When Lockdown Fatigue Sets In
Thousands of Bahamians tuned in to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis’ national address on Monday evening, anticipating a complete lockdown of the country.
And he delivered.
In his national address, Dr. Minnis announced that New Providence would completely shutdown for 7 days, including grocery stores, water depots and private pharmacies.
A complete shutdown is a first for the country as it battles exponential increases in COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, the Ministry of Health confirms 14 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 1329.
- 1116 cases are active
- 191 are recovered cases
- 19 COVID-19 deaths
When Dr. Minnis first announced that he would address the nation on Monday at 8pm, hundreds of Bahamians headed to grocery stores, where lines meandered shopping plazas, anticipating that Dr. Minnis would announce a complete lockdown. Although not a 2-week lockdown as rumoured, the 7-day lockdown was met with displeasure.
PM’s announcement met with opposition from the public
Social media users took to social media to express their displeasure with the decision to implement a 7-day full lockdown of Grand Bahama and New Providence.
Many posters voiced their opposition on the Facebook page of the Office of the Prime Minister.
Adam Russell called the actions of the Dr. Minnis, “inhumane, heartless and compassionless.” He asked how citizens are to get access to food and medicine. “How are people suppose to feed their babies? How are people able to get medicine?…This ill thought decision will have far greater impact than the COVID-19 virus,” he said.
A user identified as Quietstorm Miller, said Dr. Minnis has shown Bahamians little respect. “Respect is due where respect is given and right now no respect or compassion is been shown to the people in this country with all this foolishness. We need an early election.”
Julie D’Arville said, “For the first time in my life. I feel unsafe to be living in Nassau. No grocery stores. Things will not end well. Praying for the poor. 311 will be busy for the entire 7 days.”
Denise Knowles pleaded with Dr. Minnis to open the grocery stores and asked for Minnis to delay the lockdown to Saturday.
“Mr. PM, there are families out there that don’t have any food and national food centers take a while for the information to process. Sir, I plead open the food stores and water depot so people could at least get food, water and start the lockdown on Saturday. Have mercy on the people and show some love,” Knowles said.
A call to march
Users of social media have used the platform to establish a march in defiance of the newly implemented 7-day full lockdown.
Activists on Facebook have scheduled a march for Bay Street, Nassau, after meeting at Windsor Park at 10am on Tuesday.
The poster of the flyer encouraged marchers to leave home in groups to prevent arrest and practice social distancing upon arrival at the park. He encouraged, “Less talking. Time to stand for something. And remember that protesting is not illegal, its a right.”