RESTRICTIONS are easing again – but not by much.
An extra hour before curfew will hardly be greeted with a great cheer, while we wait until next Monday for beaches and parks to reopen, just a couple of days before we’re inviting tourists to use them.
We do wonder particularly how the conclusion was reached to shift the curfew by just an hour. We’re not sure COVID-19 is any more dangerous at 10pm than it is at 9pm. Is it a matter of dealing with crime? If so, ShotSpotter technology has shown the sound of shots tends to be heard more often earlier in the evening rather than later. Besides, as we’ve said before in this column, if it’s being used as a tool to prevent crime, then it’s blurring the use of the emergency powers.
Still, there are other ways in which the reopening is slowly edging forward. Taxi services resume on the same day the country reopens – we would think doing so in advance would help drivers get their safety measures in place, though.
Jitney drivers too can resume running, although with only half the seats filled. Half the seats will be filled too inside restaurants – although not at Arawak Cay. We’re not sure what the difference is between distance measures at the Mall at Marathon compared to Arawak Cay, though.
That’s the curious thing about this piecemeal process to reopening. A wedding can now have as many people as the bride and groom like – as long as everyone keeps their distance in the same way as at church services – but no more than five people are allowed to gather or exercise together on the beach.
The Bahamian people are doing their part and following the instructions as best as possible – that can be seen by the lack of cases of COVID-19 – but it’s a bit of a headscratcher as to why one activity is deemed safe while another is considered dangerous.
One thing we can agree on – we want to drive out the last of this virus, and put as many measures in place as possible to prevent its spread when visitors arrive.
Those masks we’re all wearing, that distance we all ought to be keeping, the regular handwashing – all of that can prevent catching the disease if anyone inadvertently brings it to our shores.
We all want that same goal – it’s just how we get there that sometimes seems confusing.
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It appears there is a rush to judgment taking place with regard to proposals for developments in Andros.
It is early days indeed for the three proposals that have been put forward for the island – the most eyecatching being the free trade zone project put forward by US-based billionaire Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Since that proposal was put forward, it has drawn opposition from the local MP, Carlton Bowleg, who complained of the “high disrespect” in brochures being put forward before consulting him. The PLP has come out against the project, saying it is not environmentally sustainable. And in today’s Tribune, the Bahamas National Trust sounds the alarm about all three proposals on the table for the island.
There is a long way to go before these proposals come close to being turned into reality – so why not pause before judgment? Let’s see more details of each of these proposals before we dismiss them so readily. There may very well be issues that need to be tackled before any approvals, but that’s a conversation to have rather than shouting “No” at the start.
There is a process – and that process includes protections for the environment. Let’s follow it.
We wonder how many people are responding before they know the full details. Once we hear them, then if a particular scheme is inappropriate, we can always say no then, once all the details have been considered. Deciding without the full information is a sure way to make the wrong choice.
So more information, please. And a good deal more patience.