It’s been a difficult decision, but we’ve reluctantly decided to skip the Bahamas this winter. While the COVID rates in the Bahamas are somewhat under control (especially in the Exumas where we spend most of our time), there is the “what if” one of us did somehow contract COVID with complications. Then there are the testing protocols, both before departing & again on day 5 in the Bahamas. While not too difficult flying in, a bit challenging traveling by boat with weather & all. The “last straw” was the U.S.’s new plans to require COVID testing prior to arriving back in the U.S., along with possible mandatory quarantining – a huge hardship traveling by boat.
Canada’s recent cancellation of all air travel to the Bahamas (and the Caribbean & Mexico), along with the U.S.’s new plan of required testing all arriving international travelers (and possible quarantining), will be absolutely devastating for the Bahamas. Tourism (mostly from Americans & Canadians) is over 80% of their economy & had been reduced down to a trickle, but was looking to improve this spring. Almost overnite, these announcements caused thousands of cancellations for the resorts who just the week before had begun hiring back workers to re-open. Their government can’t simply print money (as we apparently can) & there is virtually no safety net for the Bahamians – it is very tragic. Next year we’ll spend additional time & $$ in the Bahamas for sure. For anyone looking forward to a vacation next fall/winter, please consider the Bahamas (but not by cruise ship!). For a “true” Bahamas experience, you may want to skip New Providence (Nassau) & look to places such Great Exuma or a smaller “family island” such as Staniel Cay
The final reason to hang around Florida is I’ll be able to get my first COVID vaccine in late March after my 65th birthday! After prioritizing nursing homes & medical workers, Florida moved on to seniors 65+ with almost 35% coverage thus far. While there were many difficulties early on, improvements have been made every week, including the vaccine now being available at hundreds of Publix (the major supermarket chain) Pharmacies. Everyone we know (over 65) has been able to get an appointment within a week or so (although not without some determination!), so next month will hopefully be even easier.
Lori’s been busy too with her bead creations, perhaps TOO busy, although she seems perfectly happy and our interior isn’t TOO dusty. 🙂 Sales were fantastic and with every notification, a big smile and happy dance occurred. We both got a big kick when a friend stopped by in her kayak, to order earrings, then more earrings! Lori says her star-shaped creation will be a covered box with a bezeled crystal in the center of the top. Not as major an undertaking as the huge Christmas Popper she made for a Christmas gift, but still lot of hours and beads. The bezel on top will be a first; always something new. Check out Lori’s Etsy shop- CraftMadein