Systematic observance of the rules, patience and trust in God will get people through to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, says Anglican Bishop Laish Boyd.
“We have to recognize we are in unprecedented circumstances and we have to trust leadership by all of those various disciplines which God has created – science, medicine, public health, and we have to make sure we continue to observe all of the protocols,” Boyd told The Nassau Guardian.
“I know we get a little tired of having to wash our hands and social distance, but we must not get tired. We have to remain persistent, because that’s what’s going to get us through to the other side of this eventually – systematic observance of the rules.”
Boyd also encouraged people to be patient, even though he said he recognizes that patience is always difficult when people don’t know how long they’re going to have to be patient for.
“We have to be patient, because being impatient doesn’t help the situation,” he said.
The Anglican bishop said people need to trust God, and that their relationship with him should be one that is based on them doing what they can, and trusting God to do the rest. It is that relationship that he said people of faith have to build on.
Perseverance, he said, is also important during this process.
“One of the most difficult things about this whole COVID-19 era is there are so many questions that we can’t answer. We don’t know when we’re going to resume normalcy. We don’t know when the virus is going to be under control. There are so many things we don’t know. And in an environment where we don’t know – what do we do? Do we panic? That does not help. Do we become hysterical? That does not help. Do we jump up and down and scream? That will perhaps help relieve some tension, but that does not help. We have to be patient, and we have to exercise discipline, and commit ourselves to being occupied in whatever sphere that we are in.”
For the people doing the right thing and staying at home if it’s not an essential errand, he encouraged them to put together a schedule, keep a daily routine and try to exercise. He also encouraged them to busy themselves doing things they don’t normally get to do. Through it all, he urged them to be patient and carry on doing the things that are going to help in the long run.
When the church body is finally able to come together in the physical edifice once again, the Anglican bishop said he doesn’t know what the protocols will be once they resume, but that his church will rely on the experts to advise them with respect to that.
“I can say this – when we are able to resume normal gathering again, it will be a great and wonderful day. And we have to keep hope and expectation alive toward that time.”
He reminded that life is full of situations where people have to be hopeful and expectant.
“A relative goes away and you wait for them to come back. A child goes off to college and you look forward to them coming back. You enter into a mortgage and you look forward to the day when the mortgage will be paid off. So, life is full of those hope and expectation times, and this is something like that where we must not lose sight of that glorious day when we will be able to resume again. But in the meantime, we’re still the church – a fellowship of believers built upon Jesus Christ. And we can be the church wherever we are and whatever circumstances we’re in. It’s just up to us as individuals to take responsibility for our relationship with God, and to continue to work on that relationship, nevermind the physical or logistical circumstances.”
During this trying time of curfews, lockdowns and physical distancing, Boyd encouraged people to use their time, resources and limitations to the best of their ability.
“We can’t become despairing and give up, because this is a situation that is not about giving up. This is a journey that we’re on. This is an experience that we’re having, and one day we will be able to look back on this experience, for this experience is not forever.”
One thing he knows for certain is that he never thought he would be living in such a time.
“Never! Never imagined it,” said the Anglican bishop.
The Bahamas confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 15. A state of emergency is in place through May 30, accompanied by continued weekend lockdowns and a 24-hour curfew on weekdays to try to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The Bahamas had 81 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths and 25 recovered cases as of yesterday. Worldwide there were 3,247,648 confirmed cases and 230,804 deaths.
“It’s affecting the entire world, and we just have to go through it. World history is full of time, seasons, events…which were gigantic as we went through them. But we get through them and we look back on it as an historical note, as a time or experience, or a period in history, and this COVID-19 era will in due course be something that we look back on. We have to believe that,” said Boyd.