Is there a better way to address pandemic?

Dear Editor,

COVID-19 has caused the entire world to make changes in the way we live. And because of limited knowledge, governments have to re-evaluate every decision they make on a regular basis.

For the past several weeks, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has put in place several orders intended to protect health and to save lives.

While this may be a time of making hard decisions it is incumbent upon the government that the measures do not cause the citizens more discomfort than necessary, especially when those sitting around the table drafting these orders appear to be out of touch with average people— the merchants, the workers and consumers.

For instance, the liquor stores where in many cases their combined inventory especially beers and wine worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions of dollars, have a short shelf life and after a while, they are no more good. With the hotels closed what is to become of them?

Does anyone realize how much this is hurting young entrepreneurs who have invested their everything into their business? Fish fry closed without notice; Joey’s, Drifters and others closed losing thousands of dollars in fish and meats.

Then there is the guy who needs the glass of wine or bottle of beer to help him relax and unwind and to not pick a fight with other members of his family; not to mention the scores of laid off workers who are the family’s sole benefactor.

What about automobile shops? What about the mechanic? No car parts, no jobs, no money to buy food.

Many people are walking because their cars are down.

How much more are they exposed to coronavirus because they have to spend more time on the streets walking ?

What is the possibility of these places putting in place social distancing and requiring clients to wear masks as they operate during limited hours like food stores?

Maybe they can introduce sidewalk service and/or home delivery.

It is noted that the vast majority of Bahamians have less than $1,000 in the bank. How are they going to survive without a source of income? How stressful is this to them?

I heard a lady saying “she would rather starve than to go on the red light. Whatever does that mean?

Stress not only causes other severe illnesses such as cancer and nervous breakdowns, but it can also contribute to COVID-19 because it weakens the immune system.

The Department of Social Services is already overwhelmed. NIB can only hold out for so long.

Someone said it will get worse before it gets better. Are they talking about the pandemic or the civil unrest that looms?

No, I’m not an advocate for anyone or anything, just highlighting real-life coronavirus win-win scenarios.

Nevertheless, nothing gives anyone the right to be disobedient or disrespectful.

Recently, there have been several messages shared on social media where a few young men were very disrespectful to the prime minister. This is appalling and should not be supported.

The Bible speaks decisively to this issue. Romans 13:1-2 says: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

Unless we are willing to subject ourselves to these COVID-19 orders, the virus will continue to go unabated.

If there was ever a time our frailty has been tested it is now and instead of being defiant, we should use this time to draw closer to God.

Isaiah 26:9 states: “With my soul have I desired thee in the night yea, with my spirit within me, will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”

The Bahamas is not the only country being subjected to precautionary measures brought on by COVID-19 and if we are to emerge with limited scars we must listen and obey.

Finally, throughout this period of having to charter unfamiliar territories, we are reminded to pray for our leaders.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 states: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”

Eventually, this coronavirus will all be an unpleasant memory, one that will be forever embedded in our lives and recorded in history as the epidemic of the century.

But until then, until that time comes, we are to live in the moment, guard our health and hearts, guard our thoughts and words and strive to make life as pleasant as we possibly can for each other.

God bless us all.

Anthony Pratt

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