Tuesday, March 24, 2020

COVID 19: We are Shark Diving!

Happier days - great pic by Allen. Click for detail!
We are being asked, so there.

Fiji has its first three confirmed coronavirus cases.
The first is a flight attendant and the others are his mother and nephew, and they are in isolation. The other members of the family have been tested and they've all come back negative but remain isolated. Lautoka where they reside is on lock-down, and the police and military are monitoring that nobody comes out or goes in. So far, there are also no news about any colleagues, passengers or other contacts having been infected which is great. But they too will need to get in contact and self quarantine as a minimum - c'mon people!
There has been a tiny bit of panic shopping and price gouging, and some total morons have posted misleading and inflammatory comments, but the police has quickly put an end to all those shenanigans. 
And all flights by Fiji Airways have been suspended - likely now including any flights to Singapore that is now closed as well.

But I must really say that considering, that's a small price to pay.
When I read stuff like this, and that the beaches in Florida and Australia have remained open = and now those retards will go home and kill their families and neighbors, I'm happy that none of those folks are being allowed to come here and infect us, too.
And I must really say that Fiji's government is doing an admirable job both in containment and disseminating timely information - and hopefully, this Thursday's emergency budget will also include some mitigation for the many, many people especially in the tourism industry that are being let go and are losing their livelihoods. Fiji can surely not do that alone (= that would be our Finance Minister speaking) - but I'm hopeful that the usual development partners from World Bank to ADB to EU, Australia and NZ etc will lend a helping hand.

Of course our business has dropped to zero.
Fortunately, Andrew is doing a fantastic job in managing the dive shop and consequently, we have some small reserves and are able to retain all our wonderful staff and even assure them a minimum income for the next months to come.

And we are continuing to dive!
Andrew will schedule a dedicated coral dive for two paying customers, and a Shark dive for four - so please, if you are in Fiji feel free to drop him a line or call 345 0911 as he may even extend a nice little discount to locals = citizens and residents! And just to be perfectly clear, no, right now there will be none of the usual freebies, sorry!
And should everything fail, we will run a weekly Shark dive even without clients, this in order to monitor and keep the Sharks happy and also safe - and also, to record any changes which will eventually result in a nice little scientific note! 

And Tashi Blue continues to curate My Fiji Shark.
This is not the time for complacency as I believe that as Government resources are being diverted elsewhere, compliance with Fish management measures will decrease, and our marine stocks will be under increased attack as a consequence. With that in mind, any assistance is highly welcome, the more as we will most definitely have to step up and invest scarce resources in running patrols to defend Fiji's first National Marine Park.
So, what are you waiting for - thank you!

Obviously this is all until further notice.
Over here, everything is being done communally and with that in mind, social distancing is simply not going to work, period. Yes I know that many are preaching the right things, and that local gatherings have been banned, and that the schools have been closed etc etc - but ultimately it is a deep-rooted cultural thing, and it will not fundamentally change.
But so far, it really looks like the excellent response of Government has managed to contain the spread of the virus - and there are other measures like local lock-downs, road blocks and curfews that may prevent the worst. 
So Bravo, a huge Vinaka Vakalevu and fingers crossed!

And if  things change?
It will be bloody tough - but we will adapt and prevail!
And finally
Please, STAHP believing and even worse, repeating what you read on those idiotic social media but instead, get your information here (FB here)! Seriously, this is not the time for politics, backstabbing and silly jokes: we will only survive if we all hold hands!
And that also applies to any comments to this post. Please!

Let's go Shark diving!

To be continued no doubt!

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