EDITOR, The Tribune.
Be thankful that you have access to the internet, are able to read this, and are able to order your groceries online/watch TV online/take a course online. Some persons among us don’t even have electricity where they live. Further to that some cannot even read or write.
Be thankful that you have a car to be able to get to the grocery store/laundromat/ pharmacy/hospital. As public transportation has been deemed “non-essential”, some have to walk to the grocery store/laundromat/ pharmacy/hospital or beg a ride from a friend or family member. Oh wait, they should be practising social distancing, so they should NOT do the latter. Besides, there is the growing opinion in some circles that “too many people are on the road” and Bahamians just need to stay home.
Be thankful that you can “stay in place” in a relatively comfortable space, with enough food that you can afford to not “be on the road” every day. Some among us, if they have a place to live, do live in dwellings that do not allow for space to practice social distancing between their multiple family members. Also, some of these same persons did not eat at all today, including their children. Staying in place is not a pleasant experience for some, for a myriad of reasons. Remember that.
Be thankful that you have running water to wash your hands multiple times a day. Some among us do not have running water in their homes, have to tote water from the public pump, and use the bathroom in an outhouse. Hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks are luxuries.
Be thankful that you have enough money in the bank or have a reliable enough employer that you will be able to pay electricity, water, cable/internet, phone, rent/mortgage, school fees, gas, grocery and other random bills until the end of this proposed 24-hour curfew period. Some among us work multiple jobs, yet barely make ends meet. With public transportation shut down, non-essential stores (jobs) shut down, and not being able to travel freely to even borrow a couple of dollars from a friend or family member (due to social distancing), a surprising number of Bahamians will have to rely on government handouts to sustain them – for quite some time.
Be thankful that you are Bahamian (or are here in The Bahamas legally). Some among us live in fear that they will be returned to a place that would make even the hardest heart break at seeing the extreme level of poverty and lack of opportunity that exists there.
Be thankful that you can catch up on your religious worship online. Some among us value their church grouping as family. Social interaction in person is a powerful part of Bahamian religious culture. There is an inherent power in gathering together like-minds in prayer and reverence. That enlightening experience has been nullified for many.
Be thankful that you are healthy. Some among us due to age and/or underlying conditions cannot risk being infected during this deadly pandemic, yet simultaneously find themselves thrust into stressful, inconvenient situations where family members they rely upon cannot visit for fear of being arrested for a “non-essential” visit across town.
Be thankful that you live in a democracy and can say practically whatever you like. Some among us do not have the voice to be able to tell others what they are going through, yet have persons who cannot relate to their life challenges harshly judge (and make decisions for) them on a daily basis.
Just be thankful during these troubled times.
And watch your privilege.
March 30, 2020