As you know, it’s not what happens to you in life…. it’s how you react to what has happened to you in life.
Thus, it is important to make good decisions, and GOA last night in an extraordinary press conference put us all on LOCKDOWN.
On March 15, 2020 the Government announced a complete “Lockdown” for all international incoming passengers starting mid-night the 16th to the 17th, ending on the 31st of March 2020. This lockdown will entail the following:
– Residents of Aruba can continue to come in, however a travel advisory shall be instituted for residents basically advising them not to travel.
– Cargo will continue to be able to be flown in.
– Relief flights will be possible as long as the airline is willing to operate them.
The MinPres spoke on behalf of GOA, and compliments to her for her level-headed, presidential performance:
This is all new to us, so the lineup of GOA officials behind The MinPres, tightly packed to fit into the camera frame, fidgeted considerably, touching faces, and hair, adjusting eye-glasses, and when it was their turn to speak, most moved the mike. Most, except the health official, Koolman, who took control of her hand!
During the day, a steady flow of messages from GOA announced the following:
All public activities are cancelled until March 31st, including those organized by GOA, and those already granted a permit. The decision will be revisited, before the end of the month.
All schools and kindergartens are closed for the coming week. The decision will be revisited, before the end of the week.
The focus is on containment and prevention, with special attention to risk groups, such as the elderly and the infirm. There is a ban in place on visits to elderly home facilities.
During the last few days, MINFEC did her share. She undertook supermarket inspections, mobilizing all resources to stop price gauging reported in many local markets. She looked bone-tired, at her press conference, but is doing a good job to regulate prices, and curb the enthusiasm of merchants exploiting the situation.
Other announcements included the MinTour, who started restoring connections of disconnected water meters, for failure to pay bills. He announced those will be reconnected to allow people to…. Wash their hands.
The MinLabor, made public his talks with private sector groups, and union representatives to hammer out a national crisis plan that would include: Relief for business from certain tax payments for these next couple of months; Flexible labor laws to allow reduction of hours/pay, and keep most possible people employed; An emergency social fund to assist the unemployed; SVB taking more responsibility for salaries of those that are sick or in quarantine; Banks and pension funds, meanwhile, are discussing a possible plan to give relief on loan/mortgage payments.
GOA will be working partially, with some public servants working from home. Others, serving the public, will handle a restricted number of people.
All to be applauded!
While the initial reaction to the Co-Vid 19 threat was sluggish, GOA is now moving in the right direction, all will be well, providing we show restraint, and follow orders.
On the downside:
With all that talk about crisis, and assistance to businesses and citizens, how will GOA trim its payroll cost given the circumstances?
Increase the deficit? Let’s not forget to focus on that.
As far as GOA is concerned, will the crisis just rubber stamp additional expenses?
Most alarming in private sector circles: The business community will have to withstand a huge economic blow. Will the public sector be equally affected, or will public employees be receiving their regular pay checks, at the expense of the private sector?
Second most alarming: Both Gusto nightclub and Zeerover’s were packed yesterday with hordes of locals out and about. What part of social distancing don’t you understand??