By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
WITH the re-closure of the parks and beaches due to the spike in the coronavirus, Apostle Dr Carlos Reid is still contemplating whether or not he will hold his annual Peace On Da Street Basketball Tournament.
Now into its 25th year of existence, Reid said this being their anniversary month, they may have to look at the possibility of rescheduling the event for a later date.
“We are just trying to see how things will clear up. We definitely want to do it this year. We normally do it in July, but that’s not going to happen,” Reid said.
“We want to make sure that regardless of what took place or what is taking place with COVID-19, we still want to put it on this year.”
Reid said he honestly believes that the Bahamian people should take the pandemic serious, not because of the fact that people will die, but he said it will just be too much for our health system to endure if the number of persons infected by the decease continues to increase.
“Imagine now, if our health care system is over populated with persons that have this virus, we don’t have enough respirators and when we look at what is going on in Grand Bahama, their hospital was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian,” he said.
“Now they are in a makeshift facility, so we really have to pray for our health care system in Freeport. So I want to encourage the Bahamian people to let’s be mindful and careful as you can. We could not afford to let this pandemic get too far out of hand. They will push us back further as a nation as it relates to our economic stability.”
Just as much as he would like to see the parks and the beaches reopened, Reid said the economy of the Bahamas, including the international borders, need to be reopened so that the Bahamas can get through this difficult period.
“We can’t afford America to force our hands. We have to do what is best for our people, the citizens of this country. We can’t follow US President) Donald Trump. He has his own issues,” he stated.
“We have to make the best decisions that will help us to be able to get out of this in the shortest space of time.”
As a caring and concerned citizen, Reid has done his part to assist with his church, The Hope Centre, offering meals and packages of groceries on a weekly basis to facilities and persons who were in need, especially during times when the country was on a lockdown.
As a former basketball player, Reid also sees the need for sports to assist in the growth and development of persons in the community. But he insists that the Bahamas is not the only country affected by the closure of parks and beaches.
“The NBA, baseball and football are all affected. So is sports in the Bahamas,” he stressed. “The power of sports has been one where it has kept a lot of people with a stable mind.
“We know that fellows can go out on the softball field and blow off steam, so there’s not a lot of domestic violence. But when these opportunities are shut down, it creates more opportunities for families to be unstable.
“There’s no way to release stress or here in the Bahamas, we call it let off steam. So I believe that we need to find ways to keep our people active.
“Yes, we need to deal with social distancing. If we don’t, we will have a problem.”
Reid urged the Bahamian public, whenever the beaches are reopened, not to take everybody from their neighbourhood with them.
“If you want to go for a cool off, take your immediate family,” he stated. “This is no time for partying. Later on, you can do all the partying you want. Let’s make sure we get this COVID-19 out of the Bahamas and then we can go back to our normal lives.”
Pointing out that he remembers the days when he used to be out socialising like they do now in various communities, Reid said the Bible teaches that “there’s a time and a season for everything.
“This is not the time for big parties, big splashes. Let’s relax ourselves, stop liking man and let’s see how we can fix this thing and get this out of the Bahamas so we can get back to some type of normalcy.”
With the parks being closed again, Reid said he understand the decision, even though he don’t like it.
“We are just hard heads in the Bahamas,” he said. “When you could just go out and shoot some basketball on the court, some people like to have everyone around them.
“We really have to do better and take this thing serious, or this will mash up our economy, our social environment. We need to start thinking about how quickly we can get through this.”
Designed to be played in front of a captive audience, Reid said he has no other choice but to follow the Bahamas government guidelines and delay the 25th version of his Peace On Da Street Tournament until a later date.