COVID-19 is proving, or maybe that should be providing, a significant test in so many ways. Certainly, it's a mental and emotional test.

Our individual and collective discipline are under the microscope. Like all challenges and adversity, it brings out the best and worse version of humanity. These days adopting an optimistic view of life and things have taken on political dimensions.  

It's as if it's no longer acceptable to have an independent life view and philosophy.

If it's one thing I can attest to is that ever since I was a little boy, my single-parent, mother (Jennifer) was intolerant of negativity. Her general attitude was once you see another day above ground it's a cause for joy and gratitude. Once you have life and you are alive you have a fighting chance. She saw life as a challenge to be faced and accepted.

Listen! She would admonish, wipe your tears, smile, get up and get back into the fight. It's the person who refuses to quit that will make it.

Since COVID-19 hit T&T in March, last year, I have reflected on many of my mother's words, her indomitable and fearless attitude and persona. Her, at times, stoic demeanour and charisma. Were it not for the ravages of Alzheimer's, I often wonder what would have been her pearls of wisdom to me.

For sure it wouldn't be a mother's lament but exhortations: "Listen Brian every day you above ground you are in with a chance, COVID-19 not going to win. Live life!  You make your odds don't let anybody make it for you."

In the overall scheme of things, COVID-19 has exposed all of us without exception to self-examination and self-reflection. Will we come out of COVID-19 better or worse. How will we emerge? Many questions to be answered. That COVID-19 will be beaten, there ought to be no doubt. What will determine how each of us come out of it will be determined by our individual actions and mindset.

It is interesting reading about and listening to the different opinions about vaccines. As it is about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, like everything else, individual opinions are shaped by attitudes and beliefs.

Given the emotional intensity, people have strong and firm views and I have found it important for my own peace of mind not to take personal or personalise views and opinions that are expressed. Most people aren't interested in a dialogue. They have their opinion and they want to express it.

For those of us involved in the Olympic Movement as far as we are aware the Games are very much on. The logistics are complex- it's not your normal Olympic Games that's for sure. It's going to be a "Bio-Secure Bubble" Olympics, a sterile experience with strict restrictions and guidelines.

I have been asked what do I think it will be like? My approach to the COVID-19 Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is a simple one, focus on our controllables. What's in our sphere of control let's get it right. Let's not be distracted. Let's stay focused. I believe it begins with each member of Team TTO accepting and taking personal responsibility for what's within their control. We are all fighting to find a way forward.

One area of the sports sector here in T&T that is within our control is governance. If sports stakeholders don't address the governance of national sports organisations, sports in the twin-island Republic will continue falling behind the times, some will even say the future is bleak. It's a theme we will revisit in the next "Things That Matter" column.

Editor’s Note:

The views expressed by the writer are not necessarily those of the T&T Olympic Committee or T&T Commonwealth Games Association.