The Grinch that stole independence

Dear Editor,

Once again, flexing his muscles, the competent authority has lived up to his expectations.

After finally being allowed to go to the beaches and enjoy the water, my grandson and I spent several days having fun in the sea. Besides us, there were many small groups of people enjoying themselves, making sure to obey the COVID-19 rules, while several policemen could be seen observing the scene.

The recent announcement that there would be no Independence celebration for the public to attend put a damper on everyone’s spirit.

But at least the beaches were open, and we were looking forward to spending the holiday there, enjoying the tasty food and drinks the vendors sell, especially the conchy conch fritters.

But alas, the competent authority, like the grinch that stole Christmas, shut down all of the beaches in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Paradise Island, making him the grinch that stole independence.

The competent authority’s rationale was that some of us do not know how to discipline ourselves and would not have observed COVID-19 protocols, exposing us to more people contacting the Coronavirus.

Competent authority, minister of health or prime minister, anyone of you or all three of you can collaborate and answer this question: With the beaches and parks closed, were police officers able to police the many back yards and block parties along with the many clubs and other functions where people congregated given that they could not go to the beaches?

Unlike the beaches and parks, a lot of these gatherings were held in closed environments making it difficult to maintain social distancing.

We are positive that it would have been easier to control the beaches than it was with all of these parties. Sport bars and other places advertised Independence specials.

The sad part about all of this is that the vendors who had been eagerly anticipating the Independence weekend, preparing for what was normally the busiest weekend of the year for them, had nothing to look forward to.

I spoke with the hot dog lady on Goodman’s Bay and the daiquiri guy on Montagu Beach. They were almost in tears wondering how the government they support could do this to them.

Now they are wondering what is going to happen on August Monday. I reminded them that the emergency proclamation ends at the end of the month; that is unless the competent authority changes his mind.

Anthony Pratt

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