It is day 38 since the first two confirmed cases of COVID19 were announced in Bermuda.
To the date of writing, the positive figures stand at 99, with five deaths and 39 recoveries.
The fifth death occurred on April 11.
On April 15, a total of 80 results came in, 56 were negative and 24 positive. Out of the 24, which were positive, 23 were associated with a Senior Care Home.
Bermuda does not apply the double negative test to determine recovery. Recovery is determined based on having no symptoms after two weeks, plus 72 hours after testing positive.
State of Emergency/Shelter in Place
From April 1, the government implemented more stringent measures in order to stop the spread of the virus by declaring a State of Emergency.
I just completed the fifth week of working from home, under Shelter in Place. Curfew hours are 7:00 pm to 7:00 am.
Schools have “re-opened” and with curricula being delivered online.
We are allowed one hour of daily exercise within half a mile of your place of residence.
I have personally started doing online shopping for green vegetables and fruits in order minimize my visits to the grocery and the length of time spent there.
When I visited the supermarket last Friday, what I observed was that, instead of practicing the 6 feet recommended distance, whilst in line waiting to go inside, shoppers were being extra cautious and doing 12 feet instead, making the line seem much longer.
Grocery shopping days are divided into three groups depending on your last name.
Repatriation of Bermudian Residents
The government is committed to repatriating Bermudians who are stranded abroad and there have been special flights from London, Atlanta and Miami. The philosophy is that “no one should be left behind”.
Returning residents are required to quarantine for two weeks in government approved facilities and are tested at the end of the period of quarantine.
The government is dealing and treating with the consequences of the re-opening of its borders for stranded residents, whilst some countries have adopted the hard line approach of closing shut the gates regardless.
Bermuda is the 11th most densely populated country (not city) in the world, 1,153 per sq km. Therefore it is at risk for a rapid spread if the necessary precautions aren’t taken.
Bermuda now has two testing labs and the priority is to test frontline personnel. There is also a drive-in facility for swabbing.
The government has established a bipartisan Economic Advisory Committee and also a portal where residents may submit their ideas for economic stimulation: http://www.forum.gov.bm
The discussion here, there and everywhere is when will restrictions be eased so that businesses may be reopened.
In Bermuda the discussion mostly surrounds when will industries such as restaurants, clubs, bars, hotels, beauty salons, etc be reopened as international/offshore/insurance type of businesses continue relatively seamlessly for the most part, as the persons employed in those industries work from home.
No Birthday Celebration
On another note, I celebrated my birthday on April 12. I should have been visiting the second smallest independent nation in the world on that date but COVID19 had other plans for me.
Some of my closest friends suggested that we have a virtual party but I declined. In times of COVID19 it was only right for me to dial it down.