We will be among the first to congratulate the government and public health authorities for the job they have been doing in containing the spread of the Coronavirus in the Cayman Islands.
With the exception of the first known case – a patient who was taken from a cruise ship to Health City for other issues – there have been no deaths brought on by Coronavirus on these shores. At one point, there was the expectation that the worst-case scenario was that there would be around a thousand deaths.
Although we are a far way from the end of this pandemic – there is still no vaccine and local cases continue to be acquired – all signs point to a flattened curve in the Cayman Islands. This, at a time when countries around the world continue to count their dead. This is not a competition but an acknowledgement that things could have been much worse in these islands.
As more and more businesses resume operations, life is slowly returning to normal for many of us. It is possible that in the near future there will be an announcement of no new cases locally over a sustained period. With new social distancing and public health protocols in place, we will start getting back to the way they were in March before government restrictions were put in place to limit the spread of the virus.
As this happens, there will be a gaping hole in the picture. Our borders will remain closed until September at the earliest. That means there will be no visitors coming, so those who rely on them for income in the hospitality industry will still be on the outside looking in at the return to life as normal. Remember there are more than the expatriate workers who rely on tourism for survival. Many locally owned small and medium sized businesses will continue to feel the pinch. Any semblance of normalcy will be far off for them.
With borders closed, trips that many Caymanian families have become accustomed to will not be taking place as well.
So, as life returns to normal, we ought to consider how this will affect the psyche of our people when the virus is contained locally but life as they once knew it remains a distant memory and a far-fetched concept for the future.