Strong and wholesome community is a great tool against adversity: that has been a lesson from the pandemic. The social, economic, and physical health, of BVI Community, is hugely dependent upon the cohesiveness and health of the various components and constituencies that make up that community.
Wholesome community is the basis for prevailing against the winds of adversity blowing over the territory at this time: from IRMA, through to the present pandemic, and now a very public investigation of the Virgin Islands
On the other hand, disunity and disharmony make it difficult for agencies to operate, and diminish the very institutions and moral rules meant to protect and drive a strong society. Politicians who thrive on division eventually fall to their own folly.
Hatred, anger, divisiveness, lawlessness, and poverty, are very present and increasing dangers for BVI Community that are the direct result of a weakened community structure.
And the fact is that in the 25 years this Old Boy has lived in paradise he has never seen a more weakened and besieged BVI Community.
Division is growing between various social groups in the community and has reached the stage where it threatens to tear the community apart, quite literally. Anyone who has failed to observe the seething animosities and fear bubbling just beneath the surface in the BVI is self-deceived.
And cohesion is not helped by ‘’stupid rhetoric’’ from leaders in the society blaming expats for crime, which is clearly an inaccurate assertion.
IRMA and pandemic has increased poverty, and has placed specific social constituencies in ‘’deprived status.’
Social inequality has increased as a result of the preceding crises and the society is today clearly divided into them versus us. Social classes, and ethnic and racial groups, are today, as far apart as ever before.
Residents during this time of pandemic and economic recession are clearly stressed. Human fragility has been laid bare. There is fear and anger everywhere.
The good thing in the midst of this social crisis is the number of residents engaged in volunteering, and a community that is stepping out to help each other, and those, especially in need.
When there is a social crisis persons on the ground must step in to do what the government cannot. That is the basis of community: it takes a village.
One great success was the fact that it was the community acting on the advice of various health agencies and the Minister of health that kept the covid
19 pandemic under control in the BVI and wider Easter Caribbean Community.
It was the example of a strong community that adhered to the protocols and stayed indoors, and obeyed the various curfew orders.
The fact is, a wholesome community is a fortress and refuge in time of trouble.
Belonging to a strong, unified, and compassionate community protects residents against depression, improves the welfare of the elderly, protects children and the vulnerable, helps in the fight against crime, and enables greater awareness of what is taking place- good or bad- in the neighbourhood.
On the other hand, the opposite of community means loneliness, division, and social misery. The opposite of community is not knowing how your neighbour fares, or the what, why, when, how, and where, of your own corner of paradise.
The opposite of community is a life of social isolation that will lead to a host of evils, including poor health, and a shorter lifespan.
The best way to live a secure and happy life is to live within a strong, cohesive, and wholesome community.
The BVI is steadily moving away from that place.