Hon Flax-Charles gave the assurance at a special Back to School Service held yesterday, September 12, 2021, at the New Testament Church of God- International Worship Center in Baughers Bay, Tortola.
“We are going through some trying times as it relates to COVID, and whether children are learning online or face to face, there are challenges,” she said.
“I want to encourage everyone to do the best that they can under the circumstances,” the Minister further went on to say.
Speaking on her experiences as a parent, Hon Flax-Charles said home-schooling her 14-year-old has been very emotional since he had to leave school two weeks before the pandemic impacted the education system.
She said on visiting his school, most times she is brought to tears when seeing the impacts of the virus on the education system.
Although she did not give details, Hon Flax-Charles said the physiological effects of the pandemic on teachers and students are evident.
Medical experts have said the pandemic has led many to experience chronic stress, which can disrupt nearly every system in the body. According to Help Guide, chronic stress can suppress the immune system, upset digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It can even rewire the brain, leaving persons more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
“You can see first hand the physiological impact that COVID is having on not only our students but our teachers as well. But I want to tell you this, there is hope, we must follow the protocols and always remind one another, don’t forget to wear your mask,” she said.
Hon Flax-Charles called for persons to make an effort to protect each other by following the Government COVID-19 public health measures and encouraging young children to do it.
“Those of you who can be vaccinated, please try your best to do so. We know that certain age groups of children are not able to be vaccinated so we need to protect everyone whether you are vaccinated or not,” she said.