Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Flying in the face of virus - Traveller says he’ll take his chances with COVID-19 in Canada

Published:Monday | March 16, 2020 | 12:23 AMDanae Hyman/Staff Reporter
Outbound travellers head to the departure hall at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Sunday.
Outbound travellers head to the departure hall at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Sunday.

An American woman who is expecting to get married in Kingston in a couple of days is feeling the impact of the novel coronavirus as she expressed dismay that none of her bridal party or invited guests would be coming to the wedding.

The seemingly despondent woman, who declined to provide her name, said that her wedding, which had been planned months in advance, will not go as expected because of last-minute cancellations from family and friends.

“Nobody will be coming, but I guess it is okay; they are all scared to travel. It was planned months ago, but because of the coronavirus, they said they weren’t going to come,” she said as she sat at the Norman Manley International Airport alone, awaiting her ride.

In the meantime, amid the now 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica, some travellers were seeking to leave the island yesterday despite the announcement by the Government that non-essential travel was discouraged.

Loyton Levy, 69, who was born and raised in Jamaica and is now a Canadian citizen, said he would prefer to contract the virus in Canada than in Jamaica.

“I am retired, so I could have stayed here longer, even a month, but because of the healthcare here versus the healthcare system at home, I would much prefer to get sick there,” Levy told The Gleaner.

“Also, my burial spots and funeral arrangements are already taken care of in Canada, so if I am going to die, I don’t want to give anybody the trouble to be taking me back from here to there,” Levy said.

The Trudeau administration has urged Canadians to avoid non-essential travel.

Another man who sat at the airport awaiting his flight said that although he, too, was born in Jamaica, he is now United States citizen, and no virus could stop him from going home.

“It’s my scheduled day to leave, and I am going home because I am tired of Jamaica and its inconvenience. I tried getting some business done at the bank, and it’s just one bag o’ hoops. Me just want go home now, and me nah make no corona stop me.

“Yuh just have to keep yourself clean,” the traveller, who declined to provide his name, said.