Auld Lang Syne to 2014

Auld Lang Syne to 2014
In this Nov. 5, 2014, file photo, a woman covers a child’s face as a health ministry worker fumigates for mosquitoes that transmit dengue and chikungunya in Managua, Nicaragua.
Associated Press / Esteban Felix

At this time of year we tend to sum up the previous year by either labeling the 365/6 days as either the best or worst with no regard to the fact elements of both enabled the time-span.

While personal achievements and challenges could help define the total calendar, public and shared adventures seem to also aid in the definition.

Undoubtedly some of the most memorable by most people are the disappearing Malaysian Airliner lost over the Indian Ocean and just last week another Asian aircraft flying from Indonesia to Singapore that vanished with 162 passengers onboard.

The phenomena affected more than a few.

Some frequent flyers opted not to travel to regions where wide open seas dominated the journey – Australia and New Zealand must have lost a bit of tourist trade due to the long hours of flight over wide open waters to the continent.

The tally of chikungunya cases in the Caribbean pushed upward every month and last month 19, 000 new cases were reported in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic’s tally of suspected cases reached 486,306, up by 19,240 from a week earlier. Confirmed cases in the country stayed the same at 84.

In neighboring Haiti, the case count stayed at 64,695, about the same as it was in late July.

In a recently updated report, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said the numbers since Sept. 19 for the Caribbean and neighboring regions reached 729,178 suspected and 9,537 confirmed cases, for a total of 738,715.

Public health agencies claim the total Caribbean figures surpassed 738,000.

But Florida added to the numbers with 10 local acquired cases of the mosquito-borne viral infection.

Ebola also scared the nation and the diaspora with returning volunteer medical professionals from West Africa stricken with the deadly disease. Although not a single American died from the debilitating virus, for a period it was the main focus of mainstream media and the talk of the town.

Good news from South America cheered a summer of World Cup Soccer Competitions. For a brief moment, sports took the spotlight with a game, still marginally celebrated in America.

And last month when America’s most audacious leader ever displayed his audacity of hope by announcing that Cuba will no longer remain the estranged Caribbean island but a renewed friend with re-established diplomatic relations, some expats expressed joy at receiving a gift they never imagined in their lifetime. Although some decried the change President Barack Obama promised, one can only refer to Biblical stories which did not appeal to everyone who lived during those time.

Although births, weddings and recovery from health setbacks and tragedies will significantly register as most memorable, through it all personal loss of loved ones will stand out as indelible to many.

And while we continue to grieve the tragic deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and so many Black men slain by police across the nation, we also mourn the loss of P.O. Rafael Ramos and his partner P.O. Wenjian Liu who were assassinated in Bedford-Stuyvesant just five days before Christmas.

Some of the prominent personalities that transitioned last year include: actress Ruby Dee, Jamaican singer Barbara Jones, first Puerto Rican Congressman and Bronx Borough President Herman Badillo, boxing champion Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, T&T born, actor/choreographer Geoffrey Holder, actor Robin Williams, poet/actress/singer Maya Angelou, child actress/diplomat Shirley Temple, singer Bobby Womack, singer Jose Feliciano and Joe Cocker.

This Insider wishes all readers the very best for positive memories, good health and happiness in 2015.

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