Saipan mayor: Covid-19 worse than typhoons

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THIS year’s Liberation Day had to be celebrated differently because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang said.

“Everything we do from here on forward will be slightly modified,” he added.

He would have preferred the usual weeklong festival that highlights delicious island food and island-style entertainment.

But, he added, “we are living in a time in history that prompts us to view who we are from a distance.”

In 2015 and 2018, he said, two powerful typhoons devastated Saipan, but  Covid-19 is worse.

He said the pandemic may be the closest version of the war that their parents and grandparents experienced when the U.S. invaded Saipan.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, right, and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios pose for a photo before the start of the motorcadeContributed photo

“Conventional bombs are not exploding around us today as they did 74 years ago, but we can compare the fear of what Covid-19 can do to us to what our parents and grandparents were fearful of during the war — death,” he said.

“Like our parents and grandparents, when bullets were hissing over their heads and bombs exploding within a stone’s throw away, we are also defenseless against Covid-19. We are all fatally vulnerable in every which way imaginable.”

The mayor reminds community members to continue adhering to the safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.

For his part, Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan expressed his appreciation to  modern technology, which allowed the public to celebrate Liberation Day as “one Marianas” despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“When I think of July 4th, I think of strength, bravery, sacrifice, but most of all…resilience. Because these are the qualities that numerous men and women in the past and today exhibit to afford us the freedom to live as we please,” he said.

Aldan said the people have been hearing about “resilient” so many times in the past four years that it is starting to sound like a cliché, but resilient is the most appropriate word to describe strong islanders, he added.

“After Typhoons Soudelor, Mangkhut and Yutu, people are still facing uncertainties but they also continue to receive blessings,” Aldan said.

“This is what sets us apart from anyone else — the fact that in the midst of challenges and difficulties, we as a people always come together to hold each other up to get through the trials and tribulations as one Commonwealth.”

Aldan said, “It is in the face of challenges that we would truly realize just how much of a blessing we are to one another.”

He added, “Let us not forget how much we have overcome already to get to this point. If we could get through all of those storms, as we have in the past four years, through the grace of God, we will get through this global pandemic known as Covid-19.”

The mayor encouraged the people of Tinian to continue to do their part and protect one another by adhering to all of the social distancing guidelines.

“Together, through strength and unity, we are and forever will be, Marianas Strong!” he said.

On behalf of the Tinian leadership and the people of the island, Aldan also expressed his “sincere appreciation and gratitude to the brave servicemen and women, first responders, and front liners for continuing to keep us safe.”














November 2020 pssnewsletter

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