Several seafarers who have just completed their studies and training are experiencing a misfortune! The time when they should be reaping the benefits from what they have worked tirelessly for, they are being plagued by a virus that is basically putting the world on pause, the coronavirus, Covid-19. Some seafarers family have spent their life savings to fund their career, with hopes that after completion, the money will be readily available for them to live the life they so deserve after. One cannot fathom the disappoints these new seafarers are enduring this time. They are affected emotionally and physiologically and might turn to abusive substance, or take part detrimental activities. What can seafarers do during this pandemic to stay sane or be reassured that they is hope?
The sad truth is that seafarers are not the only ones going through this phase, the entire world is. While this is an unfortunate situation for everyone, we must find a way to overcome this pandemic. We should find sometime to do in the meantime to keep ourselves occupied – like learning a new skill, take the time to socialize and build that connection with family, work on ourselves, and the list continues. However, shipping companies should implement some for of work experience or internship programme that can lead to permanent employment for new seafarers, as cargoes are still being transported. Additionally, seafarers can venture into other fields for employment, and not necessarily lay their eggs in the shipping basket. After all, a first degree means you are able to learn and adapt quickly.
As we anxiously await the end of this deadly Coronavirus , we should adhered to the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization, and our Ministry of Health to control the spread of the virus. Like you, we want to get back to our normal lives which is why it is imperative that we wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash or sanitize our hands properly. In addition to that, read a book, learn something new! Whatever it is, just ensure that you find something constructive to do with your time. We have life, which is the most important thing. Let’s be optimistic and pray that the virus disappear soon. Remember, we’re in this together!