By INIGO 'NAUGHTY' ZENICAZELAYA
A dialogue in lockdown between the PM, the Minister of Health (the MOH) and the Competent Authority
The PM: My two fellow Bahamians, it’s fallen on we three to sort this COVID-19 mess out. What suggestions do we have for us today?
The MOH: Well, honourable PM, so far we have done a good job fighting this vexing virus. May I now suggest we be wise and open our borders to international travel slowly?
The Competent Authority: Slowly? I think we can start to speed things up now. In case we haven’t noticed, it’s time to make money. And fast! Phase 5 time!
The MOH: I know, I know we need to make money. But like we said, we have done a great job so far, and I’m just a little concerned about these terrible Covid numbers coming out of the US, in particular Florida, where many of these flights are coming from...
The Competent Authority: Flights? You still talking about flights?
The MOH: Well, our predecessor did have to be force-resigned over a flight situation, remember?
The one that brought in untested foreigners?
The Competent Authority: True. But our predecessor wasn’t us. You want permission? Done. You got it. We are the law now, in case you haven’t noticed.
The MOH: Right. That’s true. But if there’s a spike, will the people blame us?
The Competent Authority: Blame who? Was it us not social distancing at Fish Fry, shaking up in the club out East with no mask, or pack up like sardines in the restaurant out West?
The MOH: No, but...
The Competent Authority: Exactly! Didn’t we already say these young people, the superspreaders, would be the ones to blame if there’s a spike?
The MOH: That’s true, but how can we sell that? People will say it’s because we opened our borders too soon.
The Competent Authority: No they won’t. All we have to do is pick up some of these curfew breakers, non-mask wearers, and those young, party animals. We will blame them. And they will get fined, of course.
The PM: Speaking of the fines, do you think they’re too high? Florida only fines $50 for not wearing face masks. Will the people think we are being too harsh in these hard times?
The Competent Authority: Too harsh? Listen, we didn’t hire up all these extra police, flood Bay Street with them, and create an Enforcement unit for nuttin’! We ga need that lil ting, and we will get it from these lawbreakers!
The PM: That was your call. Or, I guess, our call. Anyway, I can’t believe the resort pushed back their opening date. Doesn’t that make us look foolish? Like we’re rushing too fast?
The Competent Authority: Not at all. We are the law, you know, so if we say it’s time to open, it’s time to open!
The MOH: Now that you mention the law, some people were asking about our justification for the curfew. It’s not like the virus goes away at night and comes back in the morning.
The Competent Authority: Your point? We can tolerate no slackness! If people want to go out at night to go ‘sweethearting’...or whatever, they better do it in the day. And if COVID start spreading again, we will lock this place back down faster than Ash running to court.
The MOH: So it’s settled then. We open up to everyone and let the chips fall where they may?
The PM: Talking about chips, I still can’t believe that other casino lay off all those people. Where’s their compassion? We really have to wonder if they have a heart, or a soul.
The Competent Authority: I know, but we can’t be distracted now. Or backtrack. Cause we are competent, and backtracking looks incompetent. So we move forward. By the way, we ga need to backtrack on that part about everyone getting a test before they are allowed in. Our boy, the Minister of Tourism, needs some leeway to let kids in untested, and maybe a rich friend or two if the situation arises. It’s for the good of the economy.
The MOH: Yes, but young people are the top asymptomatic carriers. This may be a problem.
The Competent Authority: Problem? There’s only a problem if we say there’s a problem. We are the law now, ya know?
The MOH: Then I guess we are in agreement. The Ministry of Health supports the full reopening of the country to any and every visitor, from anywhere and everywhere.
The Competent Authority: Yes, we are in agreement. So long as they have money to spend in our islands, or, at the very least, to pay these fines, we welcome them! And even though, technically, I’m the final word, I will let you have it my PM.
The PM: I wonder why these businesses laying off so many people and making my job so hard? Do they not have a heart...or a soul?