Respectful and generous service to others is a manifestation of something much more profound than doing conscientiously what one is paid to do. It is often done voluntarily, responsibly, selflessly, and beyond the call of duty to help others and even save lives for the sake of the national well-being. It has no material price when it’s free of external motives, with no strings attached. Indeed, the scope of that kind of service is priceless. It is a powerful force within courageous and usually level-headed people that spurs them to action in the interest of a more significant cause that is the sum of each one of us in the country. They see a bigger picture and can visualise hope turning into reality. To even say words of commendation for exceptional service or give rewards could never measure up to or compensate for the time, and effort of their contributions. Of course, in the instant situation of a pandemic, the best way we can show appreciation is for each one of us to heed their calls, even cries, and play our part in reducing the ravishing rate of the deadly pandemic.
The exceptional daily contributions of Drs Roshan Parasram, Maryam Abdool-Richards, Michelle Trotman, Avery Hinds, and Hazel Othello are not merely worthy of mention as excellent work ethic. If their yeoman service, patience and manners permeated the public sector and business environments, imagine how efficient and enterprising the country would become. Imagine the quality of life.
One may well ask, but what about the nurses and doctors dealing this very minute and 24/7 with the hundreds of new cases daily, saving lives and stretched to endurance. It is a truism that comparisons are odious, and frankly, unnecessary as the good service of all our health professionals and other essential workers has no comparison. They are risking their lives daily and are first among equals. It is not a question of “they too,” for there is no contrasting judgment.
These doctors, in exemplifying what service excellence is, give us some perspective of the depth of lights that shine within our twin-island nation. And the extent of richness across the land, but there are ominous clouds often masking those lights, and we dwell on the clouds—like crime and corruption that irk us. This is why the article is dedicated to them. While some flout their appeals for us to physically distance, wear masks, wash hands, and do whatever else is required to prevent the spread of the virus, their efforts are not in vain. Most of us understand that the reckless exploitation of COVID-19 victims and deaths is not a reflection on the management of the health situation, but rather glaringly, maliciousness.
Drs Parasram, Abdool-Richards, Trotman, Hinds, Othello convey trustworthiness, dependability, and loyalty to the country. We have become used to them in our living rooms via the television. Striking is their abundant patience. Having listened to questions during the public briefings, one might have wondered whether the reporters were in the same briefing session as some questions would have been asked and answered at least thrice before by the team. They are focussed, calm and reassuring under pressure, and even when seemingly dotish questions are asked repeatedly—well obviously, people can’t go to cinemas if no more than ten people can gather! Cinemas are locked down anyway! Still, the doctors continue to relentlessly plead with us to do our part.
They obviously understand what patriotism and unity mean. It certainly isn’t about the Government and the Opposition meeting about managing the pandemic crisis, but rather and more importantly, “we, the people,” unifying around universal principles to protect ourselves and respect the lives of others by following the necessary pandemic regulations.
To team Parasram, Abdool-Richards, Trotman, Hinds, Othello and all those who continue to be selfless in our best interests: Thank You.