If somebody would have approached me many years ago and said to me that one day Belize would have come to this, I would have told them not so! But, my golly goodness! I am sorely flummoxed to see the way things are going and the horrid state that my sweet Belize is in! We are currently grappling with an unprecedented health crisis, the fragmentation of our democracy and a most dire economic time that has been further exacerbated of late. Put all this together and I say, these are some serious times!
Last week was quite an interesting week as the country bore witness to one spectacle after the other. We were eerily reminded that Covid-19 still very much exists and is a very serious and deadly virus. While we had the perception that it had gone away and was giving us a break to return to business as usual, Covid-19 once again reminded us that we cannot let our guards down. The numbers are on a steady increase, and the virus continues to proliferate while we want to live in abeyance of its severity.
This virus continues to spread based on our behavior and sheer lack of adherence. And clearly, when we act in contravention of best practices, Covid-19 wastes no time to wreak havoc among us. Clearly, (well at least for now) the choice of inoculation is yours to be had. One cannot compel you to jab or not to jab, but whatever choice you make, it is your personal duty to take care of yourself and practice safety measures, ‘cause Covid-19 is still with us. Failure to comply will land you on the daily info-graphic. So better remain vigilant!
Then switching gears, no doubt, arguably the greatest spectacle of last week was the grand showcase showdown in the Opposition party! What a sekestre, I tell you! As I watched in utter dismay and sheer disbelief, I was flabbergasted. Who would have thought that we would have witnessed something of that sort in our little tranquil haven of democracy? I mean, I could understand rebuilding and petty indifference in a party, but we cannot deny that such a move was bold; and will no doubt provoke indignance. Nonetheless, I’ll say no more on the matter except that I pray that it is sorted out with expediency with a view to bringing remediation, as a strong opposition is vital to a sound democracy.
As we continue to keep our eyes open on the health and democratic front, we cannot ignore how bad things are economically. Prior to the recent reduction in salaries, things were already dire. It has now been compounded with the reduction in wages. I spoke to a few persons who shared with me the severity of their plight. One person noted to me that as a direct result of the cut, they now have to choose between buying groceries or paying the utilities. Yes, that is how seriously one person was affected by this cut; while another commented to me that, given all his previous deductions, simply finding disposable income to amount to the cut is challenging.
I tell you, these are some serious times. The outlook is grim and is marred by the bleak economic prognosis. People are suffering and are taking a lick. People who once enjoyed financial security and stability now find themselves in dire economic straits, utterly confounded by the sharp turn of events in our country. The once cushioned middle class have been plunged into the poverty pool and now find that down there, it’s hard to stay afloat amidst the murky waters.
I swear, the times that we are living in are so critical. As I sit down and try to take it all in and muse on how quickly we were landed here, it’s nerve-racking, to say the least. Now, in hindsight, I could vividly recall that Mama used to always seh: “Son, tings wa get haad, yuh nuh!” Soberly and subtly reflecting on her words evokes in me eerie chills of a nostalgic saudade. But clearly, there’s no going back to what once was. We are here today and mein, I tell you, things rough! And as much as we would want to return to former days of glory, life’s harsh and brutal reality is upon us, and we are forced to grapple with its hardships and its snares. As we seek to cope and battle with what we collectively face, it’s unfortunate; but many won’t make it, and those who do will be left to contemplate the outcome. From henceforth, survival mode has been fully activated and, oh well, now it will be survival of the fittest!
Unchained Reflections Of A Liberal Pragmatist.