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Discipline is Needed in a Hurry

Barrington H. Brennen, November 8, 2020


Our nation is hurting, not just from the crippling effect of COVID19 pandemic, but from the lack of discipline of many to follow the emergency protocols; or they believe that the pandemic is only a conspiracy, or think they are invincible and cannot get the virus.

In some circles there is great criticism of the leadership of the health sector and Government who are dealing with the pandemic. Some are condemning the methodologies by the leadership to curb the impact of the virus in our country. However, I must hasten to say that the pandemic is real. It is not a conspiracy. A few days ago, I met a man who was working at a store who engaged me with a conversation about the virus. He was purporting that the virus is only a conspiracy by the World Health Organization and the Bahamian Government. I wondered why he was wearing a mask. It is troubling as one listens to the messaging of those who are not cooperating with the emergency orders. It is my view that it is these individuals, not the Government, who are causing the spread of the virus.

Why are so many still huddling in large groups, having parties, dances, dinners/lunches, etc. without physical distancing and masks? Is it because many are ignorant of the facts, or are they just indiscipline and are gambling with their lives and the lives of others? Very often I listen to radio stations from other counties by using the TuneIn App. It is interesting that large countries such as France and England are observing that persons ages 18 to 40 are the ones who are causing the great problem. They are refusing to abide by the rules. They are still gathering in large numbers in close quarters, without physical distancing and no masks. They leave the congested events and go home with the virus, thus infecting the older or younger ones in the family. The vicious cycle continues. All of this because of the lack of discipline.


It is my view that our greatest need for our nation is a disciplined populace. If everyone abides by the strict, though painful protocols, it is my belief that the spreading of the virus will significantly reduce, eventually end. Without personal and corporate discipline, we will not make it. Hurry, hurry, and let us all behave with great discipline before our nation is destroyed. Let us all wear our masks in public gatherings or when talking with individuals, wash and disinfect our hands frequently, and practice physical distancing. As stated earlier, this calls for personal and corporate discipline. It is my view that if these are done, we can learn how to live with the virus and still open the country. Having disciplined action will enable us to resume almost normal commerce in our country. It is my view all stores, restaurants, hotels, schools, churches, banks, movie theaters, gyms, spas, beauty and barber shops, etc., can be opened with strict protocol.

In addition to the standard protocols established by the Government, here are a few more suggestions to facilitate reducing or preventing the spreading of the virus.

  1. While churches can have up to 25 percent attendance during worship services, there needs to be a plan in place to prevent clusters of people lingering outside before or after services. For example, at the end of each service, attendees should be asked to be seated and are ushered out row by row to proceed directly to their vehicles. This is to prevent gathering in clusters in front of the church. It is ironic that persons are sitting six feet apart in church but stand much closer on the outside while “fellowshipping.” Members have to adjust to the new normal. Churches can also use an online attendance reservation software or website to ensure filled attendance at each service. A free reservation website is Reopen Church at https://reopen.church.

  2. All restaurants should be encouraged to open and be creative by having outdoor dining and/or limited seating indoors. Indoor or outdoor seating are to be controlled by physical distancing. All persons are to come to the restaurant with masks and only take it off while eating. They are to put it back on when waiting and taking.

  3. All commercial stories should be allowed to be open without curbside sales. Strict protocols to include the amount allowed in the store and regular sanitizing, should be enforced. It seems so unrealistic when noticeably big stores are doing only curbside sales while a few could be in the store remaining further apart from people than standing close to each other on a line on the outside. Yes, there will be a line on the outside, but the store will be open. This is being allowed in food stores right now. They are often more packed with people than many hardware stores that are being prevented from having controlled inside shopping. This is not wise.

  4. It is my view that a hybrid attendance method for educational institutions should be allowed. This would mean reducing in-person class attendance by fifty percent. The remaining students will do classes online. The students can alternate in-person and online classes weekly or every few days.

  5. The Government should ban all large social gatherings/parties even on islands that are not in lockdown or curfew. This can reduce persons traveling on weekends to those islands to escape the lockdown, thus spreading the virus.

These are only a few suggestions. But note carefully, they can only be successful with intense and deliberate personal and corporate discipline. It is my view that if every citizen and resident in The Bahamas are practicing strong discipline of behavior, we will be able to live with the virus and reduce its spread. Hurry, hurry, time is too short. Let us all be disciplined people.


Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist.  Send you comments or question sot question@soencouragement.org   or call 327 1980




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