Shona and Gavin from White Arrow. Our Barbados lockdown and post-lockdown dive-fest besties came out of quarantine today – in Bonaire.
They came here after we’d raved about how nice it was. It really was nice. Then on Monday, it turned out that people saying the virus wasn’t in Bonaire isn’t the same as people not being tested. People got tested – and the virus is here. And so is White Arrow.
We are so glad to see Gavin and Shona. They came out of two-week quarantine and headed straight for Quest, on the other side of the marina.
I was feeling pretty bummed out about the evolving situation on Bonaire. The ‘no virus on this island’ approach was clearly a mistake. Turns out we are somewhat in synchrony with the rest of Europe, which is undergoing the beginning of a second wave. Except the second wave in Europe is the first wave in Bonaire.
It reminds me of Barbados when the pandemic began. Not just the bummed-out of ‘what are we going to do if we need to buy a swimming costume?’ It’s the layering sense of fear. Does my chest feel tight because I’m worried about this, or because I have the virus too? And what’s the deal again, with one person getting really sick versus another person being asymptomatic? The layers are layers of the unknown.
White Arrow and Quest lived through this together in Barbados. Along with a small community of boats, we did Day 1 of the pandemic to the end of the Bajan lockdown. We stood together in the seven-hour queue before the supermarkets shut. We had our first socially-distanced gathering on the beach. We got to know the ins and outs of Barbados during one of its most stressful periods in recent history. And one another. We were so grateful to have them there.
One of the heartening things about being on Barbados too was its straightforward approach. Everyone wore masks from Day 1. Anchored together in our little anchorage, our little bubble with a few other boats and friends, we remained this way, until we sailed away.
Unfortunately, it isn’t the same in Bonaire. I mean, it has better diving overall here, and better supermarkets (not to mention the plethora of currently closed dive stores)… but it is unfortunately much less straightforward. There is no mask edict for everyone. Some people wear masks, and some people don’t. Social distancing is encouraged, but I’ve seen plenty of lapses.
Again, that heavy feeling. Panic does that to you. Wave it off, wave it off. We learned a very helpful lesson in Barbados with White Arrow. Keep breathing! And be careful – with a proper cute couple.