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OPINION | We will recover from virus; our children may never recover from neglect

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HAGÅTÑA — God has equipped our bodies with a wonderful mechanism called the “fight or flight” response.

This response kicks in when you are in the backyard and a wild pig comes charging out of the boonies. Your eyes dilate, your heart rate and respirations increase, your skin gets pale as blood rushes to your lungs and heart, and your mind jumps into survival mode. Will you hold your ground, or will you run?

Either decision is reactive. There’s not much deep thinking that occurs in the face of imminent danger. You will fight or you will run. And then you will think about it afterward.

The fight or flight response can also kick in when there is a perceived danger. The response to the danger will be the same — a reactive decision, one that needs to be thoughtfully reviewed when the danger has passed.

Decisions made under duress are rarely a good foundation on which to make policy.

For example, you wouldn’t base the island’s boonie pig management policy on getting chased through your yard by an irate pig. Although that might change your opinion on hunting, it would not be the best guide to making decisions that affect the whole island because so many others are involved.

Similarly, it was also ill considered to make policies about the SARS-CoV-2 virus based on fear. In our fear, our collective fight or flight response kicked in, and because we’re stuck on an island, we had to fight.

Decisions were made in fear, and many have been hurt — business owners, private sector employees and schoolchildren.

Also hurt have been our island’s most fragile children, the kids who are regulars at the Shriners Outreach Clinic.

Thanks to policies enacted here and in Hawaii, Guam’s medically fragile and disabled children have not seen doctors from Shriners for over a year. The clinic was postponed in January due to last year’s fire at Public Health. Since then, the clinic has been pushed back again and again due to the islands' quarantine policies.

My friends at Shriners told me the Guam clinic might happen in October or November.

While we wait, my kids and other children are outgrowing and wearing out their orthotics, or are growing more crooked because no one is helping.

We will recover from the virus.

I don’t know if the kids will recover from the neglect.

If the fear ever subsides, think about that.

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