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Saturday, May 8, 2021
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A Beguiling Lull

Well, I tell you, this Easter was a good one! Every corner and nook of the country that offered a tourism product was full. Each island and islet, each cove and cavern, each nestled getaway and every sandy beach were left with an imprint. The local tourism industry came alive this past weekend and was teeming with Belizeans, coupled with some visitors in various parts of the country. We celebrated in kindred spirits with family; we took leisure trips and did barbecues, and we generally had a good time, while spending our dollars at home. To that I say, all good and well-done!

But now, with the passage of the Easter weekend and with that now behind us, as I look forward through austere lens, there is a beguiling lull that looms over and around us! Stop! Take a minute… just look outside. Look around. It’s quiet. There’s like an eerie mistiness that hangs over the place, that of a beguiling lull. What can it be? What is causing it? The air is dense, and the silence is deafening. There’s no buzzing and swarming of activities, and movement has come to a standstill. What is this beguiling lull that has taken over us?

Truth be told, it can’t be said with certainty what is causing this lull to which I make reference. But I know that a few weeks ago marked 1 year since Covid-19 really affected us here in Belize and altered our course of life as we once knew it. So, given the trending low numbers at Easter time, one could understand why everybody wanted to get out. It wasn’t a celebration that we have Covid-19 under control, but it was a soulful liberation that one needed — to just free the mind a little from all the woes and strife that plagued us for a year.

But now, after the Easter getaway, there lies this beguiling lull that looms and hovers eerily above us. Is it despair? Is it that we didn’t want the Easter to end and we would have rather stayed in our sweet and serendipitous bliss? Is it that the vacation evoked a keen feeling of nostalgia, and now we sit awake clamoring for the days of old? Or is it the sheer uncertainty of what lies ahead for us as a country and a people in the ensuing weeks and months as we embark on a gargantuan task of mammoth proportions to trim the sails of the economic storm we find ourselves in and rein in this sinking ship?

Regardless of the reason, when put all together, there is this existential beguiling lull that hangs over. As we endeavored to celebrate Easter and set out to enjoy the weekend (now gone), in the minds of many it was a must. Because, perhaps, it would be the last of such trips for the next few years. It would probably mean the last splurge of enjoyment we would get by tapping into disposable income to mark a festive weekend. One celebrated amid turmoil, with dwindling hope and uncertainty looming. So, it now begs the question: what happens next?

Well, as was the case before the Easter, the economy remains under dire economic strain. The crisis still looms over us, and the prognosis remains grim. The Easter was a chance to put the ails that plague us on the back burner momentarily, while a more celebratory and relaxing mood prevailed. But, with that now done and gone, we are now faced with the same grim reality that was shut away for a weekend. That same grim reality that brews uncertainty and fear. Melancholy and despair have now returned to take center stage. So perhaps, that explains the beguiling lull that looms over us.

The budget is set to be tabled in the next couple of weeks. It’s anybody’s guess as to what it entails. But one thing I’m certain of is that it will have a lot of austerity and cuts! Yup, we are in a precarious position. And as a people we know it. Though we ignored it for a few days to enjoy ourselves, it has cast its shadows over us once more, and its dark clouds hover over the periphery. Best indications suggest that very little is being birthed from the ongoing negotiations between government and the unions, further exacerbating the beguiling lull. Nothing haunts more than the dismal unknown, and the sheer uncertainty is producing quite an eerie lull.

One can only say that this beguiling lull that we are experiencing is an eerie and a misty one. It evokes a deep and abiding feeling of nostalgia and has one dreaming of better days! But in the midst of this lull lies the great unknown. What happens next? What happens to our collective security and overall standard of living? Is this lull a sort of warning that the storm’s brunt may be rolling in? Or is this beguiling lull a subtle chance for reflection that will in turn brew change and chart a path to rebound and sustainability? Well, truth is, it’s anybody’s guess, and I don’t know! Like all else, time will tell — time will tell. Until then, un dia a la vez!

Unchained Reflections Of A Liberal Pragmatist.

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