GB residents brace for lockdown, some feel “unnerved”

GB residents brace for lockdown, some feel “unnerved”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Grand Bahama teacher Marva Burrows yesterday said the second wave of cases on the island is “unnerving” for her and her family.

Burrows and several other Grand Bahamians told Eyewitness News they agreed with the government’s decision to lock down the island, though their responses to the spike in cases varied.

The lockdown will take effect Thursday, July 23, at 7pm until August 7 at 5am.

A complete lockdown will be in effect on Saturdays and Sundays.

Burrows’ lives with her 71-year-old mother and nephew, and has already lost a friend to COVID-19.

Her fears have compounded as she watched infections on the island surge to 61 new cases since July 1.

Of those, 41 cases have been recorded on Grand Bahama since Saturday.

“It’s very shocking, the surge of cases, but you had that 72-hour turnaround thing that I guess a lot of Bahamians indulged in apparently, and that’s what is going to happen,” she said.

“But I am glad they are locking us down because that is the only way to get control of this thing.

She continued: “Before the government opened up the border to the US we were under very strict conditions and I was very happy with that.

“But when they took the restrictions off the border and opened up the border between us and the US, then it seems to be they weren’t as strict with the Bahamians traveling there and coming back. I think that allowed it to come in.

“…It is very unnerving right now because my mother is [almost] 90, so I am trying to keep her safe too.”

Burrows said she ordered food supplies online due to a health ailment, and to avoid long lines observed, though she was unable to find “half the products” she need.

Residents rushed to stores in droves following the announcement of the lockdown.

Benis Bain, a MARCO City resident, said he was prepared.

He made a last-minute dash to the food store to stock up on goods, enduring long lines.

However, Bain said there did not appear to be any shortage of supplies.

“As far I can tell so far, it wasn’t shortage of nothing,” Bain said.

“There were some lines, and you had to tout lines to get in.

“You have to get everything in order; make sure your house is in order and you got your groceries, your food, your water and you are ready to go.”

Allison Campbell, 71, said he believes greater enforcement of the emergency protocols is necessary when the island reopens.

But he said he believes the lockdown could be extended beyond 14 days.

“I don’t think we’ve seen all the cases that will come in the next week or two because of the fraternizing that the younger people do,” he told Eyewitness News.

“That’s just my thoughts on the whole thing. I drive around Freeport and look at the places in the Williams Town area and so forth, and the people just don’t take it that seriously.”

Campbell also called for stricter controls on liquor stores and restaurants which serve alcohol alongside food.

As it relates to the lockdown, he said he has become accustomed to spending extended period indoors as someone with a higher risk.

“I’m 71, so when they say stay inside because of your age, you are one of those in that bracket where you are more susceptible to contracting the virus,” he added.

As of yesterday, there were 194 confirmed cases of COVID-19.