EDITOR, The Tribune
Stephen Hawking, the late 74-year-old Cambridge professor, said: “The world is facing huge environmental and technological challenges and needs to unite and work together to protect the humanity. We face awesome environmental challenges:
“Climate change, food production, over population, and epidemic disease. He said we are at the most dangerous time in humanity’s development.”
“Stephen Hawking IQ 160”.
Some 30 years ago I was booked on a Chalks airline flight from Fort Lauderdale to Nassau. The weather was terrible, with lots of thunder and rain so there were several delays with the probability of an outright cancellation.
The plane, a 28-seater, was half booked, but as we waited everyone, except six of us, decided to cancel. Among us were a German couple that appeared to be slightly tipsy and seemed not to be worried about the weather. Throughout the entire waiting process they were joking and having a good time.
Eventually the decision was made to proceed with the flight. Once on board the plane, just after taking off the captain cautioned us to stay in our seats because we were in for a rough ride.
The exuberant couple were still in a party mood and were not paying attention to the announcements.
That was until we felt the first of what was to be severe turbulence throughout the entire flight. Then they started to sober up and realize this was not an ordinary every day flight.
Once fully sober the lady started sobbing uncontrollably for several minutes. And after a while they both started to pray loudly not caring who was listening.
Throughout the entire flight the captain and cabin attendant was telling us to remain seated and stay calm informing us that everything was under control.
I would be lying if I told you I was not scared because even though I was a frequent flyer on Chalks this was the worst weather I had ever flown in.
The flight was not more than an hour but because of the weather it seemed like forever.
Once we landed in Nassau and cleared customs the couple had calmed down, but were in a somber mood. The gentleman asked me if there were any Catholic Churches nearby, I assured him that finding one would be no problem. Before saying our goodbyes they told me how afraid they were and that the flight had impacted their lives dramatically.
Last week after several public addresses on the seriousness of Covid-19 and telling us not to panic the Prime Minister after putting several restrictions in place imposed a curfew closing the country down from 9:00pm until 5:00am.
The Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands has been on radio/talk shows almost every day reminding us about the seriousness of this virus.
Most of us understood and are paying attention to what is being said. But just like the German couple on flight Chalks some of us were oblivious to what was going on around us and did not pay attention to the announcements. Going to beaches, parading the streets, partying and doing our own thing.
Now Dr Minnis has taken the curfew to the limit. A 24-hour shut down.
Like the couple on flight Chalks we now realize that we are in for a turbulent flight and are beginning to see the seriousness of our dilemma.
After remembering the couple on flight Chalks I can appreciate the reasoning for the bars being closed during the curfew.
Most Bahamians enjoy a glass of wine or a cold Kalik at times but now is not the time for carousing. Because while most of us hold our alcohol well sometimes after a few sips we tend to allow our inhibitions to drop. Which could result in us being careless and not maintaining the proper hygienic procedural measures recommended to help combat the Coronavirus disease. Putting everyone’s lives at risk.
Today thirty years later I’m reminded of my friends how once landed the first thing they asked me was “is there a Catholic Church nearby? “ That is the way it always is. Dramatic experiences cause us to remember the very thing we’ve been ignoring all of our lives.
The church and Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
At this very moment the entire world is in pandemic mode, but the CAPTAIN, not Dr Minnis; not Donald Trump is saying stay calm and to use this time of technology to fellowship with each other and to spend quality time with Him.
He wants to remind us to ride out the storm because this time of social distancing and isolation will not last forever.
For we were not created to be alone or in confinement. but for community and harmony.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
Eventually....when this perilous time is ended and the purge is over. After we’ve had the most dramatic experience of our lives, we will be given a fresh start, a new lease on life.
Until then we have all that we need. Prayer, Family, the Bible and technology. We are not alone. We are all in this together and love will see us through.
This too shall pass.
East Street South
March 30, 2020