Shopping on Friday ahead of the weekend lockdown. Photos: Terrel W Carey Sr/Tribune staff
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHAMIANS preparing for the weekend lockdown in New Providence had mixed reviews about the tough measures on Friday.
With the lockdown looming, Gathering of the Eagles Ministry saw a bus load of food packages coming in to feed people. However when The Tribune arrived, there were no massive crowds nor a long line of people. Only a few were waiting under a tent to shield them from the sun, but there was still a great need among the group.
Larnado Sweeting, 42, has been coming to the centre for two to three months trying to take care of his wife and four children. He does not agree with weekend lockdown.
“If you locking me down, how am I gonna live? If you lock me down all the time and I can’t come out to get my food, who could give me the food? Where am I going to get it from? Who is gonna help if this lockdown stays like this and what I’m going to do? I need help,” he said.
“If they shut down this down now, my children, me, and my wife will suffer.”
According to the ministry’s pastor Tennielle Cooper, the centre served close to 1,000 people since Wednesday.
She explained: “On Monday, it’s senior day, we had close to 300, and today so far. . .because we close at 3 o’clock, we saw about 500 persons thus far.
“A lot of people are frustrated because they don’t have no means to provide. So this food initiative came in quite handy for them. We try to be here for the people so it’s more than just distributing food to them but having a relationship with them so we try to communicate with them to help lift their burden.
“.....We try to assist persons earlier if they come so we’re here and even after the closing time if persons come we have the item we could assist we try our best to assist them.”
Over at Super Value on Wulff Road, no long lines found outside either. Taxi driver Alexander Johnson, 69, said he was “totally prepared” for the lockdown but admitted the uncertainty can be challenging.
“It’s very tough preparing yourself. You never know what tomorrow’s like. So you prepare yourself yesterday for today although you never know if you’ll ever see today yourself and that’s what I’m going on now. Through the mercies and grace of God, that’s what I’m going on.”
Since being out of a job, Atlantis worker Trevor Morley’s wife has become the only breadwinner in the home. The resort's workers have been furloughed due to the pandemic.
“I have some finances on the side that’s started to take care of my mortgage and stuff,” he said. “You have to cut back on your lifestyle. Definitely, the limited finances."
Despite his financial situation, he added the lockdowns seem to “become a way of life” right now and that people have to get used to it.
As of 7pm Friday, a weekend lockdown came into effect for New Providence and Abaco. The 24-hour curfew will end at 5am Tuesday, since Monday is a holiday. There will be a weekend lockdown each Friday until further notice as the Minnis administration hopes to slow the spread of COVID-19.