An address by the Bishop of St. George’s-in Grenada, Most Rev. Clyde Martin Harvey, as we continue to face the Coronavirus Pandemic
Brothers and sisters, people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, over the past days reports have been circulating about people gathering in close groups, not observing the physical distancing requested of us, people partying as if these are normal times. The two-day public celebration of Carnival has been cancelled in Grenada, as in some of our sister islands, but there are those among us who seem intent on celebrating as usual.
The coronavirus with which we are contending is one of the most treacherous things we have had to face. Those who reported that Grenada is COVID-free spoke out of ignorance. We now know that no country is COVID-free.
The virus, like Adam, is hiding, hiding within the healthiest looking of us, hiding in many of us who not feeling sick at all. Indeed, if you felt sick and then recovered, it is quite likely that you carried the virus and may even still be carrying it. The truest word that anyone can speak in this context is – WE DO NOT KNOW.
We cannot let our guard down at this stage. We have come this far by faith in our God and necessary action, disciplined action. Let us not falter now. As we re-open our borders, the government has a responsibility to exclude or quarantine anyone who may pose a threat to us. We all have a personal responsibility to protect ourselves and to follow the guidelines laid down for the protection of others, especially those we love.
We cannot have Carnival this year. That is obvious – not as a sinister plot but as sensible, responsible behaviour. What we do as men and women, young and old, over the next few weeks will determine whether Grenada is truly a free and responsible nation, most starkly whether we live or die. Our behaviour as individuals and as groups will determine whether we live or die.
To all young Grenadians, I make a special plea. It was foolishly said that young people are strong against this virus. That has been proven to be not true. The United States now has the most infections in the world. Many people there ignored physical distancing in their love for the beach and house parties. We can jam together today and die alone next week. All the virus seeks is human flesh to infect and destroy. Any young person can infect a vulnerable relative, old or young, and set them up for a horribly lonely death.
So, I beg you, brothers and sisters, to take COVID 19 and the protocols seriously. Especially over the next few days, let us follow the regulations scrupulously. We know that we are truly free when we do not need a big stick to do what is right and just. Let us protect those we love, not only from the virus, but from our own temptations to self-centered stupidity.
We pray for Grenada over these weeks. May God protect us from disease and hurricanes and from our own pleasure-seeking irresponsibility. May we look to the day when we will truly be able to sing as one people, on our streets and off our streets –
WE BEAT COVID, WE BEAT COVID.