As we near the end of the 5th week mark of a freeze on the majority of activity on all three islands in response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that has beset the world, many say they are now trying to look on the brighter side in order to give themselves hope and reason.
During his remarks at a recent Government press conference, Health Minister, the Honourable Dwayne Seymour attempted to remind the community that every cloud has a silver lining and attempted to encourage persons in the community by asking them to try to find any positives they could in their present situation.
As a result, the Caymanian Times endeavoured to talk to persons around the islands and put together a list of the positive outcomes of their plight thus far.
There has been a resurgence of marine life and scenery.
Even the beaches appear to be more bountiful with sand depositing in greater quantities along the Seven Mile Strip due to the restrictions regarding beach activity and fishing.
“For starters there is less pollution, which leads to mother nature being able to heal and the result is replenished fisheries and an abundance of wildlife to appreciate once this is all over,” noted fisherman Persley Evans, who added that he looks forward to getting back out on the water to see how the fish are biting after the long break in fishing.
Others like Joanne Merittolla, who has been living in the Cayman Islands for nearly five years noted, “families are spending more time together and people have time to get healthy again, after making lifestyle changes.”
“People are also getting more in touch with nature during their exercise sessions, which may influence many who took Cayman’s environment for granted before to take a second look,” she added.
In addition to spending more time with pets - who are also getting lots of exercise - people are now taking time for themselves. Art, music, literature and a resurgence of humanities are flourishing, according to many residents.
The lockdown has also meant that many employers are coming to the realization that working form home can be practical; a reality that may change the way some people chose to approach family living in the future.
Some families will no doubt consider home-schooling their children in the aftermath of COVID-19, after having an opportunity to see the benefits of doing so, according to many respondents.
“There have been so many ways in which society has been touched by this virus and the subsequent lockdown,” remarked Caymanian Mark Terry.
“Doctors are even doing telemedicine now and many business opportunities will evolve such as online yoga classes, counseling and mental health therapy. It really is a ‘brave new world’ shaping up,” he opined.
Another positive benefit from the lockdown is less driving, which has meant less traffic and cleaner air to breath.
That has added benefits such as a reduction in stress for drivers and safer roads; barring the odd motorcycle pursuit and occasional single car accidents that have occurred.
Incidentally, there is also a major drop-off in road rage due to fewer vehicles moving to and fro.
Some persons have even suggested the implementation of flex times for school and work in order to cut down on morning traffic when school resumes.
For many in the Cayman Islands, the sentiment on social media platforms has been one of resignation to their fate as circumstances would have it.
The majority of posts on Facebook chats has centered around learning to be less consumer-driven and taking stock of what is really important, such as family, friends and pursuits that bring joy and satisfaction in and of themselves.
People are becoming better cooks, planting gardens and seeking out more sustainable ways of living for the time ahead.
There has also been a more concerted effort to support charities, to de-clutter and de-stress, as well more time for cleaning homes and a general reset.
Caymanians are also getting more well-acquainted with the leaders of the country; a fact that can be witnessed everyday - from videos featuring His Excellency, the Governor, Martyn Roper playing steel pans at his Seven Mile Beach residence, to the daily press briefings that have‘humanised’the people who hold some of the highest offices in the land.
(Yes, they are people too but now have the superhuman challenge to confront and find solutions to perhaps the biggest challenge Cayman has ever faced).
A video meme even circulated online recently featuring Governor Roper jamming alongside some of Caymans’well-known young musicians playing Caribbean-themed music.
In addition to strengthening ties with countries around the region, Cayman’s relationship with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has grown stronger during this time; a fact, which has often been alluded to by Government officials during their press conferences.
A post coronavirus Cayman - and the world - world may not be all doom and gloom after all.