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Thread: Musings on Bonaire reopening to tourists

  1. #1
    MelE is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Default Musings on Bonaire reopening to tourists

    Good morning/ Bon dia everyone,
    I've been trying to imagine how Bonaire will eventually reopen to tourists. The island is currently free from any ongoing Covid-19 infections as far as I know, so there is no "herd immunity" happening here. As soon as the first plane of tourists arrive, the island is potentially exposed to the virus again. I've thought a lot about this dilemma because the island has a very, very small capacity for critical care patients if a bunch of people get sick at once.

    So I wonder, will they wait until a test is available that is fast enough to use on each passenger of an incoming flight? Will they wait until a vaccine is available? Can the economy here survive that long even with the financial aid sent from Netherlands? Will they let a few flights in at a time so they can manage any outbreaks? It seems like an impossible problem to me when I try to think of solutions.

    I don't know the Dutch language so I haven't been able to follow the spoken biweekly updates. I just check the government website each day and I read the BES Reporter. Here's a link I check daily for updates in case anyone is interested: https://english.rijksdienstcn.com/covid-19


    MelE

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    "even with the financial support from the Netherlands"

    And there's the magical thinking. We can only create so much money for so long. The stuff we eat, drive, drink, live-in, wear, and more are not those bills we create, that stuff is just that, stuff. Things that people manufacture, that's what we necessarily need to live. We can make it for a little while passing out free cash but, in the end, we all consume stuff and that stuff must be manufactured, grown, or created, by people working.

    It's probably only a dream that the virus can be eliminated from the earth. Producing a vaccine or a cure is a possibility but, only a possibility. Holding ones breath waiting for that breakthrough might be a challenge. Or, we suck-it-up and accept that a bunch of us old folks will die a few, maybe several years early. Or, we can continue damaging the futures of our children and grandchildren in the name of hope.

  3. #3
    randl's Avatar
    randl is online now Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    It is possible to socially distance, keep infection rates down, and protect the health of everyone including the elderly. Some nations, states and cities are doing it very well now. Sure, our little island presents special challenges but I don't think they're insurmountable. Do Y'all agree?

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    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by randl View Post
    It is possible to socially distance, keep infection rates down, and protect the health of everyone including the elderly. Some nations, states and cities are doing it very well now. Sure, our little island presents special challenges but I don't think they're insurmountable. Do Y'all agree?

    Social distance will be difficult in many places. eg bars, restaurants etc. When cruise ships come in, a couple of thousand tourists will flock the streets and the shops.
    There is only a small capacity in Hospitals if somebody would get sick.

  5. #5
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    tursiops is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by smits View Post
    Social distance will be difficult in many places. eg bars, restaurants etc. When cruise ships come in, a couple of thousand tourists will flock the streets and the shops.
    There is only a small capacity in Hospitals if somebody would get sick.
    Exactly. Keeping the cruise ships out solves many problems.
    Mel Briscoe, Alexandria, Virginia

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    Interesting thread. The government in Grand Cayman has made it clear, at least as I read it, that they will keep the island closed likely through the end of the year unless there is some medical scientific progress in understanding the immunity issue for those who have had it, testing and/or a vaccine. Will be interesting to see how they survive economically and otherwise if they keep the island closed that long. Bonaire is facing the same dilemma and choices will have to be made. So far I don't see that Bonaire's government has made the same decisions or has expressed the same policy preference as GC. Again, we shall see and it will be very interesting to see what unfolds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tursiops View Post
    Exactly. Keeping the cruise ships out solves many problems.
    I agree but that was my sentiment before the pandemic.

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    I don't expect to see cruise ships back in operation anytime soon. Dining might be the biggest issue. We can forget the crowded boats, wife and I did that 20+ years ago, then shore dive.

  9. #9
    Kate B's Avatar
    Kate B is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    The government is repatriating Bonaire residents who were off the island when the virus hit in other countries. This is a staggered process of residents flying in every few weeks, at which point the returnees are quarantined for 2 weeks at Buddy Dive resort. They can’t see anyone except their assigned liaison who brings supplies, and they can’t leave their rooms.

    The first group of returnees has just been cleared to leave quarantine and then the next group will fly in, until all the Bonaire residents who were off island are brought back. The repatriation flight schedule extends into August, so it seems likely there will be no tourist flights until repatriation is completed or beyond.

    We miss you, and hope you stay well.
    Kate Butler
    "Ask Kate" real estate columnist for the Bonaire Reporter
    Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX Paradise Homes, Bonaire

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    Agree with Mel on the cruise ships....

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