Fri | Nov 26, 2021

Hard pill to swallow

St Thomas residents say no-movement days take a toll on them

Published:Wednesday | September 15, 2021 | 12:08 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer

RESIDENTS OF Middleton in St Thomas said last week that they were dreading the no-movement days which started last Saturday evening ended at 5 a.m. today, as the Government continues its fight against COVID-19.

Though admitting their appreciation of the efforts being made to contain the virus, the residents of the rural community shared that the extended periods of lockdown are difficult to maintain.

“One of the hardest things is food. Yu can’t lock in man and a nuh prison dem deh… You don’t know how them eat. That’s not good. We have limited food so if mi cook pound and half of flour or rice, I have to prepare to eat it Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and is three of us,” shared George Liking.

The elderly man pointed out that the community in which he resides contains a high unemployment rate and families are sometimes unable to provide three full days of meals without being able to ‘hustle’.

According to Liking, “This is not a well-developed area so no work not at these places. Mi see mi stand up at my gate, not on the road, and a police man come and ask if I can’t go in and is not prison me deh. Mi a nuh Vybz Kartel or Ninja Man.

“Suppose mi could stand there and see somebody a pass where I could get a bills to go buy a pound of flour or something? Dem say lockdown but Jamaica full of bandooloo so one and two backyard shop must open.”

The 70-year-old man, who introduced himself as an avid supporter of Andrew Holness, explained that he tries his best to remain compliant with the Government’s protocols. He is fully vaccinated, respects curfew hours but describes the no-movement days as a hard pill to swallow.

“Mi nuh like what going on. It rough. I think it’s better you stick with the curfew but the whole day lockdown doesn’t work out at all. I’m definitely an Andrew Holness supporter and respect him as a young man, but he needs better advisers. Give it to us in the curfew, send out the police and soldiers to deal with those in violation, but lockdown is not for the poor,” he added.

His neighbour Jervis piggybacked on his statement.

“Lockdown a fi rich people. The gas man all ‘bout selling his gas during lockdown and me with my little delivery truck can’t’t go out and do anything at all. I deliver material for people for a living and if I’m in lockdown I can’t make money,” he said.

Jervis, who had just sanctioned the delivery a few bags of cement to a property in the area, shared that since the implementation of no-movement days, his small business has been suffering.

He added, “I’ve lost a lot of money. Monday a big business day. The amount of goods I usually get to deliver on those days… Today now, is only one single work I have and nothing else for the rest of the day. The lockdown not really necessary or effective because whenever the place opens back on a Wednesdays, everybody just gather again, even more than on the regular days, because they have to come out to do what they have to.”