Vincentians battle to keep Covid-19 at bay
by Bria King
“Miss, where’s your mask?,” a security guard asked of a woman entering a large establishment in Kingstown yesterday afternoon. “You need a mask to enter this store”.
A memorandum issued by Government on December 31 made it a requirement for public servants to wear appropriate masks or facial coverings while at work.
It is also now mandatory for members of the public to wear masks or facial coverings when visiting public offices.
The strict enforcement of the rule follows the confirmation of a recent cluster of local COVID-19 cases.
Many other private establishments, both big and small, have followed suit in making it a requirement for employees, visitors and customers to wear appropriate facial coverings.
And on Monday, most of the general public in the capital could be seen conforming to the strict enforcement of this rule.
“I think it’s a good thing…I feel more safe,” Alicena Nickie told SEARCHLIGHT.
Nickie was standing outside a local bank with her daughter and grandchildren, all of whom were wearing cloth masks.
The grandmother said she was not accustomed to wearing the mask, which sometimes feels a little stifling, but she is willing to adhere to the advice of the health professionals, if it means that it will keep her family and herself safe.
It’s a good move. We have to wear it to protect one another,” said Delarno Dupont, the proprietor of Delarno’s Food Service.
The food truck operator, who is stationed opposite the Ministerial Building in Kingstown, served his customers while wearing a white surgical mask.
He said the coronavirus was a dangerous thing and that people needed to adhere to all of the protocols being issued by the local health authorities.
“If you coming in and they say quarantine, quarantine. If you running out to go party – we know what party is all about, you understand? We been there, done that already so you could hold off for the days,” Dupont said.
The businessman also opined that persons who chose to breach quarantine should be jailed for their transgression.
While most persons donned masks in Kingstown, a few others could be seen without them as they made their way through the streets of the city.
Several others, though in possession of a mask, were wearing it on their chins with their nose and mouth exposed. Quite a few persons however, could be heard having conversation about the increased need to wear masks to enter establishments.
“Me have it in me bag,” a woman said to a shopkeeper.
Another woman wearing a surgical mask stood some distance away from a friend and said she was wearing it because “I have two children home, you hear”.
One man jokingly said to a friend that “they” wanted him to put a mask over “his mask”, when he was already ugly.
To date, St Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded a total of 133 COVID-19 cases, 33 of which are active.
Up to press time, seven persons were included in the confirmed local cluster of cases. Five other local cases also remain under investigation.