Inconsiderate and nonsensical COVID-19 response

Dear Editor,

Master Minnis is displeased and we have been grounded again.

With very little warning or consideration, the PM announced that we would be locked away for the weekend – again.

Those with young children and dependents, those living in abusive situations, and otherwise, scrambled to figure out the best way to maximize their comfort over the weekend. We were granted a generous four hours’ notice.

The populous’ frustration with the flippant disregard this administration demonstrated in March, when it informed the country that a full lockdown would take place in a matter of hours, seemed to have had little bearing on our prime minister this past week. People panicked. The perimeters of grocery stores were, again, lined with angry Bahamians.

He decided on Friday – again – that parents, caretakers, those with full-time commitments – needed no more than a few hours’ worth of time to get their affairs in order.

He decided that a curfew of 7 p.m. would be reasonable. The former curfew was 10 p.m., having been extended from 9 p.m.

Apparently, COVID-19 demonstrates a more voracious appetite for transmission at or around dinnertime, otherwise, what could be the rationale behind what may easily be considered a draconian curfew?

Business owners panicked, having just recently been allowed to reopen, having borne the cost of deep cleaning expenses, having implemented new policies for social distancing, having trained their staff in the implementation and enforcement of said policies, having so recently revived the strands of hope that their businesses just may survive this year, against all odds.

Those on New Providence and those predisposed to more critical thinking, questioned why they would be confined to visiting only the parts of their country available to them within a 21 mile x 7 mile distance, when international travel had not been prohibited.

Those who read the lockdown order might have queried why the prime minister and his advisors would find a significant threat of transmission of COVID-19 in the act of them doing jumping jacks within the confines of their own front yards between the hours of 5:01 p.m. and 4:59 a.m.

Those with access to social media might have become angered at the news of a big, bad wedding taking place on Harbour Island, which enjoyed the full complement of an energetic Junkanoo rush-out.

Those being more cautious and wary of the ease with which administrations – and prime ministers— appear to become drunk with power, might have become reminiscent of the resolute air that permeated the ‘Blackout’ marches, which sounded the first call to action against an administration that appeared to disregard a country’s call for responsible and fair governance.

In the day and age of COVID-19, a more sustainable way forward is needed. More creative thinking is required. More responsive communication is necessary.

If the Minnis administration is not up to the task, it needs to come to grips with the fact that it may not be the appropriate administration come 2022.


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