Lessons from the COVID-19 experience


Dear Editor,

The ongoing COVID pandemic has taught Bahamians several lessons which, perhaps, we would have ordinarily overlooked.

Affordable healthcare is now imperative. Those who do have up-to-date private insurance are to be considered the lucky ones. The cost of this type of insurance is usually prohibitive and beyond the reach of lower-income individuals and some within the middle classes.

Thousands of Bahamians are without basic health insurance. These people have to rely on the public healthcare system which is now challenged to the maximum in the midst of the pandemic.

No one would wish for a single Bahamian to die. It is now urgent that we either rationalize the high cost of healthcare for the masses or the government at some point will have to seriously establish a National Health Insurance scheme.

Our frontline politicians and their families are insured either privately or through a plan at taxpayers’ expense. The rest of you all are at the mercies of Princess Margaret Hospital, the Rand or public clinics.

Another lesson is that the average Bahamian needs to start saving more where he/she has an income. It is remarkable that commercial banks pay less than one percent interest on savings accounts. A fixed deposit may attract five percent if the amount is large enough.

The government should copy the USA and offer savings bonds in multiples from B$50 to B$100 for specific periods, say six to 12 months, while paying five percent annually. Educational bonds could also be offered at a similar or higher rate of interest. All of this would encourage the masses, where they have some disposable income, to save regularly.

Yes, COVID has taught us some valuable lessons.

Following proper social distancing and health protocols is becoming the new normal even if far too many residents here on New Providence continue to ignore them.

The pandemic has struck Philip Brave Davis, leader of the opposition. I pray for a successful and speedy recovery.

Again, no right-thinking Bahamian likes to dwell on morbid matters but what happens if, God forbid, brother Davis is incapacitated for any length of time running right up to the now widely anticipated and prayed for general election?

Would Chester Cooper, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) deputy leader, have what it takes to lead the PLP to victory or would the competent authority and the Free National Movement be returned to office by default? The dice is about to be rolled and it is my prayer that we do not end up with a snake eye. To God, then, in all things, be the glory.

Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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