Another day and another inane, irrational, rambling line of reasoning from the Prime Minister on how the Bahamas will extricate itself from the Covid-19 disaster and troubling financial mess created by his administration.
As I have written on many occasions, this government has no plans and has no clue on what to do. Given the extremely worrisome rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths and the total lack of trust in the government by the people, our country is now in an existential battle. Our troubles are exacerbated by the government’s incompetence and lack of planning.
Notwithstanding its efficacy, this government will be hard pressed to get Bahamians to accept a Covid-19 vaccine because we just do not trust them.
You have only to look in the obituary columns to see the magnitude of the government’s failure to manage our health care system and allow us to properly funeralize our loved ones.
Page upon page of dead Bahamians; in the obituaries, in the main body of the newspapers and even on Fridays. To be fair, some of these deaths are not Covid-19 related but, as they never tell us anything, we may never know.
But in my life I have never, ever seen this amount of deceased persons in the obits. Yet, just as they lied to us about the Hurricane Dorian deaths, now the government has doubled down with their lies about Covid-19 deaths.
Recall that our road of sorrow started with one case and this was widely reported on social media where the names and alleged travel histories of those affected was given. This was early 2020. How these cases were handled then gave us a preview of how incompetently the government would handle future cases.
We did not have long to wait. As the pandemic spread, Bahamians were subjected to a series of confusing, poorly presented news conferences where the presenters struggled valiantly to make sense of the data.
Then came the nuclear option: the entire Bahamas was locked down, businesses closed, and Bahamians in Covid free family islands, locked down with little to no notice.
These measures failed to control the virus; and an ill-advised, poorly planned, reopening by the Prime Minister, which allowed Bahamians to travel to Florida against all advice, effectively doomed us to the sad state of affairs we are now experiencing.
Given the governments desperation to appear competent, they now appear to be embarking on a policy of “herd immunity” to wrestle back control of the situation. This is yet another kneejerk reaction to events on the ground.
Specifically, remarks by the Baha Mar head on delayed openings because of the government’s lack of control of the virus. A glimmer of this yet unarticulated policy can be seen in the reopening of critical areas known to be virus spreaders such as gyms, churches, and night clubs where crowds gather despite a continued increases in Covid cases.
Nightclubs operate with apparent impunity as they have been closed repeatedly by police yet still have licenses. I hope that I am wrong about the FNM pursuing a “herd immunity” agenda as Bahamians, like most other persons in the world, have zero immunity to Covid-19. This policy has failed in Sweden and the UK.
If implemented, it means that a minimum of 70% of Bahamians must become intentionally infected, recover, and generate Covid-19 antibodies. We know from our own grim statistics that not all Bahamians recover.
Based on the government’s own Covid dashboard, 2.6% of the infected cases will die; this is the Case Fatality Rate (CFR). Imagine spreading this CFR across our entire population of 386,000 and you can see the horror which awaits us if this policy is even contemplated.
This is a serious situation which no amount of mean-spirited remarks and personal attacks by the Prime Minister will correct. What Bahamians seek is competent, rational, considered leadership in this time of national crisis.
But, if the past is any indication of the future, this quality of leadership is clearly absent in this incompetent administration.
Michael J. Brown