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This Could Mean Life or Death

Posted: Sunday, August 16, 2020. 1:59 pm CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Chuck Bilbe: The recent State of Emergency related to Covid-19 has resulted in a nationwide Curfew. This, for most of us, is a mild inconvenience, and it may very well be a necessary part of the fight against the SARS-Cov2 pandemic. None of us wants that situation to get any worse than it already is.

There are obvious Curfew legal exceptions, such as front-line essential workers, police, medical personnel, and so on. This is as it should be. For true emergency situations, one may move to get help, even during Curfew.

However, those of us who live in the rural districts of Corozal have some grave concerns, not because of the Curfew itself, but because of the nightly closures of the two ferries (New River and Laguna Seca) which are our only practical route from where we live to Corozal Town.

Affected by this are residents of Sarteneja, Chunox, Orchid Bay, Copper Bank and Progresso, as well as those who live on the Cerros Peninsula and Little Belize.

I submit that this ferry-closure policy is poorly thought-out (at best), and downright deadly (at worst).

This is not just Gringos like me — it’s all the villagers I have spoken to as well. Not one person has disagreed with me about this. Not one person. And I’ve spoken to quite a few of them.

We are all very, very worried because our only route to the nearest emergency care in Corozal Town is closed off during a considerable portion of each day.

We ask,
– What if we needed the Police at 4 A.M. ?
– What if someone had a serious accident late in the day ?
– What if someone had a heart attack at 2 A.M. ?
– Am I supposed to schedule a medical emergency ??

For myself, and the great many I have spoken to who live “beyond the ferry”, we are exceedingly concerned that closing the ferries is a very dangerous policy.

It puts a great many people at unnecessary risk. The only route for us available during Curfew is a terrible road to Orange Walk, which is no fun in the day-time, and truly bad at night. That trip would take many of us easily two hours, instead of the much shorter time needed for an emergency run to Corozal.

I sincerely hope that the Ministry of Works and the Government of Belize will quickly reconsider the decision they have made, and do what makes much more sense for the safety and security of the people in Rural Corozal.

Keep the Ferries Open.

It is a matter of Life or Death.


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