Dr. Lennox Honychurch: Kalinago has taught us how to survive a pandemic
Dominican historian gives perspective to COVID-19 pandemic
"Stay isolated; be self-sufficient and hopefully you can accomplish and achieve the results that you want in the face of a pandemic like this".
That's what historian Dr. Lennox Honychurch said in a short video entitled:"Pandemics: A Dominican Historical Context" produced by the Discover Dominica Authority, the island's tourist board.
Dr. Honychurch said that Dominica's indigenous people, the Kalinago, fought off their first epidemic shortly after the arrival of the Europeans from the old world in the fifteenth century.
"They brought the diseases with them from across the Atlantic which the indigenous people were simple not accustomed to, they had developed no immunity whatsoever," Honychurch said.
And how is that relevant to the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic?
"We in Dominica should count ourselves lucky because of our relative isolation and the isolation that we ourselves can create as the Kalinago created back 500 years ago we are able in a way to attempt to preserve ourselves far better than other places," Honychurch said.
In episode two, Dr. Honychurch speaks about the introduction of new diseases to Dominica and the role of the formerly enslaved people.
The efforts of Dominica's medical stalwarts will be featured in episode three of this series. Dr. Honychurch will explore how the actions taken by Dominica's ancestors in addressing the health situations in the past are relevant today in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic. The role of these medical pioneers in helping the population cope through previous pandemics and illnesses will be highlighted.
The final episode will emphasize the island's relationship with neighboring islands and will include Christopher Columbus' rediscovery of the island.
"DDA is always looking to increase awareness of the destination and keep it top of mind, and one way to do so is to inform and educate on our culture and heritage," said Director of Tourism, Colin Piper.
The first video was released on the Discover Dominica Facebook page on April 9, 2020.