Editorial: Safe To Come In But Not To Go Out?

There was a contradiction at the heart of Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis’ national address yesterday.

On one hand, he is opening the doors of the country to visitors – even those from locations where COVID-19 is still running rampant. On the other, he urged Bahamians not to travel to those locations.

Is it safe for people to come from those hotspots? Open the doors! Is it safe to go to those hotspots? Don’t do it!

Let’s be honest, this is all about the money and the economy. For a tourism destination with casinos for visitors, we are asking people to place their bets and take a gamble, and hoping that the house will win.

Our biggest tourism market is the United States – which racked up another 36,113 cases yesterday. Florida alone had another 9,585 new cases on Saturday, and the state has just short of 100,000 people currently infected with active cases.

So when the Prime Minister warns of travel to these hotspots, saying “If you travel to these areas and go to malls, shops, restaurants and other establishments you might catch the virus”, well, that’s the same places people are coming from to visit us. Sure, they’ll need to have taken a test to show they haven’t got the virus – but they may well catch it between the test date and the flight. Even at the airport, perhaps – with Orlando International Airport having had more than half of the employees who took a test showing positive.

Why are we reopening in the face of that? The PM gives the answer: “We have to reopen to get more Bahamians back to work and to get businesses and the economy back to work.”

In short, we need the money.

So what do we do? We take what we’ve learned these past months and we keep doing it. You know the drill by now. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your physical distance. When someone ignores those precautions, tell them to take a step back, or take a step back yourself. Minimise as much as possible the chances for that virus to make the leap from them to you.

Grocery store staff have been on the frontline through all this, and now hotel staff will be joining them on the frontline. We urge them all to stay as safe as possible – and urge their managers to ensure every measure is taken to help them to stay safe.

Jitney drivers, you too will have to be vigilant and not overcrowd the buses. Another $1.25 won’t help you if you get pulled over for having too full a bus, and it won’t help anyone if a whole bus gets infected.

In the ideal world, our neighbours would have control of the virus before we opened the doors to them. It seems clear this is far from the ideal world.

We are putting our faith in pieces of paper showing a negative test, and staying six feet apart so we don’t end up six feet under.

This is no happy ending to our COVID-19 story. It could all be just beginning.

No room for these monsters

What manner of monster pulled the trigger that left two-year-old Da’Nyla Roberts in hospital?

She was shot as she sat in her grandmother’s arms on her porch.

The gunman raised his weapon and opened fire on a grandmother with a baby in her arms. Who could do that? This is nothing less than evil.

Let there be no place for this kind of monster in The Bahamas. Whoever the gunman is, people know him. Two people were arrested on the scene, but how did the gunman reach the stage where he thought this was acceptable? Who are the people who forgave him the ills that led him to this, that made him think this was the right action?

He should be ashamed, and he should be shamed by those around him. This incident should be a cause of public horror – and perhaps cause some who might follow the gunman down this path to reconsider and try to turn their lives around.

And say a prayer for Da’Nyla. Her aunt says she is expected to survive – but those prayers will be very welcome.


thps 1 week ago

This was the point I raised. How is it safe for persons to come in and dangerous for Bahamians who are here to go to those very places and come back. Makes no sense.


tribanon 1 week ago

As Mudda used to constantly remind us, Minnis by his own admission is quite often too damn stupid to know the direction he's headed while driving on New Providence. East? West? It's all much too confusing for him. Need we know or say any more about Minnis than that ?!


joeblow 1 week ago

In the mind of Minnis this makes perfect sense.

When the first case of COVID was diagnosed they did not want to close the borders because of the economy. Now that the economy is virtually devastated they want to invite more COVID in to help the economy, but while making it worse because you will have to close it longer!

If Minnis made medical decisions like this then he could not have been a good doctor! I don't think it is normal to give a person more of what made them sick in order to make them better! He might make better decisions on this matter if he stops making political decisions, speak to some good doctors, actually take their advice and then make a medical decision! Both the citizens of the country and the economy might be better off for it!


birdiestrachan 1 week ago

The Bahamas must be the only Country in the whole world that has opened their borders to all Countries.

Just before he does this he allows the Natives the lesser beings permission to go to the beach. "Behave " he says unless he will close the beach again.


DDK 1 week ago

The Leader is truly conflicted and unfit to lead. It is not his fault that his party elected him to lead, but it is his party's fault that it allows him to remain at the helm with no offer of a replacement.


temptedbythefruitofanother 1 week ago

well let's face it. He has little choice in the matter. Keep the country shut down indefinitely and all but ensure bankruptcy, devaluations, etc or open up and risk pandemic overwhelming the (gulp) 10 ICU beds at PMH. What would you do?


thps 1 week ago

I am with you 100% it's a difficult decision. I don't criticize the decision, its the statement.

If on the one hand, he says don't travel because you can cause community spread and its dangerous, is he telling tourists the same?

A Bahamian going and coming back with a negative test is no diff form a tourist doing the same or Bahamians traveling back home the same.

He mentioned that they can cause community spread, worsen the economy, and potentially put us back in lockdown. Well, what confidence that gives to persons regarding tourists coming from those very places or returning residents coming from those places.


mandela 1 week ago

A group of five persons allowed on beaches, an outdoor area. Bahamasair, on the other hand, will not let their plane full of passengers in a closed area social distance while sitting on the plane for hours, we are such a backward thinking nation.


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