A friend sent me a Whatsapp message yesterday asking if she could pick up her medication I’d bought for her. I’d brought it back from London at the beginning on March and she was supposed to collect it the next weekend. Well 4 months later…😳 I told her I needed to locate it, after it’d been standing on a counter waiting for weeks, one tidying up had it moved to a cupboard. I told her I’d leave it at the gate. By late afternoon, she’d collected and repaid me, leaving the cash at the gate. Rushing to go to other people’s homes or wherever had been put on cancel for months. Welcome to #COVID19Life!
Later in the day, another message from another friend came asking if can we resume rum tasting, socially distant. Sure, I replied, and we’re set to sample some new brews on Sunday afternoon. We’ll explore some weighty topics, like how COVID19 has taken its toll on people in Haiti.
Various forms of diversion are now available for people to enjoy and we and others have taken the chance to head to a beach of somewhere in the hills for some needed sense of escape. Cinemas have set up new protocols for patrons: they will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing in queues at the box office and concession; a maximum of four persons from the same household will be able to sit together as a group. Individual patrons or groups will be separated by a gap of two seats. Sounds like it will be fun, and I can’t wear to hear what happens if someone starts having a coughing fit. I suspect no one will just be passing over a mint humbug.
Our National Aquatic Centre remains closed, though J$1 million worth of renovations have taken place and protocols are still being discussed. Meanwhile, our elite swimmers have been struggling to get good time in the water. One came occasionally to our house to train in the pool and another was on vacation with us last week and took the chance of some ‘laps’ in the sea heading to Monkey Island 🙂
We’ve been on the cautious end of the spectrum in terms of our contacts with others, though we know that we have ample space to keep most at a good distance. Still, my daughter went a little further and arranged for a hair stylist to set up her tresses and packages of hair extensions tell the tale of how they spent their Sunday afternoon. They needed a reminder about wearing masks but they heeded the advice and got on just fine afterwards.
So, we edge along, taking care of ourselves and insisting that those who enter our space don’t compromise us, and by extension make it less likely they’ll compromise others.
I went to my cousins to drop off some mangoes and pears from our yard and left them in a bag on the front step. I raided a mango tree in her garden and had to stop my young cousin racing up to me to help as he was not wearing a mask, though I was.
We’re not inclined to race off to anything that has bundles of people we don’t know, more-so if it’s in any enclosed spaces. My wife wont get out of her car if she heads out and forgets her mask; others have to come to her—she’s that way 🙂 We’ve noticed, as many others have, that mask wearing seems to have become a rare option, so that makes us more wary and needing more vigilance. So, my wife is back playing tennis around dawn with a selected few or her coach, and my daughter goes with her to either run alone or do gym workout when the place is likely empty.
An interesting aside is that it seems that more people are getting out and about. This video from the Jamaica Constabulary Force of them apprehending some suspected criminals (who incidentally had robbed someone in our area the day before) had me sitting up amazed at the amount of traffic on the roads at about 1.30pm, heading west/homeward. Are businesses working shorter hours? Some high schools have reopened but are their days shorter?
Kudos to the officers for doing their jobs mostly wearing masks, from what I can see (and it’s been noticeable that may police officers seen on the road have not been wearing them).
All of this is just how things roll for the time being in our new normality.