Family Islanders shouldering COVID-19 crisis

Family Islanders shouldering COVID-19 crisis
Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation logo

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While Family Islanders are anxious to get back to work, several Chamber of Commerce executives said residents are taking the COVID-19 situation in stride.

“There is nothing happening,” said Cheryl DeGoicoechea, the Long Island Chamber of Commerce president.

“We don’t have any cases anyone is aware of. Everyone is following the rules. The people aren’t happy that they can’t get on with their normal life but they understand that they have to do what they have to do.”

DeGoicoechea said: “People want to get back to work. Everyone is concerned that if they can’t get back to work that means no revenue, no salaries coming in. I don’t hear anyone getting angry. Everyone is talking about the fact that hopefully this will be over soon and they can get back to some sense of normalcy.”

For his part, Exuma Chamber of Commerce president Pedro Rolle said the community has grown more compliant with each update on the virus spread.

“There is not a whole lot going on,” Rolle said, “and I think that with every update I get the sense that folks in the family islands are a bit more compliant and less agitated than the folks in Nassau. I don’t get any sense of despair or ‘woe is me’ or that sort of thing. People are trying to cope as best as they can.”

On Dorian-ravaged Abaco, the island’s Chamber of Commerce president Ken Hutton said: “It’s just another day. We do what we got to do. There is building and reconstruction going on fortunately as a lot of that activity has been exempted. We are truly fortunate that the reconstruction efforts are continuing. It’s not just critical, it’s needed.”