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‘I haven’t been out since the curfew’

Clarice Cartwright, 55, of Central Grand Bahama, hasn’t left her house in two weeks.

She said she isn’t taking any chances, especially with two confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the island.

“I haven’t been out since the curfew was implemented because I don’t feel I should go out there to bring the virus home,” Cartwright told The Nassau Guardian.

“I am obeying the law, doing the best that I can. I don’t think anybody should be going out to the food store for one item or two items. My plan is to go out when I am completely out of necessities or essentials.”

She said she is concerned for her children.

“My children — on their father’s side — have a history of asthma and having asthma is one of the concerns of this virus,” Cartwright said.

“So, me and my kids, we’re staying home as best as possible.”

Crystal Lowe, 55, of Lucaya, has also made the decision to not leave her house during this time.

However, she said, her reason is a bit different from Cartwright’s.

“I was in the United States when all of this took place and, out of respect to others and to my family and friends, I’ve self-isolated because I want to be sure,” Lowe said.

“I’m on day nine, I think it is. You know, I’m drinking a lot of tonics, a lot of bush medicine, things that I believe in.

“I’m doing what I feel is necessary if I was in contact with anything. We’re doing a lot of proactive things that we’re just hoping will keep us safe.”

Lowe said she is worried about how a COVID-19 outbreak will impact Grand Bahama nearly seven months after Hurricane Dorian — a deadly Category 5 storm that ravaged the island.

“Actually, I find it to be extremely scary,” she said.

Asked if she believes the island has adequate healthcare resources to handle an outbreak, Lowe replied, “No, I do not.”

Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis imposed a national curfew — 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. — and ordered the closure of non-essential businesses. It was later extended to 24-hours.

The curfew is expected to expire today. The unprecedented measures, according to the prime minister, were taken in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, where there are 14 confirmed cases.

As the elderly are more susceptible to the virus, on Sunday, Minnis asked that individuals over 75 not leave their homes.

This is a request that Amos Pinder, 82, of Pinder’s Point, said he intends to ignore.

“The thing is, you have to have faith in the word,” Pinder told The Guardian.

“You got to get the truth about it and live according to His word, not how you feel about it. Live according to His word.

“What he say? He said he put the beautiful sunshine and the fresh air out there for you to enjoy. So, the point is: you gonna stay locked up in the house all day? You need to get out and catch some air.”

Asked if that meant he will still leave his house, Pinder replied, “Well, yeah. I right outside now.”

Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson last week advised Grand Bahamians not to panic following the confirmation of the first case on the island.

“What makes this especially challenging is that we are still recovering from Hurricane Dorian; however, we could not expect to be immune from this global crisis,” he said on March 24.

“Now is not the time to panic. Your Grand Bahama health services coronavirus task force has been working along with the national task force to prepare for this eventuality.

“If anyone in Grand Bahama or any other island didn’t take the warnings and emergency orders seriously, please know that this virus can affect any of us anywhere in The Bahamas.”

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