Business owners are anxious as health officials acknowledge that The Bahamas is in its third wave of COVID-19 infections, Chief Executive Officer of the Fidelity Group Gowon Bowe said yesterday.
Bowe, who made the statement during an appearance on Guardian Radio talk show Z Live, said while the third wave is not a death knell for businesses, there is a need for everyone to work to get out of it by returning to the pandemic protocols that helped to reduce numbers before.
He said that while most business people had already stretched their resources thin last year, they would rather increase their own restrictions than have government impose theirs.
“Their anxiety is that we might have to go through any significant lockdown measures or any significant contraction of existing activity… and that could even mean more people voluntarily staying away from certain elements,” Bowe said.
“There is the willingness to go out and patronize, but if it is dangerous because we have this spread that is now taking place, then the natural consumer sentiment for those who are wise or prudent will be ‘well, I’ll stay away’. To have that window or curtain drop down again, that is a very frightening prospect.”
According to Bowe, a very delicate balance needs to be struck in this third wave, so that both the government and the general public would work together to lessen the infection numbers.
He said the country has to move very quickly during this time to ensure the progress already made in returning to normalcy is not thwarted.
“Our leaders need to be very consistent in the message that this isn’t about shifting responsibility and saying the government should have done something, this is about looking at the man and woman in the mirror and saying, ‘look I have as much of a responsibility as anyone else in order to protect our economy,’” said Bowe.
“We’ve beaten recessions before, or survived them I should say and in certain cases come out stronger.”