Editorial comment – Unity at home

Fiji’s Sireli Maqala is pursued by Britain’s Ethan Waddleton in their men’s rugby 7s match at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Picture: AP Shuji Kajiyama

You could hear cheers and screams of joy yesterday around suburbs of the Capital City, Suva.

There was a feeling of excitement.

You could sense it in the air.

That happens every time our national 7s team plays anywhere in the world.

In the top fields of 7s rugby, the national side attracts attention every time.

Back home, the feeling of unity is quite high.

There is a sense of patriotism.

There is a sense of joy and great anticipation.

Fans forget their troubles.

They forget their concerns.

For the duration of the games, life is focused.

It is pretty much focused on the action on the field.

There is a sense of purpose.

There is a sense of shared excitement and joy.

Nothing else matters.

In those precious minutes, attention is firmly on how we fare.

Every move, every step and action on the field is keenly followed.

Yesterday, after a dismal slow start on Day One, fans had something to cheer about.

We met Great Britain in our final pool game.

The hype had built up from the previous day.

There was some trepidation however following our poor start.

Could we overcome Great Britain?

After all, we met them in the final of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Then it happened yesterday!

We went in with purpose.

We went in focused on getting victory.

It may not have met every one’s expectation, however, in the end, the scoreline mattered, and we were through to the eliminations.

It’s this sense of purpose that we are calling on to fight another war right here at home.

We are united as a nation when our team performs.

Let’s not wait for the powers that be to make the tough calls for us.

Let’s take ownership of the direction we must take.

Our COVID-19 numbers are too high.

We must flatten the curve.

That’s where a united front must come in.

That’s when we must focus on something as dangerous as the virus, and bring it under control.

That will only happen when we are proactive.

So let’s stay home.

Let’s wear a mask properly if we have to go out in public.

Strictly adhere to physical distancing, and remind people to keep their distance as well.

Stay safe if you must use public transport.

Be aware of what you touch, and do not touch your face at all until you are able to wash your hands with soap and water.

Do not even scratch your face or your nose when out in public.

Remind your loved ones to listen to expert health advice, and adhere to COVID-19 protocols.

Like our commitment and support of our national side at the Olympics, let’s unite for a common cause here as well, and fight this good fight on the homefront.

Go Fiji, go.

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