Don't lose hope, there is light ahead

Don't lose hope, there is light ahead

Monday, March 30, 2020

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As news of doom and gloom related to COVID-19 flood people's space, it is very easy for some to descend into extreme depression and hopelessness.

Such moods not only undermine mental and physical health, they cripple capacity to identify solutions and get things done.

That's why the uplifting Sunday Observer lead story focusing on a happy, young Jamaican woman stranded on a cruise ship hits home like a balm in Gilead.

We are told that our heroine, who goes by the pet name Ali, joined the cruise vessel in early February to begin her nine-month contract as a spa technician.

She saw it as “a great opportunity to travel to some of the most picturesque destinations and get paid at the same time”.

She was living her dream when the novel coronavirus — in the words of the Sunday Observer article — “took the world by storm, crippling the tourism industry, starting with the cruise lines”.

For now and the immediate future, Ali and fellow crew members are stranded on the high seas since no port is willing to take a chance in case the dreaded virus is on-board their ship.

Yet, far from being depressed or dismayed, Ali is seemingly in high spirits with a zest for life and the world around her that we suspect is highly contagious for others.

We are told that she is constantly seeing the brighter side of life. The way she sees it, she is, according to our writer, “safe and away from the spreading danger on land. She has comfortable accommodations, unlimited food, round-the-clock entertainment, and great amenities such as the pool and gym”.

She tells us that “It does not feel like quarantining [being away from land in a ship at sea]. The only drawback is that we are not allowed to go on shore.”

We hear that in her frequent contacts with friends and family, made possible by digital technology, Ali is having a positive impact.

She tells us that: “Everybody says they can't wait to see me very soon. They say that my cheerful spirit is an inspiration to them at home and a credit to Jamaica. I'm lucky to be on a great ship with a great crew.”

It's that spirit of never-say-die optimism and always being prepared to see the brighter side that has kept people going despite seemingly insurmountable odds since the dawning of human existence.

That's the spirit of optimism and hope which must come to the fore in order to make sure the many problems arising from one day to the next in this time of crisis are identified and corrected.

That spirit will make sure Jamaicans come together to do whatever is necessary in support of national leadership to keep the under-resourced health sector going, no matter what.

That same positive vibe will help to ensure we find ways for our farmers to keep going, despite the blip caused by the temporary collapse of tourism; and that ways and means — digital and otherwise — are provided so children currently out of school aren't left behind.

It's the vibe that will make sure that no matter what, the hungry, deprived, ignorant and vulnerable are taken care of, not neglected.

Ali's example is for all of us: Don't give up, don't lose hope. There is light ahead.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


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