Bishop’s Independence message
As Dominica celebrated 42 years of independence, November 3, Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau said it is worth noting that within the last five years, the country’s independence celebrations have been experienced in the midst of three major crises, namely, Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, Hurricane Maria in 2017 and now COVID-19.
Each, he observed had progressively intense repercussions, and brought the country’s usual festivities to a screeching halt.
In his independence message to the nation, Bishop Malzaire said that the latter, although a pandemic, has been relatively gentle to Dominica. The professional and scientific approach of the Ministry of Health and the largely positive responses of the citizenry to the crisis, have made Dominica one of the countries with the best response to the pandemic.
“This is no doubt a great posture with which to enter the country’s 42nd Independence Anniversary celebrations. It tells of the discipline of both Government and people in the face of crises,” Bishop Malzaire said.
This year’s independence had as its theme: Embracing New Opportunities.
According to Malzaire, one would not be wrong in assuming that Erika and Maria prepared Dominicans for COVID-19.
Praise is due, he said, to the Government and the various arms of the Ministry of Health: the doctors and nurses, personnel at the quarantine facility, including the law enforcement agents, and all other frontline workers, who are eternally vigilant in preventing the spread of the terrible virus.
Bishop Malzaire said that despite the relative success of the nation’s approach to the pandemic, citizens must keep in mind that they are part of a global reality, and that what happens to their associates, friends and neighbours in the international world can adversely affect them.
In that regard, Bishop Malzaire said it is imperative that as a people, they remain constantly vigilant, observing all the necessary protocols and sanitisation methods to keep themselves and others safe.
In the face of the danger of “COVID fatigue” creeping into their national psyche, it seems necessary, even temporarily, for every citizen to raise the observance of the COVID-19 safety protocols to that of virtue, said the bishop.
“…what better means would there be for a small island state such as ours to ensure that every single citizen is protected from the ravages of this invisible and insidious creature? It requires discipline in virtuous proportions.”
To this end, Bishop Malzaire encouraged citizens to pray that God, in His own time will relieve them and the entire world of the scourge of this pandemic. He urged all to be open to the opportunities this unusual experience affords us and remain united with a common purpose to do all we can to keep each other safe.