Post Covid-19: what does the future look like for the Seychelles.

April 26, 2020

On the 21st of April, the Seychelles Nation wrote an article which discusses the re-opening of Seychelles. The author felt strongly that God is providing the leaders of Seychelles with a learning curb. He discusses social distancing becoming a new way of life and wanted temperature detectors to be a must at the Mahe and Praslin airpots, also at schools. Cleanliness and hygienic practices are mentioned as being essential to continue as well as the use of Hotline 141 (which I honestly didn’t know about until reading this article). 

 

How do people in the Seychelles feel about the above statements? We’ve received quite a few comments regarding a lack of social distancing being witnessed here. Could the Seychelles continue to follow a social distancing regulation? It has been challenging thus far and one wonders how it could become a future way of life when so many lives appear to be tightly interwoven. 

 

Have you read about what is happening in Sweden? Basically, in a nut shell, the government is not instilling social distancing laws, the Swedes are simply practicing social distancing without police enforcement. The Swedes are not in lockdown and do not plan to have a lockdown any time soon. It is an extremely different approach in comparison with other nations worldwide and we have yet to see the full outcome. Thus far the Swedish chief epidemiologist said the strategy is to allow exposure to the virus to build immunity among the general population. Could this work in the Seychelles? 

 

In a general sense, Emirates don’t plan on operating flights abroad until June. As far as we’ve seen in contacting hotels, they don’t plan on opening until August. Some private schools are planning a return for mid-May. Are you ready to go back to how things were? How would you like things to be done differently in the Seychelles to how they were pre-Covid 19? Can you make a difference? 

 

It’s one thing to moan about how things are being done but it’s so empowering to be part of the change. Have you seen people supporting one another though these challenging times (even with the social distancing restrictions?). I have! There have been several heart warming instances for us as a family where we’ve felt a closeness with the locals around us which we never experienced before. At the very beginning of the lockdown when there was the mad shopping rushes going on, I couldn’t stand the idea of going to a crammed store, so I just supported a man who had local roadside vegetable stand and in doing so he threw in some

 

extra bananas for my children. Yes, this is kindness, this is community and we were so grateful. If you’re ever in Beau Vallon, big shout out to Melvin, who has the best pumpkins in town. On an early morning jaunt to our local shop last week, a woman whose home is along the road saw me with my children and offered us some bananas from her tree. She simply said, “I have seen you with your children and we have a few extra and I wanted to give them to you.” Well my daughters were over the moon with her kindness and since then they don’t stop talking about fig bananas, which I never seem to be able to find elsewhere. A similar situation happened again as we were coming back from the shop and another family whom live along the road where we go to get our goods, saw us and gave us some home grown turmeric and papayas. The generosity of our community during these tough times has been such a blessing and we have felt a stronger bond to our neck of the woods here. Because we never used to walk to our local shop we never knew a lot of the locals around us and now we recognise the same people and share a knowing smile of “hey, I feel you, this is challenging, but everything is gonna be alright.” (It’s the Seychelles right?!)

 

I hope to see a continuation of this sense of community; helping one another to make Seychelles an even happier and safer place for us all. We can focus on hygiene, we can focus on heat temperature machines and distancing ourselves…those all have their place, without a doubt. But what about the real deal every day stuff? Let’s boost our immunity as a community by taking better care of ourselves, of each other and the spaces we share. 

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Mahe Island, Seychelles

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