A series of ‘funshops’ will be hosted on Zoom for residents to participate
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As Bimini residents begin a two-week COVID-19 lockdown, the longest extended lockdown since the pandemic impacted The Bahamas, residents of the small community will connect digitally through a series of virtual meetings coined ‘funshops’, intended to help Biminites through this period.
“I took some liberties and decided that, you know what Bimini, so many people are very, very concerned about us; so many people care about what we are going through, so I took some liberties in making some calls and I was able to get some things schedule for you,” said Dr Pamula Ellis-Mills said during a Zoom meeting with 100 Biminites over the weekend.
Bimini is under a two-week lockdown to curb the spread of the virus on the island, which health officials have labeled an “emerging hotspot”.
Team Restoration of Grand Bahama, a counseling team of volunteers, has also pledged its support to Bimini and offered 24-hour counseling in English and Creole to residents of the island.
“I thought during this time we could expand ourselves,” Ellis-Mills said.
“We’re going to do — the Christian part of it — we’re going to do devotion everyday from 10am to 11am, but we have several persons who have readily availed themselves to offer you treatment while you are at home.
“Let me give you some of the things that we have planned.
“… I have someone who is going to do study tips with junior high and high schools students; somebody from school psychological services in Grand Bahama is going to do that for us.
“We have Deborah Pratt who has said she will do a customer service Zoom meeting for persons who have small businesses and because Bimini is such a touristic area, for people in the tourism industry to get your skills all fresh while you are at home.
“We have our own Frank Saunders who is going to do some skills for pre-school and primary children that you can use during this time. All of this of course is virtual.
“Judge Pinder in Freeport has volunteered to do parenting skills for young parents; for parents keeping in touch with your children.
“Pastor Lenny Rolle, another one of us, she is also going to do something on ‘lockdown, but not locked up’. We can use some information on some things you can do because you are not locked up.
“We’re also going to have ‘no more mixed labels. That’s another kind of workshop.”
Ellis-Mills she plans to do virtual cooking classes for 30 minutes per day.
She added that in solidarity with Biminites she will remain in isolation for two-weeks.
National Insurance Board Chief Manager in the Office of the Director Pandora Butler is also expected discuss matters related to claims and benefits during this time with residents via Zoom this week.
Alex Williams of Body, Mind and Soul gym will host a workout class for Biminites between 6:30am and 7:30am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
A men’s health and self-care workshop will also be made available to residents, according to Ellis-Mills.
Director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases Programme Dr Nikkiah Forbes, who attended the virtual meeting, encouraged residents to remain compliant with the protocols.
She also addressed wearing masks, noting that in households where one of the occupants has been requested to isolate, it is advised that the individuals where a facial mask.
“But, there are some exceptions for that,” she said.
“For example, for the doctors and other healthcare persons — nurses on the island and me; I wear a mask when I am around my family; to be around my family at home; given that I go into the hospitals.
“And so, that could be the scenario where wearing a mask at home with your family. Other than that, in your individual family clusters you need not wear a mask unless someone is sick.”
While encouraging residents to adhere to the orders, Superintendent Moss said he saw no reason at this stage and unless advised otherwise to prevent residents from “getting fresh air” in their yards during the lockdown period.
Moss said he had a list of the names of essential workers and their shifts, “so, we
“Apart from that, you may have a medical emergency,” he said.
“If you have a medical emergency and need to get out, the police station is open 24/7. Just call and provide the information so we will know who is on the street.”