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Some Bahamians living in Florida concerned about surge in cases

John Ingraham, 25, a Bahamian work permit holder living in Tampa, Florida, wants to return home.

“I wish I could return,” Ingraham told The Nassau Guardian.

“But, unfortunately, I just got approved for my work visa and Donald Trump has recently [issued] a proclamation not allowing work visa holders reentry into the country. So, I am pretty much stuck over here until something changes on that ruling.” 

Ingraham, who works in database maintenance, said his company is allowing employees to work remotely.

“For me, I haven’t really been too impacted,” he said.

“I just don’t go out anymore. I honestly haven’t had much of a difference in my lifestyle as it relates to COVID.”

Barash Isaacs, 21, a student at the University of Central Florida, said things in the state have been “crazy because no one wants to follow the regulations”.

She said she isn’t afraid of catching the virus.

Isaacs said she has become more “cautious”.

“I definitely haven’t traveled,” Isaacs said.

“Usually, by year’s end, every end of semester, I try to travel home but that’s changed. I don’t go to campus every day.

“That was the biggest change because I was heavily involved in the Caribbean Student Association at the time and trying to get involved in different marketing areas on campus.”

Florida is the world’s new epicenter for COVID-19 with more than 282,000 cases.

There were 12,624 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Florida yesterday.

On Sunday, the state set a new record of any U.S. state for its number of cases reported in one day with more than 15,300 cases.

Richie Munroe, 24, who moved to Tampa about five years ago, said he isn’t as concerned about the pandemic as he used to be.

“I was actually more scared a month or two ago compared to now because places like Walmart didn’t require that customers wear masks,” Munroe said.

“It was encouraged but it wasn’t like now. Now, if I try to go to Walmart, I wouldn’t be let in if I didn’t have my mask on. What scares me the most is the gym that I go to. For some reason, they made workout towels mandatory but masks aren’t required.”

Brandon Huyler, 25, who lives in Broward County, described the pandemic as “kind of draining”.

“We were on lockdown for a while where non-essential businesses were closed and it was pretty much being inside 24/7,” he said.

“I believe it was the last week of May that places started to open back up. But, because I live in Broward, a lot of places still weren’t able to open because we had the majority of cases in the South Florida area.”

Huyler continued, “And now Florida is COVID central of the world. It’s come to a point where things are open but you don’t want to even go out because of the slightest fear of contracting it.”

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