EDITOR, The Tribune
How sustainable is the present socio-economic system of things in small island developing nations like The Bahamas?
COVID-19 will put this question to the test within the next few months.
Proactive strategies for the recovery of the economy need to be implemented post-haste. The knowledge that an estimated 70 cents out of every dollar flowing through this nation comes from Tourism should concern our leaders greatly, especially due to the fact that international travel has been reduced significantly.
One glaring instance of this global travel restriction is the US government’s mandate that there will be no cruise ships from that nation coming to the Port of Nassau for the next 30 days.
Local groups immediately affected by this restriction will be: Dockworkers, taxi/surrey drivers, tour companies, straw market workers, hair braiders, downtown restaurants, souvenir stores, tourist attractions, and any other business whose primary target demographic involves cruise ship visitors.
These persons have families and households to sustain.
Recent statistics show that the vast majority of Bahamians have little to no savings and rely exclusively on incoming salary/wages to maintain their daily lives. Apply such statistics to a 30-day shutdown of these Bahamians’ means of making a living and a disturbing trend comes to the fore. Again, proactive strategies for the recovery of the economy need to be implemented post-haste.
Humanity no doubt will get to the other side of this challenge, but how effectively (and collectively) we act now will determine how rapidly a sense of normalcy is restored. Although, a more important overall question would be: What portions of the presently established global systems need to be strengthened or replaced to ensure greater resilience to future events like this?
Sustainability of self, family, community, nation, and the world - We are all undoubtedly interconnected. The solutions that the inhabitants of this planet will find to overcome COVID-19’s challenges (and future threats like it) will be found together. The opportunity for global unity and a chance to fix the world’s broken socio-economic systems has never been greater.
Cheers to health and a unified, sustainable global community.
YORICK R BROWN
March 15, 2020