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OPINION | Which pandemic are you fighting?

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HAGÅTÑA  — If I asked you to look at the headline for this column and tell me which pandemic you were up against, I have no doubt that your answer would be the coronavirus.

This is especially so given the recent spike in confirmed infections, and a five- fold increase in Covid-related fatalities in the last couple of months. Most people would answer this way. However, it wouldn’t be completely accurate.

There’s the...

Pandemic of Uncertainty — part 1

Mistakes and mixed signals have led to people wondering and worrying whether GovGuam is capable of getting a handle on the virus.

While a lot of people have worked tirelessly to serve our people and deserve our gratitude, there is a growing lack of confidence in our direction. Many people wonder why the first lockdown was effective and kept the numbers low, and why the second lockdown has thus far failed to do the same.

Pandemic of Uncertainty

— part 2

Uncertainty also factors into an economy that may take years to repair. There are 35,000 people out of work, and they don’t know when they’ll work again.

Some people have already left Guam or soon will. People with options will eventually exercise them, and if our economy is closed off for much longer, we’ll lose too much talent who can relocate to places with jobs and business opportunities.

This uncertainty leads to...

Pandemic of Fear

We all know people in our own families who have the same kind of comorbidities that have contributed to deaths during this health crisis. We pray

that it doesn’t touch people we know and care for, and flinch when we hear a flurry of coughs or sneezes.

It’s hard for all of us — even those who vocally oppose the administration’s policies — to watch families lose loved ones. This isn’t a big city. Nobody is invisible in Guam. One way or another, we’re either related to victims or know people who are relatives, or friends. We’re a closer-knit community.

The health concerns are fear of a present threat. As for watching people leave the island or jobless, and not knowing to what extent Guam will be able to support jobs in the months and years to come, that is fear of a possibly bleak future.

Then, there is...

Pandemic of Division

Close-knit community? If you spend much time on Facebook, you might question that to a degree. Between the multiple controversies surrounding the virus, the racial strife in America with continuing riots and increasing violence across the country, and the noisiest and ugliest presidential campaign in history — we see people bickering with fellow citizens in a snarky, dismissive, and nasty manner. Sadly, friendships have ended over this.

Is it just blowing off steam and a healthy outlet for anger, as some suggest? Maybe, but I think we can all agree that some posts and threads are over the top and unfair.

Still, it’s much worse among people back in the mainland. We should all be glad that we live in a place where we can disagree with someone, and then see them at the grocery store and not get into a fight.

Even with all this, imagine if we had a...

Pandemic of Resiliency

What I want my son to come out of this with is the feeling that by weighing factors carefully, by keeping his head and by trusting in God, he can effectively navigate even the toughest challenges.

I want him to know that life will indeed knock him down — a lot. The answer to that is making sure you get up each time.

I want him to question authority, but to always have respect for authority. That even though he disagrees with those who make decisions which impact him, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re wrong and he’s right.

I want him to appreciate those around him, because life doesn’t come with a guarantee.

I want him to treat people better than they treat him, that he doesn’t have to return a harsh word with another one. It’s not always easy to do this, especially when the world seems to be ganging up on you. Still, the more resilient among us seem to do this. So, what if we had a pandemic of resiliency?

Have a good day. Be kind and give the other guy a break.

Jerry Roberts presents the 2020 Live2Lead Conference, with John Maxwell and a lineup of world class speakers. Online delivery and unique opportunities for your team are available. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

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