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June/July 2020

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As I write this, the prevailing mood in Guernsey is one of grounded optimism. We have seen proof that our counter-measures against the spread of the corona virus work, and as a small community we have capitalised on the opportunity to lock down our borders more securely than many larger jurisdictions have been able to.

There is, however, a wholly necessary sense of caution. After all, there is much we do not yet know about a virus which governments around the world have chosen to combat in different ways, and with varying levels of success.

In addition to the worldwide health emergency we have lived through these past few months, there is undeniably an economic emergency which has already claimed its first victims.

Even if this virus could be eliminated tomorrow, we know that the economic fallout will be long-lasting.

This is not a one-off situation that can be consigned to a date in a calendar; it is an époque that will inevitably lead to a cultural shift, and that will shape all of our futures in one way or another.

With that in mind, it would be easy to view ourselves as helpless captives in a situation for which none of us are to blame.

However, this edition of Connect focusses on those who are eyeing new opportunities, those who have proactively found solutions to emerging problems, and those who have doggedly adapted to sudden changes to the way they work.

As the entrepreneurs behind our Special Report told me, Guernsey has always shown the ability to evolve, and reinvent itself when challenged.

We spoke to The House of Green about their ambitious plan to revive Guernsey’s growing industry through the cultivation of medicinal cannabis. It is a sector they say is now ripe for development on an international scale and has the potential to generate millions of pounds in tax take for the island at time when new money is at a premium.

Moving away from greenhouses to Guernsey’s coastline, we explored how seaweed expert Ben Tustin and Luke Wheadon from the Channel Islands Liquor Company joined forces to address the local shortage of hand sanitiser with a Guernsey-grown solution.

They talked us through their seaweed-based sanitiser’s swift journey from seaweed on our shores to a product on a shopfloor, as well as the fascinating, largely forgotten history of Guernsey ‘Vraic’.

Those out and about in recent weeks are likely to have seen rainbows in windows, stacks of pebbles on sea walls and inspiring messages inscribed on signs in the most unexpected of places.

For Soul Food, we spoke to Sian Jones, an artist who recently revived her exhibition of public art, and the inspiring story behind her personal recovery and the work she now does as an ambassador for mental health.

This edition also features uplifting articles with front-line workers and those providing essential services throughout Guernsey’s lockdown. Doctors, supermarket workers and contract tracers are among those who provided a window into their world these past few months and shared their most memorable experiences with us.

Beyond that, there is a lot more to sink your teeth into and plenty of reasons to stay at home, stay safe and read Guernsey Connect!


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