Survival mode


Survival mode


Sunday, May 24, 2020

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MANY strive at all cost to climb the social ladder, live in luxurious homes, take dream vacations, drive fancy cars, while having a little fortune stashed away in the bank. This, in a bid to make the most of what life has to offer.

Life seemed to have been sharply divided between the haves and the have-nots, but the novel coronavirus has levelled the playing field, making none — despite social, political, or economic status — immune. We are in survival mode.

Getting by is good enough

While many were not content with simply getting by, this now seems to be the new normal. Many noble plans have halted, as people become more content with just surviving each day. What better is there to do, though?

For the past two years, I have been busily collating evidence for a promotion at work. What's the sense, right now, I wondered, especially when a colleague asked what can a dream house or fancy car do for us now? Only survival and health seem to count these days, and being in survival mode demands that we have a healthy view of certain things.

A healthy view of material things

It has sadly taken COVID-19 for some to do deep introspection. We had misplaced priorities. Some sacrificed family and friends for the sake of the almighty dollar, when people — and not money — make the world go round.

The reality hits deep when we see so many lives being snuffed out daily. One associate is mourning the loss of five people in her family due to COVID-19. Four died overseas, and a local aunt who heard the news took it to heart. Then you think to yourself, not even a moment to say goodbye.

Love people and use things

Many, instead, use people and love things, only to realise the folly of this. Life has real value, not things. We need to take time to refocus and put first things first in our lives. Never take for granted the moment you spend with loved ones, for it could be their last. Tell loved ones you love them and show them by making time to send a text, give a call, or do a kind act.

Tomorrow is promised to no one, and especially so when COVID-19 has joined crime, accidents, lifestyle diseases, and old age to take us out. COVID-19 has shown us that not even getting the body of a dead loved one for a funeral is a right, with many bodies disposed of given health risks involved.


When the threat of COVID-19 is no more, be determined to live, laugh and love more. In fact, to the extent possible, do it now. Make and treasure finer moments with self, family and friends.

We are blessed if we get past 80/90 years of life with minimal sickness. Work for that, for life is too short to worry over things that are still here even when we pass. Change what you can change. Whatever you can't, try to have it under control or adjust your mind set.

Worrying, remember, is that rocking chair that has you moving and gets you nowhere.

Live and help others

At the end of the day, we have a personal responsibility for our survival. We bear in mind though that to whom much is given, much is demanded. Parents, employers and government, therefore, have a respective duty to children, employees, and citizens to set guidelines and provide frequent reminders to protect those under their supervision.

Yes, as we get by, may our responsible actions aid others to do the same, even as we develop a healthy mindset to life and value each moment with loved ones as if it were our last.

Warrick Lattibeaudiere (PhD), a minister of religion for the past 22 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

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