Ever since the state of emergency proclamation in March by the Minnis administration, The Bahamas has been subjected to curfews and had been subjected to weekend lockdowns with the noble objective of combating the spread of the novel coronavirus.
With frustration brewing, Bahamians are now clamoring the Minnis administration for an end to the curfew and a return to some semblance of normalcy.
They want Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis to jumpstart the economy.
With our economic wellbeing contingent on the economy in the United States, it remains to be seen how our good neighbors to the north spend their hard-earned money in the post COVID-19 era.
An American financial analyst’s warning that reviving the economy won’t be like flipping a switch should give even the most optimistic among us pause.
The American jobless rate now stands at 13.3 percent.
For many of these Americans, taking an exotic vacation to the Caribbean is the last thing on their agenda.
Even had the Minnis administration doggedly refused to adhere to the warnings about COVID-19 from the World Health Organization, the Bahamian economy would’ve still shut down, due to the American economy shutting down.
Those who argue otherwise are being disingenuous.
Sir Lynden Pindling and the other founding fathers built on the economic twin pillars of tourism and banking — industries which were founded by Sir Stafford Sands.
This over-reliance on the foregoing industries have placed The Bahamas in a vulnerable position, having to rely heavily on outside forces.
No government, with the possible exception of the Christie administration which established the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI), has ever taken a serious look at agriculture.
Lost in all the noise for the reopening of the Bahamian economy, however, has been the near collapse of the criminal enterprise in New Providence.
As of June 8, there has only been 31 murders officially recorded.
With June being the sixth month, The Bahamas is currently on pace for its lowest murder tally in years, dating back to the mid to early 1990s.
With the lockdowns and curfews, it is downright difficult for the criminal elements to move about New Providence without being detected by police officers, who typically roam the streets in search of curfew violators.
Before the lockdowns, the criminal elements could easily blend in with the throng of law-abiding Nassauvians.
With many of these hoodlums not being gainfully employed, and hence not being essential workers, they have virtually no reason for not being home.
Herein lies the effectiveness of the government, which I believe is an element of God’s common grace to man.
The government acts as a restraining influence, aimed at curtailing outward forms of evil that are detrimental to the wellbeing of the Bahamian people.
By implementing drastic measures, even to the extent of restricting our freedoms, the Minnis administration had unwittingly dealt a severe blow to the criminal enterprise.
Only God knows how many lives have been providentially spared, which otherwise would’ve been snuffed out by the criminal elements.
Only God knows how many armed robberies, house break-ins, DUIs, sexual assaults and car thefts have been prevented.
COVID-19 is proof that the government can indeed break the back of crime.
Bahamians want a return to normalcy.
The criminal elements want the same thing too, albeit for different reasons.
— Kevin Evans