“Behind every dark cloud, there is an every-shining star. Just wait. In time, the cloud will pass”-Marianne Williamson
Like the rest of the world, the Turks and Caicos is experiencing an astronomical increase in the number of COVI9 cases forcing the Government to make some harsh decisions such as implementing curfews. Some countries like the UK remains under a lockdown. This has created a dark cloud on the economy and the health of individuals worldwide.
Canada has taken an aggressive step in protecting its citizens by suspending all flights to the Caribbean and Mexico until September 30th. Coincidentally, our tourism peak period is normally until April 30th. While the majority of our tourists are from USA, this decision by the Canadian Government will still bring about a dark cloud. According to the 2019 tourism statistics, 45,125 tourists visited the Turks and Caicos Islands from Canada.
The USA has not taken a dramatic step like Canada but the Centers of Disease and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that US citizens do not travel in order to curb COVID 19. However, if they travel, they are required to provide proof a negative COVID 19 test within 3 days of travel. Some states will also require individuals to be in quarantine. In 2019, there were over 397,547 tourists arriving by airlines to the Turks and Caicos Islands. If the impact of COVID 19 interrupts 2021 like what happened in 2020, it will bring about more dark clouds to the Turks and Caicos Islands and other Caribbean Islands.
The Dark Clouds
The introductory paragraph of this article has illustrated the dark clouds that occurred as a result of COVID 19. However, the biggest dark cloud is the loss of lives during this pandemic. In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have already had 9 deaths due to the impact of COVID 19. Of course the people that died had underlying conditions and due to their weak immune system, COVID 19 took their lives.
According to the World Health Organization, as of January 31st, there were 102, 083,344 confirmed cases including 2,209,195 deaths.
The USA has just sworn in a new President and I believe most people expected improvement in the COVID 19 cases and therefore some of the promises that were made to restore the economy may not take place because the economic activities depend on the behaviours of people and the organizations they work for.
In the Turks and Caicos, the two major political parties have aggressive plans in their manifestos but these plans may not be materialize if COVID 19 is not under control and therefore more dark clouds will emerge.
The sun will still shine
According to Marianne Williamson ““Behind every dark cloud, there is an every-shining star. Just wait. In time, the cloud will pass”
At the end of 2020, many individuals were happy that 2020 was going away because of all the dark clouds that were hanging in the atmosphere. Now here we are in 2021, and things continue to look dim.
However, let us be honest, there was so much creativity and innovation in 2020 and that alone is a fact that the sun will still shine.
Many of you thought you were not going to make it but you did. Yes we lost some friends and family members. If our friends and family members knew Jesus, they are in a better place right now.
COVID 19 will not last forever. There are protocols in place for us to follow and many of us are still not washing our hands and wearing masks. If you want to see the sun shine, follow the protocols.
There are two major vaccines namely Pfizer and Moderna, which have been authorized and approved to be used to build up your immune system. I am not going to tell you whether or not to take the vaccines, for that is a personal choice but the fact is, vaccines are available. They were not available last year but they are now. The Governor was able to secure vaccines from the UK. Many other countries in Caribbean and the World still do not have access to these vaccines.
I know how dark the clouds look and nobody wants a repeat of 2020 but I believe that at the end of the day, the dark cloud will soon go away and the sun will shine brightly.