EDITOR, The Tribune.
These are my general thoughts thus far about this pandemic and its effect on The Bahamas.
Socially, it has been a disaster of epic proportions. Trust that any culture that loves to intermingle will have a difficult time handling the necessary precautions in dealing with COVID-19. Bahamians are adjusting slowly to not having to make contact with each other, but what is life without the human touch, literally and figuratively? The need to socialise is hardwired in human behaviour. It is no surprise that after months of curfews and lockdowns some individuals risk life and limb to flock to mass gatherings. The human need to connect with others is a powerful force.
Physically, we as a nation tend to be on the heavier size in regards to weight. The Bahamas is in the top ten most obese nations in the world. Unfortunately, COVID-19 attacks people in this category more aggressively. Longer hours at home and closed gyms have taken a toll on many Bahamians, and they have the resulting added pounds to show for it. Add unhealthy diets/habits or underlying conditions and a clearer picture can be seen of how easily COVID-19 can rip through our population. An inflammation-laden body is a veritable playground for COVID-19 - The virus will thrive throughout the various systems. Persistent inflammation is a warning sign that a person’s overall anatomy is not in balance. Thankfully, in most cases, any issue is often directly linked to what exactly and how much one puts into their bodies.
Intellectually, our people as a collective have not been adequately prepared for the world we live in today. Navigating the various systems that are in place takes a level of awareness and adaptation which can be fairly daunting to those not familiar with associated nuances. Still, many simply put their heads down and try to work through systems meant to frustrate their progress and maintain the status quo. Once one becomes aware of the fact that there is a better way of doing things though, it is imperative to fight tooth, claw, and nail to ensure that improvement across the board is implemented.
Culturally, we are compliant. If there is one thing that the Government of The Bahamas can count on, is that there will be little kickback to the majority of decisions that are made. As a people, Bahamians do love and care for our country. We do maintain at least some semblance of order and don’t want COVID-19 here. It must be said that one of the things that will be the saving grace for reopening our Tourism Industry is our proven ability to flatten the curve and become COVID-19-free within weeks. Our tourism industry must shift to an alternate model, one where all tourists stay at least a month - two weeks automatic quarantine in a hotel and two weeks or more free to roam about the population, COVID-19-free and healthy. On the local side, the same mandatory two-week quarantine in a health resort would apply for Bahamians upon return from another nation. Mandatory quarantines upon entry from another country are one way to minimise infection risk. (Until more accurate rapid tests are created, that is). Of course, with such longer stays, this new COVID-19 -free Bahamas also would be developed into the sustainability capital of the world.
Along with other CARICOM nations and a few strategic international partners we have begun the first iterations of a regional self-sustainability platform that can be scaled to any other group of countries globally. Industrial advancements will be made in the areas of food, clothing, construction, medical, and energy. It is time for us to show what Cannabis can do for entire economies when unimpeded. The Bahamian economy has been brought to its knees by COVID-19, we are ready to step in and fix key areas.
Emotionally, Bahamians are drained. Yes, there are grumblings and rumblings when the curfews and lockdowns occur, but for the most part, Bahamians balance ourselves fairly quickly. My concern is for the younger generations that are going through this. Fear, anger, stress, loss, confusion - Such emotions can weaken even the most hardened adult, so imagine what our youth are going through watching adults struggle through this pandemic. Being an example goes a long way in shaping what is perceived as acceptable during such challenging times.
Spiritually, the human experience is one that remains a mystery to many. In such a time as now, questions that have plagued mankind from its inception ring forward even louder for each and all to hear. Whatever each Bahamian perceives as the answers to this mystical life of ours can vary greatly at times, but one truth remains. Despite whatever separation we may feel from each other, we are all in this pandemic together.
Be safe and healthy, people. The solutions are coming.
YORICK R BROWN
July 22, 2020.