It is truly said that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to tear down and a time to build.” Over the past five months, there has been enough tearing down for a lifetime, and we believe that all Guyanese would agree that “it is now a time to build”. We in Guyana are in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic, which does not discriminate as to whom its tentacles can reach to snatch them away. We have to build and execute a coherent response to see us through this scourge.
Whatever else might have been said, our political and legal systems were strained but did not break: they demonstrated an abiding resilience. We must be thankful for the strength of their institutions in a nation that has just attained its Golden Jubilee and commit ourselves to continue to strengthen and build those institutions. We must thank all of those who stood up and were willing to be counted for their country. The international system has frequently been criticised as “chaotic”, but it stood by us in our hour of need and acted in measured deliberation in the best interest of our fledgling democracy. We must continue to build our international credentials.
Finally, we, the people of Guyana, have seen that there will always be those who will exploit differences to create divisions. It is up to us to now commit ourselves to build bridges to heal those divisions so that we can go forward as a united people and fulfil our historic promise. As our national poet Martin Carter warned us, “Like a jig/ shakes the loom;/ like a web/ is spun the pattern/ all are involved!/ all are consumed!”