EDITORIAL – Pushing ahead
The year 2020 will be remembered for many different things.
For this company, it will be the untimely loss of our Publisher – Sir Anthony Bryan – in June of this year.
It happened in the midst of the lockdown, which was in the process of being lifted.
Sir Anthony was a man who shunned the spotlight, but played a critical role behind the scenes to ensure that this newspaper maintained its commitment to reporting the truth in the news, and remained locked into the issues which impacted this country, not only locally but regionally.
Even when he achieved recognition for his efforts in journalism and business, he was reluctant to broadcast it and often it was left to others to speak on these accomplishments.
That is why his loss is so striking. The Barbados Advocate has benefited from his sterling leadership over the last 20 years, but also embraces his indelible contribution to this newspaper’s upcoming 125th anniversary and history of this newspaper to the development of this island. A strong footing has always been Sir Anthony’s mission, and he achieved that for this newspaper despite tough headwinds.
That anniversary, which starts in October, is a chance for this company to take a step back in this fast-paced world of news of varying degrees to say that this company continues to do a remarkable job.
This company held hands with this country, through triumphs and tragedies, and even as we suffered one of our own. The legacy which we hold dear from Sir Anthony beckons us to continue to move forward.
In terms of COVID-19, this country continues to do well, in the circumstances, especially related to the management of the virus and the containment of its spread. We have been able to do this through extensive protocols which place territories or countries in varying categories. That ensures that the virus is caught at the airport and that if the tests are positive, the infected will be transferred to the isolation facility in St Lucy.
We cannot relent in our focus or let our guard down. This island went to zero reported cases in July, to one of the most recent totals of around 20, and since we have reopened to passenger jets, we run the risk, especially from the hotspots of the United Kingdom and the United States, that we will continue to have cases of the virus.
What we must ensure is that the quarantine scenario of the virus management is strengthened. If the option is given to people from medium risk countries to self-isolate, then a mechanism of random, perhaps, in-person checks should be done to ensure that our regulations are being adhered to.
We cannot afford after all of the hard work for the blessings of no community spread to be undermined.
Barbadians have for the most part followed the rules. They have worn the masks, they have socially distanced, submitted to temperature checks. Let us not make that effort be in vain.
We have to adjust, refocus and find ways to push ahead in these COVID-19 times.