Coronavirus and Bermuda
The biggest adversity the world has seen in many a generation. I truly hope that you are all staying safe and healthy.
A crazy and worrying time, harrowing for some, as the Coronavirus or COVID-19 sweeps every little corner of our world taking no prisoners. A global pandemic, only previously in the deep imaginative minds of movie writers, scientists, historians and risk officers. Now part of all of us, every day, every minute.
Every hour seems a day and every day a week, and unfortunately Mr Trump the churches will not be packed at Easter nor will Thorntons or Godiva. Coronavirus will be part of our lives for some time yet.
There will be an after, but how will COVID-19 have changed our lives, the way we travel, the way we work, where we live, cleanliness, large gatherings, the economy, our health service.
Anyway the idea of this post was to tell you a bit about the Coronavirus here in Bermuda, a 21-sq. mile island, with less than 60,000 residents. Yet this is a very transient place with 5,000 cruise ship passengers often daily on the island and business people and tourists flying in and out all day and every day. Add to that, most Bermudian’s love to travel – so would you if you grew up on a island 700 miles from anywhere a mile wide at it’s furthest point!
I have to say the government and the Premier here I thought were quick to act, certainly compared to some of their peers, and particularly those in Europe.
The border here has been shut for a week, and for the week previous all incoming passengers were made to self-quarantine for 14 days. Yesterday a solitary flight came in from Canada bringing Bermudian students home. Fortunately this is pre-cruise ship season with visits sporadic, and trips to Bermuda were completely halted a few weeks back. No buses, no ferries, police roadblocks stopping unnecessary journeys and punishing those listed to be self-isolating or in home quarantine.
All shops are closed other than grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations. Restaurants, bars and cafes have been closed for over a week, and almost everyone is working from home unless you are an essential worker or you have a very bad, uncaring employer.
Cargo planes and the regular container ship that goes back and forth from America’s east coast is still coming and by all accounts we have plenty of fuel. Bermudians, used to hurricanes, appear much more restrained and temperate when it comes to food and important supplies than many of my sad countrymen and women I’ve watched on the TV back home. I was in the shop on Sunday, and it was civilized, people were respecting each other’s space and the shelves were packed (photo above).
Up until the other day the island’s health system had to send COVID-19 tests to Trinidad, and it takes 7 days to get them back. Bermuda now has their own supply. As of tonight 117 tests have been carried out, 72 were negative, 38 are awaiting results and we have seven positive cases. Six of those were from residents who flew in on commercial or private jets, and one contracted it from one of the other six.
Groups of more than 10 are banned and dispersed, but the beaches and parks are open and from what I’ve witnessed social distancing is being taken very seriously whilst we are lucky the mild weather has encouraged exercise and downtime as we all adjust to home working and learning. My daughter is in the photo below practicing social distancing in the ocean with one of her swim friends.
Keep safe, keen sane, keep your distance. As a mate said to me the other day.. our grandparents had to go to war and risk their lives often in face to face combat to move the planet to a better place. All we have to do is sit on the couch and watch Netflix.