Critiquing ‘islandness’ as immunity to COVID-19: A case exploration of the Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique archipelago in the Caribbean region

Can mitigation of the spread and transmission of COVID-19 cases on islands, especially in the Caribbean, be attributed to the fact that they are just that: islands? As the corona crisis escalated in 2020, island authorities initially were able to keep COVID-19 cases low and mitigate their spread by implementing unprecedented actions, foremost among them border closures. However, as the realities of economic stresses surfaced, due to the decline in tourism, especially in the Caribbean, the need to balance COVID-19 spread and economic propriety posed a challenge. In this regard, the corona crisis illuminated spatial notions of islandness: boundedness, smallness, isolation and fragmentation. This perspective essay explores islandness in the context of the actions taken in the case study tri-island state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. Being a tri-island state, the nuances of islandness, experienced in an archipelagic context (an archipelago within the Caribbean archipelago) are emphasized. The paper chronicles the measures, issues and challenges of the case islands during the period between 13 March 2020 and 30 January 2021 and juxtaposes them against other actions in other countries and theories of islandness. It is hoped that this paper will contribute to and champion the field of island studies, especially within the Caribbean region.

Associated spaces

Grenada , Martinique

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