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January 2021


Thursday 7th January 2021


Dear Members


Bula Vinaka, Namaste, Assalamo-alaikum and Noa’ia e mau’ri.


Goodbye 2020 and Hello 2020 won!!!…wait, that doesn’t sound right, does it? Let’s dissect this a bit.
Human beings were riding this massive wave of complacency exactly one year ago. The wheels were turning, the turbines were firing, and jets were tearing up the sky, trains were chugging along, and ships were whizzing across the oceans headed for their destinations thousands of miles away in a hurry. The machinery of consumerism and the insatiable appetite of humans to travel to new places for business and pleasure were at an all-time high. Yes, the carbon emissions were continuing as a by-product of all the various wants but hey, making a profit and having a good time surely supersedes these unfortunate side-effects of human induced behavior right? As the privileged humans were having a fair-dinkum good time whilst the under-privileged humans, animals and the environment continued to choke, there were mutterings of a new virus in China with the potential to become a pandemic. “Argh! Pandemic-Schmandemic, who cares,” thought the rich and powerful. “It won’t affect us as we have the best health systems in the world, we have a ton of money and we will just continue with status quo and make more money. Surely that is the most important thing to do”; quipped the rich and powerful. Fast forward a year and surely the mighty have been humbled, the ignorant have been forced to become enlightened and humanity has had a chance to learn who the true heroes are in this world when we are forced with a crisis. Our planet earth has had a chance to heal and re-boot; albeit for a very small duration. We have seen how our environment starts to heal remarkably quickly as we put a stop to the abuse. Humanity, as a whole, has had time to be introspective; we have learnt valuable lessons. It is as if 2020 is a crossroad, a signpost. Turn left and continue with our merry ways or, turn right and we all heal. Thank you 2020 for teaching us what we knew already but were burying our heads in the sand from. You certainly will not be forgotten in a hurry.
I would like to sincerely offer my gratitude to all our Health Heroes who are currently helping our brothers and sisters in the North that have had their lives ripped apart by STC Yasa. Not only the Government sector but a team from the private sector is also providing much needed relief. In 1997, an English rock band called “Chumawamba” produced a song called “Tubthumping”. It was a hugely popular song and I am certain everyone knows the lyrics. The lyrics define the resilience of the Fijian people and that is how I would like to end this message:
“I get knocked down, but I get up again, you are never gonna keep me down”       
Vinaka vakalevu, Khuda Hafiz, Daniyabaad and Fa’eksia.

Dr Basharat Munshi