Kralendijk – Dear reader,
In recent weeks we have been through a lot together. Due to the high number of infections Bonaire went into lockdown on 18 March. We were at risk level six but have now scaled down to risk level four. The number of infections has gone down significantly because we, as a society, have adhered to the rules. The good news is that we have shown that if everyone commits, we can indeed make a difference. We have demonstrated that we are willing to make sacrifices for ourselves and for others.
In recent weeks we had to forgo meeting friends and family. We were not able to meet up with others to practice sports or go to the gym together. Also we were unable to grab a beer with friends at a snack or go out for a nice dinner with a group of friends at a restaurant. The churchgoers among us could not attend their masses or services in person. We learned to stay indoors from 9 o’clock in the evening and we got used to our streets being deserted. At times we were quiet and we grieved because the coronavirus had taken someone from our midst.
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis many people have become unemployed and many families struggle to make ends meet. Fortunately, in these difficult times there were also people who came through for our society. For example, the volunteers who cooked food for people who would have otherwise missed a hot meal. In addition, there were companies and individuals who donated food parcels to school children and families in need.
Entrepreneurs, cafés, hotels and restaurants have also experienced hard times. Many of them are struggling to survive and some have been forced to close their businesses down. Despite the crisis others have succeeded in offering their services and products in new and creative ways, such as introducing take-out meals.
In recent months we have learned one thing – we need each other to defeat this crisis. Together we can ensure that Bonaire is better protected against the coronavirus. This is only possible if we get vaccinated. In this way you will not only protect yourself, but also your family, your friends and the vulnerable people in our society. Healthcare will face less taxing demands and people from outside will be able to visit Bonaire again.Our economy is largely based on tourism, which is why we would like to be able to welcome tourists again.
Our patience has often been tested in recent months, but pasenshi ta gana gloria i union ta hasi forsa! (patience is a virtue and unity makes us strong!)
On behalf of the following organizations: