Due to the invasion of COVID-19, our lives have been transferred to a path most unorthodox.
The emergency orders set in place for the common good have placed the Bahamian people under yet another test of strength and survival. Although we are to assume that everything done was in the overall best interest of our citizens, we cannot overlook the disparaging effects it has had on the psyche of our fellow Bahamians.
During the past months, I have received and reviewed an influx of unwarranted videos showcasing our Bahamian people behaving in a manner that is most unbecoming of the ideals that this nation strives to uphold.
I have seen the endangerment of family, friends and coworkers, all in the pursuit of a hard beverage and a few moments of idle socializing.
I have seen the footage of so-called friends carrying out malicious acts of violence on another, under the promise of a few dollars (with limited places to spend them due to emergency orders).
Worst of all, I’ve seen local entrepreneurs imprisoned and placed in debt for trying to provide for their families, whereas large corporations and politicians receive barely a slap on the wrist for blatantly disrespecting the protocols put in place by the government.
The point I am championing is not that the emergency orders were not necessary because I can rationalize the stance taken by the nation’s leader to protect his citizens by any means necessary. However, I think large-scale consideration should be given to promote, if not ensure, the psychological recovery of a typically social nation traumatized by unprecedented lengths of isolation.
This trauma we have been exposed to can be observed in many ways, such as a change in eating habits, whether overeating to cope with the stresses or anxieties of being kept isolated for extended periods, or under-eating in fear of depleting all of one’s resources.
Isolation can also cause the development of delirium, where a person’s mind projects a false reality in order to avoid the truth of a situation.
In closing, I’d like to remind us all of William Golding’s novel “Lord of the Flies”, in which a group of schoolboys crashed onto a deserted island and are left to their own devices.
The once mannerly, well-behaved kids quickly lost their way, becoming savages scouring for food and fighting for shelter. They had forgotten who they were and shed their formal ideals for the means of survival. They transformed into what they thought they needed to be in order to preserve themselves.
Will we be proud of who we’ve become when the smoke has cleared?
— Will Hunting