A friend, a fellow cruiser, asked me a few weeks ago where we were heading. Bonaire, I replied. Is there quarantine there? she wrote. Yep, I replied. Two weeks and strict. I explained how we’ve always wanted to go to Bonaire and we wouldn’t probably, unless we go now. Good for you, she said.
She told me they were waiting to go to Grenada, but they wouldn’t unless the quarantine was lifted. Currently quarantine in Grenada means staying on your boat for just less than two weeks, followed by a PCR test. You anchor outside the capital, St George’s, pick up groceries from the dock and swim around your boat.
Compared to Bonaire, it didn’t sound too bad. Why don’t you go for it, I asked? Because we’ll kill each other, she was quick to reply. I had to chuckle to myself. These guys are a nice family. No obvious drama going on. To hear that they wouldn’t make it through close quarters with each other was an interesting surprise.
We talked as though this was all normal. Cruiser talk now is largely about where you can go, and the restrictions, or lack of, when you get there. Bit of a change from how it used to be.
Meanwhile, the number of cases are inching upwards – on most of the islands. In Barbados last week (I still follow the news like I’m there), there were twelve cases reported on two consecutive days. One was from a batch of nurses who had arrived from Ghana. I’d watched their arrival. Barbados gave them something of a fan fare, welcoming them into the country. The nurses who then unexpectedly tested positive – as testing upon arrival in Barbados is a mandatory requirement, were found to be asymptomatic. None were suffering from the effects of the virus.
From what we’re learning on this, the sands keep shifting. I hadn’t realised for example, until another friend sent me the link from the WHO, that asymptomatic cases are now considered very low-risk for transmission. This would mean that the Ghanian nurses had likely not spread the virus. They’ve still been taken to the facility in St. Lucy for monitoring.
In comparison, the whole of the Bahamas has just gone back into full lockdown mode. No travel into, or throughout the islands. A nationwide quarantine, so to speak. What we’re doing now, and hoping to break free of in a week’s time, the Bahamas’ 700 islands are going to endure until they can get the rising number of infectious cases down.
To be honest, although I’m grateful to be safe in Bonaire today, I can’t say I don’t wish I was home. Love that double negative. I’ll try again. I wouldn’t mind being home right now. This quarantine has brought me some homesick blues.
We’re trying to make the best of this. At times it can feel almost normal, but the picture in front of us is completely impossible to predict. Everything becomes short-term. We are just hoping to get on a mooring buoy outside of the marina. Hoping to get back into our old routine. And of course, it would be good if we didn’t kill each other. In the very short-term. I’m thinking of my friend.