With the cancellation of his deejaying gig at the national high school track and field championships, Gary “Super” Johnson began to feel the effects of COVID-19, and since then he’s had six events cancelled due to crowd size as the world emphasizes social distancing in an aim to try to cut down the amount of the contagious coronavirus spreading around, and ultimately protect the most vulnerable, including the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.
“I have events cancelled going all the way up to the end of April,” said Johnson. “It’s something that you can’t get around and have to wait and see what’s going to happen.”
Experts believe the virus is mainly spread through droplets that come out of the mouth and nose. When an infected person speaks or exhales or coughs or sneezes, the droplets travel about three to six feet before gravity pulls them to the ground.
As one of the most in-demand deejays in the country, Johnson spins tunes that make people want to get up and dance, which makes social distancing tough at events he normally works.
“It’s affected me in a big way. Even if the virus goes away in a month or two, people still have to recover. It’s a big thing, and I’m watching, because people will be watching how they spend their money.”
He estimates he’s lost thousands of dollars due to the cancellations over the next six weeks alone.
“Most of us live paycheck to paycheck. We can sustain ourselves for two months, but when you look at no income for two months, that’s a different story,” said Johnson.
It’s not just Johnson’s DJ gigs that have been postponed or canceled – the list is extensive for the next few weeks, as people wait to see how the pandemic spreads in the country. Up to yesterday, The Bahamas had three confirmed cases with 11 people in quarantine. Worldwide there were 211,853 cases with 8,724 deaths.
Bahamas Carnival announced after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 that the Bahamas Carnival Experience was postponed to a date to be determined, as the health and safety of its supporters was of paramount concern for Polantra Media Group, The Bahamas Carnival Band Association and Blue Monkey.
“As the world continues to grapple with the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, we have taken the advice of Ministry of Health officials and the prime minister and postponed the event. As The Bahamas Public Parks and Beaches Authority has also suspended both existing permits for organized public gatherings and that issuance of any further permits, our team has decided to err on the side of caution for the well-being of everyone.”
Rafel Dean, Bahamas Carnival Band Owners Association president, said the move was supported by mas bands as their main priority as well is the health and safety of their supporters.
“With travel bans being put in place, and governments on high alert, we think it’s imperative that we put the health of our supporters, and Bahamians in general, first. The band leaders have agreed to this change, and assure our supporters that we will accommodate any questions or concerns.”
Boogie Nights, the much-loved Star 106 Hits and Visage once-a-month affair which was to be held on April 3, has been canceled until further notice.
Sunday’s 32nd annual Bahamas Bridal Show was postponed to Sunday, May 31, after Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced that large gatherings have been shown to be linked to wide spread of coronavirus. Show officials said they wanted to take every necessary precaution advised by the Ministry of Health.
The 4th Annual Elevation Awards was postponed from April 4 to Saturday, June 20.
The Bahamas National Youth Choir, out of an abundance of caution, suspended all rehearsals and activities in celebration of its 30th anniversary, which was to happen this month and kick off with a church service on Sunday. Potential date changes for the celebration shifted to July 1-4 for pre-independence celebration.
The Island House Film Festival also postponed its film festival which was scheduled for March 26-29.