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Mixed views from Biminites as lockdown continues

Some Biminites are already fed up with Bimini’s two-week lockdown.

The lockdown started on Monday.

“I’m frustrated,” said Ulysses Brennen, a 47-year-old resident of Bailey Town.

“I’m a man who sometimes has pressure problems. Just all the pressure of this [lockdown] riles my blood pressure. God made us on this earth to be free – the birds, the animals. Do you know what it is to say to [another] man that they can’t come out their house?

“I’m not in prison. I’m not in prison. They using this emergency order to keep on justifying the lockdown of us.”

He questioned why a lockdown was implemented on Bimini instead of New Providence “where the volume of people is far greater”.

Thirteen cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on Bimini.

The island has the second highest number of confirmed cases behind New Providence, which has 74 cases.

On April 1, Kim Johnson-Rolle became the first person to die in The Bahamas as a result of the virus. She was also the first recorded case on Bimini.

On April 12, officials said a woman on Cat Cay, a small island near Bimini, had the virus. Ten days later, officials said a man and woman on Bimini contracted the virus. Three days later, five people tested positive for COVID-19 on Bimini.

On May 5, officials said three more people on Bimini contracted the virus. An additional two cases were confirmed on the island last Thursday.

Health officials have declared Bimini a COVID-19 hotspot.

As a result, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis last week imposed the lockdown. He said the date will be extended to a total of 14 days when Parliament reconvenes next week.

Oslien Jadorte, 45, a resident of Bailey Town, said he supports the lockdown, noting that it will ensure the safety of residents on the island.

“I don’t really have concerns, to be honest with you,” Jadorte said.

“I guess single mothers that don’t have a job or haven’t been working prior to the pandemic. But the government has already pledged [its] assistance for those persons in need.”

He said his power went out twice on Monday night. The outage lasted about an hour each time.

“Because we’ve been through it before, it wasn’t of grave concern, at least up until last night,” said Jadorte, a father of four.

“Now, if it’s something that’s a prolonged problem, then it’s a whole other story.”

He said he wouldn’t be able to handle any more power outages during the lockdown.

Joemond Jones, a resident of Porgy Bay, admitted that he is one of the more “privileged” residents on the island.

He said he has enough groceries to last the two-week period.

“I’m very blessed,” Jones told The Nassau Guardian.

“Like I said, I work hard, but a lot of people can’t say that they’re faring well. But I’m one who’s faring really well during this lockdown.

“The economic fallout is pretty bad. You realize we’re tourist-based. I rely on tourism for my business and we haven’t had serious business since March.”

While noting that some Biminites live in poverty, Jones said that other residents are prepared to look out for their neighbors.

“We’ll do the right thing,” he said.

“We’re just going to have to lean on each other. The ones that have are just going to have to help those who don’t have. Everybody knows everybody so we work well.”

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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