Letters & Opinion

Planning Life Beyond COVID-19

“You can’t predict or control the future. You can only adapt. You can, however, live in the present. Raghav Mathur

Image of Edward Harris
Harris at Large by Edward Harris

It is time to wake up to the reality that we have to adapt to the New Normal. Failure to do so will result in stagnation and life will simply draw to a halt. Regardless of whatever state we find ourselves, our best weapon is to be optimistic. It is with a sense of frustration that we awake daily with the scourge of COVID 19 staring us in our faces. We hear about the death of loved ones and friends. It’s a daunting experience and no one could have predicted such a state of affairs in this modern era where human advancement has never been greater.

This year, everyone hoped that Back to School would have been different with our children in the classroom but rather, it is back to online learning. Our children and grandchildren are being robbed of the joys we experienced during school days which many of us like to refer to as that period when our minds were being developed with education being at the very core. The good old days were truly good old days. Nothing today can compare to that time when little things meant a lot and respect for parents, elders and our friends was engraved in our hearts. Love comes from the heart. The greatest commandment is – that we love one another.

In our quest to get on with our busy lives, we compensate and pamper our children with gifts that are addictive and in many cases cause them to become oblivious of what is going on around them. Manners maketh Man is no longer instilled in the minds of our children. Many children find it difficult to greet adults. It is so uplifting when we are greeted by Good Morning from a youngster. It is no wonder that we find ourselves in the state that the world is in today. The virtues that were taught in the past were undermined for decades now.

Technology has given our children their independence at a very   early age when parental control should be at its strictest. In many homes today, youngsters ignore the presence of other persons in their immediate surroundings when they are logged on to their iPads and Smartphones. Story telling which is the      foundation of local and family history is not encouraged due to a lack of interest from our youngsters. The method of delivering education has to be revisited to produce a more rounded student/citizen.

Most times our governments within the region are being reactive rather than proactive. The time has come for our leaders in every sphere of life to take stock of the present position and plan for the future beyond COVID 19. It is time for a RESET. GO BOLD, GO BIG! This is our moment to be creative and venture outside of the box. Explore opportunities that are consistent with the new normal – whatever you presume it to be. It is all about PLANNING, PLANNING, PLANNING! Our ability to win tomorrow depends heavily on how we plan today.

Strategic Planning was applied in all sectors of our national economy. Many of those plans will have to be modified or scrapped altogether. In the past thirty months, things have really changed. In many instances, things will not return to the way they were. It is because of the various uncertainties, it has become necessary to return to the drawing board with vision and energy. Let us challenge ourselves to do what has never been done before. However, we must be prepared to be flexible with our planning as we live in an era that is fluid.

In spite of COVID 19, the state of New York was reopened to business a few weeks ago with a concert which showcased a great line-up of musicians, singers, and personalities in show business. This week, we saw the return of shows to Broadway. New Yorkers should be proud of their achievements. This entailed planning and financing with the cooperation of leaders in the public and private sectors. A Festival Planning Committee should be set up to make 2022 our best year of festivals ever in Saint Lucia. The energy should be spontaneous and contagious.

There are a few promoters who would no doubt be working on plans to get on the road with entertainment programmes even before 2022, because for most of them, this is all they do. Cultural and Social programmes should be encouraged with granting of meaningful incentives. It will be one sure way of rejuvenating our citizens. St. Lucia! St. Lucia! Let the show begin! Let us begin to plan aggressively for life beyond COVID 19.

Follow the science, get vaccinated, stay safe, and stay home. Keep the faith, Yahweh is in charge. We shall overcome.

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