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Editorial: We Must Be United, Bahamaland

THE day we feared would come has finally arrived. A patient from The Bahamas has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. The woman concerned had not travelled recently, so she contracted it here.

There were two waves of reaction to this. The first was the kind we don’t need – the idle speculation and false stories about who the woman was and how she got the virus, circulated on social media and completely false.

The second was the sober plan laid out by the government in response to the news. Schools will be closed until April 14 and restrictions have been placed on travel. Previous restrictions imposed for visitors from Italy, South Korea, Iran and China have been extended to the rest of Europe, including the UK and Ireland.

Limitations such as these are being introduced for one reason – to limit the risk of spreading the virus. With no schools open, children and teachers cannot spread the virus to one another. Reducing the number of people who have access to the country makes it harder for more cases to come in from the outside. These measures give the medical community one thing more than anything else – time. Time to help curtail the spread. Time to deal with the cases they have without being overwhelmed. Time to help our fellow Bahamians.

It is up to us then to play our part. There is little point in keeping children out of school if we pack them up and send them off to large gatherings or to elderly relatives. As much as possible, we should try to limit our own movements. Parties can wait. Get togethers can wait. Carry on with the activities you need to, but for a time, maybe consider each activity before you take part and ask yourself if it really needs to be something you say yes to right now.

Each time you get together with other people, there’s a chance you might pick up the virus. The bigger the crowd, the greater the chance. And you might unwittingly carry it to friends or relatives who are in danger categories. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re safe because you’re not in a risk category – you might be the one who carries it to someone who is.

This is a time for unity. This is when we must think of our fellow Bahamians. Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said as much himself in his national address last night – calling for political leaders to work together, and saying he is open to ideas from Opposition Leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis. As united as we must be in taking precautions to reduce the risk of spreading this virus, so too must our nation’s leaders be united.

As our nation’s anthem says, pledge to excel through love and unity. Show your love for your fellow Bahamians by refraining from actions that could spread the virus, and by taking sensible precautions - not overreacting in panic. Show your unity by following all sensible advice, and not sniping and criticising – and certainly by not sharing irresponsible fake stories on social media.

Together, we can slow the progress of this virus. And if we can do that, we shall march on, Bahamaland, and be all the stronger for doing so together.

Comments

TalRussell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Ma comrades, have you too wondered how long it would take before the Imperialists governing cabinet, would begin writing the Bailout cheques in response to we colony's mainstream print media's "Dear Leader"" plea for a coronoavirus Stimulus?
Some beggars, will even reprint sufficient PMO supplied evidence as proof as to why it is that they possess, not single strain journalistic shame
Life for rest PopoulacesOrdinary, sucks! Yeah, no?

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Clamshell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Well, we queen colony out islanders populacesordinary fromulous imperial crabcakes done redshirt to dem snagulatory populaces disordinary comrades is puzzlulated jes’ tryin’ to read what you been ventilating here in dem chicken gumbo ... yeah, no?

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geostorm 2 weeks, 1 day ago

LOL @Clamshell, someone needs to throw @TalRussell's nonsense back at him.

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TalRussell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Well, Ma Comrade Clam, I'd wager numbers odds that some homeschooling tutoring in English comprehension strategies - would do the trick your posts.

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Clamshell 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Well, I would agree that one of us certainly could use some tutoring in basic grammar and communications. I’ll leave it up to our friends to decide which of us would most benefit from that, thank you.

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ThisIsOurs 2 weeks, 1 day ago

There's no plan Madam Editor. I'm more afraid of the persons making the decisions than I am of the virus.

Aguilar on Mar-3:"The Bahamas might even receive a boost as the Ministry of Tourism was receiving feedback that there was “keen interest” in this nation from meeting planners and event/conference organisers who had been forced to cancel, or look for alternative locations, due to the virus’s impact in other parts of the world"

My comment on that date: "don't bank on that holding up too long. all it takes is a report of a single case then reservations are cancelled"

these men are leading the country and making statements weeks ago that we might benefit from a flu pandemic.

In the same week Turnquest said they were planning for the fallout and had been for "some time". But yet a dramatic chaotic announcement on Sunday to close schools.

And then a hastily organized meeting at Finance with real experts after the sugar hit the fan. Was the purpose to even listen or did they just organize the group for a Facebook photo? Because from last week Tuesday Gowen Bowe and Gilbert Morris had both confirmed that "noone had reached out to them for any input". They got a call after the first case was confirmed. So where was the planning?

I really hope we don't wake up today to more chaotic ill planned news as is being widely speculated.

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bogart 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Good points. Thank goodness population experienced in hurricane disaster management when hurricane travelling and some parallels to present disaster situation.

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BahamaPundit 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Cuba is sending twenty-one specialist nurses to Jamaica (March 14) and hundreds to other Caribbean nations and have developed one of the leading treatments for Covid 19 used in China and now Italy. The Bahamas must act now to retain Cuban nurses before they are all taken.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 weeks, 1 day ago

As the axiom goes: "United we stand, united we fall".

I just wish government had acted four to six weeks earlier to help cushion the very hard fall we're about to experience. The writing was on the wall in late January and we're now past mid-March. One thing we have learned though since May 2017, Minnis is only ever capable of acting in reactionary mode at great cost to the vast majority of the Bahamian people who are not on his 'gravy train'.

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sheeprunner12 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Agreed ……….. any forward thinker could have realized that in January, China was going to have a major Covid breakdown ……. but I suppose our leaders hoped and prayed that it would stay in China ….. then it hit Iran ….. then Italy …… then Seattle etc ...…….. And still no real plan of action????

That Sunday 8pm speech was NO real plan ………. just a speech. We await House of Assembly on Wednesday for more speeches (and hopefully a little more substance). ……. But, it is getting late for us to act on Covid.

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bogart 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Where was the Minister of Foreign Affairs to raise the alarm having his Ministry an office in China?....and the disaster. Just being appraised in the severity and the Chinese reaction and their ability to harness vast resources and build a hospital for this in mere 10 days!!!!!..... and then as everybody knows inadequate govt doing much in crises....and even years later Ragged Island complaining for help....end even before Freeport wanting help before Ragged Island disaster..

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BahamaPundit 2 weeks, 1 day ago

The problem with Covid 19 is we are competing with the world for scarce resources. That's why slow Bahamian politicians are so dangerous in this matter. They need to act fast, like obtaining test kits and respirators or hiring Cuban nurses before they have all been hired by South America, Jamaica and other Caribbean nations.

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stillwaters 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Now is not the time to be bringing people from other nations, including Cuba, into this country.

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