Flipside — by Chris Jacobie
A lot has changed in everyday Namibia and a lot more will change.
What Namibians and the world did not expect is to have Christmas and the century-long traditions of the Festive Season to be interrupted by a killer virus that ravaged every corner of the world.
Now, like all viruses, it is changing and adapting quicker than the human mind and habits do.
In change lies the solution. Against the grain of Christmas and goodwill, social distancing is unthinkable, but the greatest gift that Namibians can give each other is to maintain a respectful distance.
Respectful distance might also save the vulnerable and our women and children from abusers and violence, which crosses the line too easily.
There can be no greater sacrifice than not to hug a child or a father and mother after not seeing them for a long time, but self-sacrificing restraint and those that are kept safer by this lack of affection will appreciate it.
What will never change is that Namibians are a nation not defined by privilege and endless wealth, but by their DNA that – over the ages – were and still are shaped by challenge and endurance.
This Christmas is a 2 000-year event that past generations can be relieved about because they missed it.
This Christmas can inspire future generations, because of the considerations of the dignity of others. It should carve a new path towards the next Christmas.
The drought, economic adversity, and the relentless onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic proved that Namibia can prosper where many others would despair.
It is so obvious that the nation is at the gates of a pandemic hell that never relaxed its grip, but squeezed tolerance and hope to the last drop.
The Namibian genesis has proven that in the testing hours, the nation shows its mettle and finds its inspiration because this hard land was occupied and tamed by pioneers that had nothing, except goodwill and faith, in a better tomorrow to keep them going.
Namibians will keep moving forward because they never knew or considered how to take a step backward and don’t ever retreat.
Christmas is a celebration of Namibian hospitality in a hostile country.
Of all the nations in the grip of COVID-19, Namibians have proven that the first flag of victory against the pandemic can be raised in this desert country because Namibians appreciate each other and care about dignity and respect.
That is the only gift of Christmas and goodwill that will be worthwhile and sustainable for many generations to come because the Namibians of 2020 respectfully kept their distance and a pandemic in its place.
The candles of the celebration of the victory of good over evil will be more than the candles lit in remembrance of lost relatives and friends.
The lights of goodwill must always guide Namibia through the darkness of uncertainty and challenges of the future.