The Bermudian checks in with Former Minister of National Security, Jeff Baron to see how things are going.
BM: So how are you faring during these strange times?
JB: ‘Bloodied but unbowed’ is how the poem goes, right? I think we’re all taking some knocks here in Bermuda. I’m grateful for my health and I hope I can help others who aren’t faring so well. It takes a village.
BM: How is the working from home going? Are you getting anything done?
JB: Ugh. Just between us, right? It’s been pretty tough adjusting. BUT… I’m no stranger to having to work in various conditions and hardships. There was no shortage of ‘predictable surprises’ working on a UN field mission (2006-2008). It’s odd to need those skills here in Bermuda. Exhale. It’s temporary.
BM: How is your family coping? Have you found some surprising upsides to spending more time together?
JB: I almost signed up for TikTok – Does that answer the question?
BM: What are you doing to stay positive?
JB: I’m focusing on the ‘Good’. My life has been massively disrupted by COVID19– and so has yours, I bet. However there’s a Bermudian who has lost a loved one, lost their job or is scared at home not knowing what this novel virus will bring next. I’m lucky as hell to have my health and I remind myself of that frequently – sometimes with a splash of rum. Cheers, People!
BM: How about your friends and extended family? Do you have any virtual get-togethers planned?
JB: Virtual hang-outs are a real pick-me-up – so yes, as much as possible! Apps like Zoom make it fun and easy for groups to meet up without having to iron shirts or shower. I joined a happy hour last Friday and it made my week. I’m gonna hug the heck out of my friends when I see them next.
BM: What are you doing to stay healthy?
JB: Exercising daily. I’ve reimagined my gym workouts and adapted them so I can ‘lift weights’ while isolated. Once I finished my pity-party over gym and restaurant closures I was able to see the loaded duffle bag as a barbell – my outdoor table as a bench. You have to kick your own butt sometimes and adapt – whether its work, emotional fitness or physical fitness. You can put energy into making excuses or making creative solutions. It’s up to you.
BM: What are you listening to? Any new-found audio pleasures you wouldn’t normally have time for?
JB: ‘The Daily’, podcast by NY Times. ‘Louis Jordan ‘Deep Cuts’ on Apple Music and anything Joy T Barnum posts online. Most importantly the WhatsApp voice-notes from my favorite people in life.
BM: Any other unexpected pleasures?
JB: Being reminded that Bermudians are so darn tough. We really are. Its the tough times that remind me what we’ve already been through together. We are capital ‘R’ resilient. I see people sending love and positivity to those suffering from depression and anxiety. I see people helping others financially after job losses. Look at social media and see for yourself. Seek the good in others, it’s out there.
BM: Thanks for taking the time to chat, Jeff. Sending our best wishes to you and your family for happy days ahead and good health.