Adjusting to the new normal

Some Bahamians have adjusted to the emergency lockdown measures Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis put in place to contain the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), despite the economic difficulties that some are now facing as a result of business closures.

The prime minister ordered a 24-hour curfew, which started on Tuesday.

Nakia Kemp was on Wulff Road yesterday with two young children in the car and a mask covering her nose and mouth.

Speaking to The Nassau Guardian from her car, she said she has been relying on faith in these unprecedented times.

“You’ve just got to be prepared mentally and prepare yourself physically, but it’s more mentally because I mean with everything going on, the rush, everybody freaking out, panic buying…I think all it boils down to is where your faith lies…,” she said.

“So once you have a firm foundation, you don’t have nothing to worry about and that’s me right now.”

Kemp works as a delivery driver for a mobile food app, making her job an exception to the emergency measures which require most other businesses to remain closed.

“I have kids to feed and so I’m out here making my deliveries, but at the same token I’m still taking the necessary precautions; I’m still being safe,” Kemp said.

“I have my hand sanitizer, my Lysol and all that stuff like that so, yeah.”

Noting that she is “just taking it one step at a time”, Kemp said that if the government decides to extend the lockdown until the end of April she would agree with it.

“No we are not prepared, but I mean at the end of the day we only could do what we could do,” Kemp said.

“If they extend it for 30 days then you have to do what you have to do because we are not prepared to see people dropping down in the street dying, so I agree 100 percent with what the government is doing.

“[E]verybody is not complying, no, but at the end of the day, they’re doing a good job but we have to do what we have to do.

“If it be 90 days, do what you have to do; stay inside, take the necessary precautions, be safe, because all of this is for the benefit of the people, to keep us safe.”

She added, “Yeah, this is a lot but we’ve got to look at it from the positive side of it too because at the end of the day, the children they get to see their parents more, they get to get that one-on-one.

“Everything was just work, money, but now it all just boils down to you and your family.”

Not far off, senior citizen Albertha Archer was heading into a convenience store with her husband.

She only ventured outdoors briefly “to pick up a few items that I couldn’t find in Solomons”, she told The Guardian.

“It’s only me and my husband and I and we don’t need that much…and we always buy a lot of stuff one time, so when there’s all the crowds we don’t have to do that,” Archer said.

“We don’t have to get involved with that. It’s only something where I want, because I wanted to make some soup and I’m looking for stuff, so that’s why.”

Although the elderly are considered high-risk for COVID-19, Archer said she feels safe leaving her home “as long as I don’t get close to anyone and nobody coughs or sneezes on me”.

Like Kemp, she urged the public to follow the government’s orders.

“What Minnis is doing, I think he’s right and we should abide by his rules,” Archer said.

But a homeless woman begging for money to buy water in the hot sun of a parking lot, said she feels abandoned in this crisis.

“If they got me outside by myself to be murdered, I just got to be murdered,” said the woman, who identified herself only as Maria.

“Baby, we ain’t safe nowhere. We just got to go with ourselves.”

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