The long and winding road

Dear Editor,

The prime minister in his wisdom closed almost the entire country down, inclusive of churches and liquor stores.

He recently gave the churches the green light to open their offices from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Most people are still trying to see the logic behind this move because most churches only have maybe two people working in the office. Maybe it’s easy for members to pay their tithes. I don’t know.

The liquor stores opened before the church offices but not before giving the black market dons free rein to pillage the country and get rich.

They were selling alcohol at four times the normal price and the country did not receive one red cent in tax.

Presently even though most liquor stores are opened, because of delivery and curbside rules, they are operating with a skeleton crew.

On the other hand, the gaming houses had been out of operation since the first day of COVID-19 shutdown and have paid their employees the full salary for every day they were closed.

After the prime minister addressed the nation on May 3, the gaming houses resumed their operations. Even with all of the restrictions, they had a full team on duty every day ensuring the COVID-19 rules were maintained.

But on Sunday, one week later, Dr. Minnis announced that the web shops did not have permission to open and should shut down forthwith.

Sometime in his address, he said there was a 50 percent drop in revenue for April and the country is facing a 30 percent unemployment rate.

The gaming business employs 3,500 Bahamians. The vast majority are single parents and are the sole provider of the household.

Mr. Prime Minister, what is to become of them? How are they going to survive?

In your recent address to the nation, you spoke of a grim outlook and more than 25,000 people losing income. Have you included the gaming houses staff or will they be added to the others? If you do it would increase to 28,500.

Yes, sir, the future looks grim, but for who?

The talk is gaming houses should not be opened because it would have an adverse effect on the community.

Whether we like it or not people will do what they want with their money. You can’t change that. Because I don’t drink or gamble does not give me permission to impose my beliefs on you.

But the question is who are going to support the families of those workers?

Coronavirus has brought myriad issues and we are looking at a long and winding road with many curves.

But along this road there are many oases; some of them are blaring, and others are secluded.

We just have to look everywhere.

The moral of this story is only those who feel it know it.

Anthony Pratt

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