Friday, May 22, 2020
MORE than a thousand people want to head for the Family Islands.
That’s how many people have inquired about inter-island travel. For some, it will be for business. For some, it will be a chance to return home. A chance to see familiar faces – from an appropriate social distance, of course – and, from a national viewpoint, the chance to lead the way in this first step towards normality.
It also comes at a time when more businesses are being given permission to operate – including the legal sector, with law firms and justices of the peace able to work between 9am and 1pm, and real estate agencies too. A raft of businesses to help homeowners prepare for hurricane season also had restrictions eased.
It must be remembered that each of these forward steps can be undone if we gat a spike in cases. To that end, it is concerning that the latest case in the country was a man who had to be tracked down by law enforcement – and equally concerning that up to 15 people supposed to be in quarantine have not been able to be contacted. Those who have not been contacted in quarantine by health officials ought to get in touch – or perhaps they too will have police coming to find them.
That latest case was the only one in a week for The Bahamas – and Grand Bahama has not had a case in three weeks. These are promising signs – especially if the Bimini lockdown does its job and brings the spread of the virus there to a halt.
Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, at yesterday’s briefing, where Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis was again noticeably missing, was clear however.
“The pandemic is not over,” she said. As we begin to see movement again around our islands, it is important to remember that. It has been very hard for people to keep their distance from family members throughout this time – but we must not rush the return to normal. If we do that, we risk undoing all the effort that has been put in so far.
So be safe. Follow the rules, wash hands, keep your distance, wear a mask. It’s working.
End violence against women
A video circulated on social media this week, showing a disgusting attack on an 18-year-old woman in Grand Bahama.
Two men appeared in court yesterday and were sentenced to five months in prison and given a $3,000 fine each.
Remarkably, though, the victim herself and her friend were ordered to perform 50 hours of community service, and told off by the magistrate for not “walking away” from the altercation.
We welcome the fact that the Ministry of Social Services was quick to issue a statement condemning the attack. We welcome too the attention of groups such as Rights Bahamas on this case.
Whether the women walked away from the altercation or not, there is no excuse for violence against women or girls. The men involved should be ashamed of their actions, and there should be no room to cast blame on victims. The women should have walked away? So should the men.