can’t always control circumstances but you can always control your own thoughts. The world was shocked at some of the people who are showing empathy and mourning with the people who are morning and crying with the people who are crying.
It reminded me of a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

This week I am closing the series featuring various perspectives from people from around the globe and I will begin with my fellow Bartician.

“I was intrigued but didn’t think anything about it because the Ebola outbreak didn’t reach Guyana and I took comfort in that. I had already taken precautions in having my two sons use more fruits and local juices during this time. But the scariest news was on March 11 when it was confirmed our first case and death of COVID 19. My world changed drastically as everything I was monitoring became my worst nightmare. I immediately stopped sending them to school and started working with them from home. The hardest adjustment for me is no hugging when I get off the road. I have changed my entire mode of dress as well since COVID 19. I’m asthmatic and as such, I’m in the vulnerable group. I have started covering my hair, long sleeves and long garments that are put to wash as soon as I get home. Even though I’m Catholic most persons think I look like a Muslim now but I’m more comfortable and confident in my new style choice.” Cianna Persaud –Journalist/ Station Coordinator of Radio Bartica 95.1 FM

“During this Pandemic, it has been a roller coaster of emotions, as I am a frontline worker in Barbados. Seeing the entire world transform right before your eyes economically, socially, and academically causes you to change the way we approach life differently. The whole idea of having to wear a mask and being restricted in our movement and freedom during curfew hours bring about a feeling of imprisonment of the mind, body and soul. Some positive things which have emerged from this Pandemic are, we are seeing families restructure and strengthen; we are embracing technology more and people are planting and growing more food.”- Ishiaka McNiel, Civil Society, Bridgetown Barbados
“Working from home has both positives and negatives. First, the freedom to set your own hours, I’m usually up at 4:00hrs and by 8:00hrs most of my routine tasks such as emails, content development and notes are completed. Rest of day for 2-3 Zoom or webinar meetings. You also get to wear your pyjamas all day. The downside is the many distractions such as Netflix, overeating/snacking and taking three- hour power naps. I do miss the physical human and social interaction, being able to see smiles, read peoples’ faces and the likes.”- Juanna Mc Kenzie Joseph, Antigua

“My experience during this world lockdown was a bittersweet one. The Nigerian Government had In late March 2020 ordered a lockdown on all activities in some parts of the Nation including the part I reside. People could only go out to make purchases for foodstuff among other essential services as the lockdown was relaxed twice a week. The palliatives shared by the Government did not also reach affected areas due to the usual and massive complicity by those charged with the duty of sharing these palliatives. The Good part for me, was it gave me ample time to develop myself among others, I read books by John Maxwell among other Authors. The lockdown experience for me was really fruitful. I also shared palliatives personally to people who were not able to afford any means of getting by.”- Umoru Theophilus Iko-Ojo. Lawyer, Nigeria.

“The little things we take for granted the pandemic brings that in perspective for me and my family. COVID-19 hit close to home for me as I lost a dear cousin, had two more recovered. When she could not be reached and upon visiting her home, I found her dead and it shattered my life for weeks because this COVID is real. Church from our living room as church doors closed, getting groceries in the long line, wearing masks and gloves only to realise that is the new norm. The fear, the anxiety, being exposed and not get tested. I started treating myself as if I had COVID. The stay at home brings the family closer, it gave us time for the little things that our busy lives took away and when that busy life was taken away, you realised what matters the most. Coming out of this pandemic you realise that relationships are one of the most valuable things with family and friends. We are taking the necessary precautions to stay safe.”- Jacqueline Robinson Williams, Independent Life Insurance Agent, Florida, USA

Send us an email beyondtherunway1@gmail.com) sharing your experience during this pandemic. None of us has a date when this will be over but let us continue to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers as we continue to celebrate this beautiful journey called life BEYOND THE RUNWAY.

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