Bimini residents taking lockdown one day at a time

With four days remaining on the two-week Bimini lockdown, Shirlon Ritchie said he’s taking it one day at a time, and that the experience has not been bad.

“It’s going beautiful,” Ritchie, 58, told The Nassau Guardian  yesterday.

At the beginning of the lockdown, he had been concerned about whether they would have enough groceries for two weeks. But he said that has not been a problem.

“There’s lots of food still coming in – if you running short of food and need more, they just bring it to you. If you need cooking gas or gas for your generator [they bring it to you],” he said. “We haven’t been calling for much, but once in a while somebody will drop by and bring something for you.”

Ritchie said they have received milk, water and fruits, among anything else they asked for.

“Whatever we needed, we got,” he said.

Ritchie had traveled to Bimini for a funeral, but ended up having to remain on the island as the country’s borders closed, and inter-island travel came to a halt due to COVID-19. He is staying with his friend, Nathalie Thompson.

Besides himself and Thompson, three other people reside in the Bailey Town, Bimini, house currently.

He’s one of approximately 2,000 people on the island who are under a two-week lockdown to contain community spread of COVID-19.

“Everybody’s abiding by the law [but] you have one or two foolish ones who gon’ go out there and do stupidness, but other than that, everyone is just fine,” he said.

He is hoping to return to Grand Bahama as soon as he can, but said he’s taking it one day at a time.

“I’ll just find something to do here until it’s time that I can get out,” he said.

It was on May 14 that Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced the two-week Bimini lockdown after an additional two residents tested positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19), taking the island’s numbers up to 13.

Minnis said the lockdown was an “absolutely necessary” measure to save lives on the island.

Of The Bahamas’ 100 confirmed COVID-19 cases, Bimini had 13 up to yesterday. Outside the Bimini cases, 78 were on New Providence, eight on Grand Bahama and one on Cat Cay.

Otis Hanna, 61, who was spending the lockdown with his 81-year-old mother, Barbara Hanna, in Alice Town, Bimini, said he’s ready to get to work. He said he’s had enough rest.

“I ready to do some work,” he said.

The proud grandfather said he’s passed the time chatting with his three-year-old grandson, Derval “DJ” Hanna Jr., on the telephone.

He said the island’s residents, for the most part, have been compliant with the lockdown and that he’s not had to call for any assistance, as he and his mom have ample supplies.

The two-week lockdown did not affect Kevin Rolle at all, however.

The Bailey Town resident who lives alone said he’s in his usual routine – work then home. And that he has no problem entertaining himself.

Going into the lockdown, he said he had his food and was equipped for the two-week period.

The Bimini residents are in a complete lockdown through Saturday, May 30 at midnight, while the rest of the country is in the midst of a phased reopening.

During the lockdown, a team of 12 volunteers assisted the island administrator with checking in and assessing residents in need of assistance. This group also helped to manage the food pantry on the island.

Boats carrying food and supplies are allowed to call on Bimini during the lockdown period to ensure food stores are restocked after the lockdown ends.

The Bahamas identified its first case of COVID-19 on March 15.

To date there were 11 deaths (the first being Kim Johnson-Rolle, of Bimini), 46 recovered cases, six hospitalized cases, 43 active cases and 2,026 tests completed.

Worldwide, there were 5,554,469 confirmed cases and 348,447 deaths.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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