Some people are struggling with reality if it means focusing on the reality that is living through a pandemic. There can only be a handful of people alive who lived through the flu pandemic in the early-20th century. Those who have lived through various global or national health scares are also few but they also know that relief came in the form of vaccines. Our modern scares, like Ebola, did not touch far beyond a continent. It’s not my way to steer myself away from this so—called bad news; I prefer to feel well-informed and to think through what I or my family, friends and country can do to deal with this crisis. But, that’s me.

But, one thing people seem to crave in all this are signs of positive news and behaviour that leaves you believing that most humans are well-intentioned and have space in their hearts, minds, and actions for others, not just those in need. It gives hope that if nothing else, a hand or more can be stretched out to help.

One way that is showing up is in the willingness to give or to share. I’ll keep noting that we’re blessed in Jamaica to so far have the problem of surplus local agricultural produce, added to which many people have been doing small-scale farming or urban gardening. So, we’re seeing a push by corporations and politicians to get our surpluses to residents, much of which had been destined for now-closed hotels. Our local MP has again publicized his efforts in this area to help vulnerable households in our inner city areas.

However, I’d like him to make the effort to get such surpluses to other areas in his constituency, where need may be less and people can pay and are ready to help reduce the surpluses. I sent him a message a short while ago.

But, on a smaller and more-intimate scale, the sharing is going on.

Fruits are always in demand, and mango season is one where demand is high and supply is usually ample. We have two Julie mango trees in our yard, and two over hang our yard, one each side. We’re getting an early crop from our main tree and our enlarged household is making good use of them. But, I feel for those who don’t have similar access, so try to give some away often.

I reached out to my cohort of JPs early during the lock down and had an ‘auction’ for 6 mangoes, 1st come, 1st served; they went during the morning. I did another several days later, but did not allow those who got on the first go-round to bid again. Oddly, only 4 of 6 mangoes were taken. I gave two lots away to cousins who live nearby; I also gave to some people who ‘begged’ after seeing my posts about mangoes on social media. One acquaintance, one her way back from RADA, dropped off a squash and cantaloupe melon in exchange–unnecessary but welcome.

One acquaintance begged some during the week and I suggested she come to get. She was in her way to pick up fresh produce from RADA and kindly left me a squash and cantaloupe in exchange 😍👍🏾🇯🇲

But, we’ve been getting, too, as in the 2nd loaf from colleagues-friends up the street 👀👏🏾🙏🏾

One of our security guards brought star apples from his farm in Manchester and promises to do so again after this weekend. My cousin gave me a massive sour sop from her tree, which must have weighed about 7-8 pounds.

We’ve not had to cook and carry meals to anyone, yet, but it may be on the cards, for not other reason than because…It’s a gesture but it can make a big difference to how someone else feels. We know that cooking therapy is becoming a thing for lots of people who now have more time to go with their motivation. I also see that those who had been dabbling in fruit and vegetable gardening are now proudly displaying their crops and others are now taking the bait and starting to plant.

A thank you gift to my doctor stepdaughter
Sweet peppers from a Bahamian sister-in-law’s garden

Live basil included in the vegetable box delivered to my first-born

If it’s really better to give than to receive, then let’s keep on giving.