COVID-19 pandemic – When will it end

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden receives a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at ChristianaCare Christiana Hospital, in Newark, Delaware, U.S. December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Bula readers and happy Saturday to you during this fine month of February.

We have now been in a period of curfew and lockdown for almost one year and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any let up for the year 2021.

There were periods last year of hope when some felt by January 2021 we would be transitioning into a state of normalcy, some had predicted by June the latest we would be opening Bula bubbles with other nations, but alas no joy.

Unfortunately the reality looks a lot bleaker and this situation may even drag into late 2021 at this rate. I say this with a very heavy heart as Auckland just went into a another lockdown last week and Victoria in Australia has just finished a five-day snap lockdown across the whole state which has a population of over 6.5 million people.

With such outbreaks of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns the end of this uncertain period of time will not come with the so called miracle vaccines now widely available across most developed countries.

USA have confirmed they will have 600 million vaccine doses by July alone, but have not indicated as to when borders will open again.

Uncertainty looms as all the Pacific Island countries await their turn to have nationwide vaccines rolled out and administered.

It will certainly be hard to ascertain what happens once the vaccine programs have been completed in the Pacific community and being very small players in the global world, we will have to await what the larger nations decide to do, but one thing is for sure things will not get back to normal as fast as we had all hoped and prayed for.

It is certainly a wait and see situation as unfortunately debt rises, unemployment rises, poverty rises, and so many more social problems increase.

Maybe one of the major problems that has not been addressed widely and we have no real specialist medical facilities and trained counselors to deal with are depression, drug and alcohol abuse centers.

These are the real hidden dangers and during the pandemic these figures have soared in almost every country globally.

Developed countries have special councilors and drug and alcohol units which specialise in this area and they themselves have been overwhelmed with the increase in numbers of patients.

Here in Fiji we don’t have such facilities and therefore should be mindful to look out for one another and show more empathy during these trying times.

I am currently helping an individual who is struggling with depression and alcohol issues, but as helpless as I feel I only have kind words and reassurance to muster at this stage along with making sure his family and friends are there to assist him as best they can during this time.

Let’s face facts we are certainly struggling with limited services across all sectors, but we are also resourceful, which means we can muster compassion and we also still have the love in our hearts that can help each other overcome these social problems that are dogging our beloved nation.

As much as I am ever optimistic , I will have to concede that in the immediate future things will only get worse as the poor will continue to get poorer and we will have to rely on our community spirit and compassion to help each other through these difficult times.

Charity is a great attribute we all have as individuals and collectively we should all continue to give where we can and how ever we can as it is also good for the spirit and soul.

Finally, during this pandemic be kind, be generous, be understanding and most of all be forgiving in these very trying times, which unfortunately may continue in the near future.

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