The entire country’s economy has basically been reopened as of Monday.
Most businesses, inclusive of omnibus drivers and barber shops, are now able to operate with health and social distancing protocols. This is welcomed news to a ton of Bahamian employees and business owners who were forced to languish for the past five months on bread and water, literally.
What caused or promoted the competent authority, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, to capitulate or to reconsider his previous draconian posture?
Was it based on “fear” of societal unrest and mayhem or was it based on scientific data?
This is one of the main things that got people ticked off with Dr. Minnis — lack of comprehensible communications and an apparent style of “talking down” to the unwashed masses.
He seems to now be getting the right balance.
Yes, we are not out of the woods yet and there is much more work to be done by all Bahamians, from the top political and economic leaders straight down to the coconut vendors, peanut “boys” and the average Bahamians. There are no exceptions. I am more than persuaded, however, that we are up to the task.
The initial handling of the pandemic was excellent and the government is to be commended for the containment for the first three months.
We were doing quite fine with recording low numbers of COVID-19 cases and actual related untimely deaths.
Once the borders were reopened, prematurely in my view, and Bahamians were allowed to travel to the USA, with almost no restrictions and health protocols, the pandemic resurged dramatically and we have now recorded almost 50 COVID-related deaths. This could have been avoided or minimized.
With the fast approaching general election, there will be ample time to critique and analyze the response of the competent authority, et al.
Now may not be the best time as we as a nation now go into deep waters as we seek to recover and rebuild decimated businesses. That the economy must be reopened with as few restrictions as possible, is a given.
There is only so much taxpayers money available to fund the administration. The sustainability and durability of the economy are critical going forward.
The right balance is to reopen but ensure, by law, strict enforcement of the recommended health protocols and to maintain social distancing.
This is a good time for individuals and embryonic businesses to step forward and, where possible, expand their operations and to invest in digital platforms.
The next few months of this year will be exciting and innovative ones.
I am so pleased to see and hear Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis back at the podium speaking eloquently and coherently while giving reassurances to an anxious people during recent press conferences.
— Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.