Despite the social distancing restrictions, it’s kind of nice to see the beach empty. It feels like we’re giving nature a break. The Bahamas has struggled with littering for a long time as a result of tourism.
Our borders are still pretty much closed, so I wonder how the economy is handling the shutdown of tourism— one of our major industries. Since tourism during this spring break was affected, and now summer, the coronavirus will probably have some long lasting effects on business here in the Bahamas.
The islands have been particularly vulnerable, as we are still recovering from the tragedy of hurricane Dorian just last September on top of being hit by the coronavirus. It is also the beginning of hurricane season here, and the tropical storms have been getting worse. They used to only strike once every 7-8 decades, but now because of global warming and climate change, they’re hitting us every other year, and with stronger and more extreme winds. The combination of these trifecta of factors— COVID-19, the closing of tourism, and hurricane season— are building a much greater sequence of destruction.
But there is some good news! Starting today today (June 14), we’re undergoing a new phase of pandemic response in Nassau. The weekends are now going to be the same as weekdays, so we’ll still have curfew from 9pm to 5am, but it’s still an improvement. More restaurants are opening, and hopefully we’ll begin to recover.
My sister also just graduated from Kent, a private school in New England, which has been a highlight. We had an online celebration, with lots of balloons and pictures. Even though she hasn’t had her in-person graduation yet, it was fun to break up my monotonous everyday routine with her online graduation. My sister’s birthday is also this week, marking the second birthday in our family we’ve celebrated in quarantine (my birthday was in April).
Nothing is the same, but hopefully we’ll be able to hang out with some of our family who we haven’t seen in a while.
It really is the little things that mean the most.
Written by: Michelle Zimmermann