The Way I See It

A Nevispages weekly feature by Curtis Morton Sr

The way I see it, many movies, skits and plays can result from this real life ongoing drama that we are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Let me recall for you, some experiences from the recent lockdown.

First of all, my wife and I were eagerly anticipating a shopping day on Wednesday 8th April and already had guidelines from a circulating text, that shopping on that day and Thursday, would be done in alphabetical order.  Then came the announcement from the PM, that the curfew would be extended and that shopping on the two days would be done in zones and our day of zoning was Thursday.

Well I newa!

However, as law-abiding citizens, we stayed in our lane and just hoped that the persons for zone three would indeed shop on Wednesday.

So, we got ready bright and early on Thursday morning and I must admit that I made a crucial error. I had heard that the shopping hours were from 7 am to 3 pm and somehow forgot that the curfew would have ended at 6 am and so we did not leave home until 7.05 am.

When I dropped off my wife at BEST BUY, I think I can safely say that over one hundred persons were already lined up and one person told me that she arrived there shortly after 6 am and met long lines in place.  Well, those persons must have been there since 4 am!

Well, I left to complete some other important things, like putting gas in the vehicle and trying to get in a bank etc.  When I got back, my wife was still in the slow moving line. I understand that supervised by a Police officer, when one person came out, another was allowed in.

My wife finally entered the supermarket at 10.31 am and completed her shopping and came out at 11.41 am!  In the interim, there was real drama. Some persons arrived and stood on the side, refusing to go into the long line and tried to sneak in ahead of those people who had been waiting for hours.

Suddenly, everybody wanted to be coded as an ESSENTIAL WORKER, who understandably have special privileges.  Some who normally would not want to be referred to as OLD, were quite comfortable with the coding of SENIOR CITIZEN, on that day.

One young lady, actually brought along her aged dad, who obviously was not going to be shopping, in any shape or form and was allowed in with her young son and the Dad. She was later seen, along with her son, doing the actual shopping, but her Dad served as her passport to get in ahead of those who were waiting for hours.

One young lady, who was identified by the Police officer on duty, in response to his accusation that she did not live in that zone, shouted: ‘Me done move long time!’

One of my brothers indicated that he was in a line at RAMS and almost fainted in the heat, so he shifted and went to VALU MART, where the line was just as long, but at least there was the overhang from the upstairs NEVLEC office, to provide some well needed shade.

Some persons did not intend to buy so many things but when they realized the sacrifice they had to make, decided to buy a lot more stuff, with the intention that on the next available shopping days, they will not have to go anywhere.

I saw people coming out of the supermarket, with their carts wobbling. I saw people with stuff that suggest to me that they will not have to shop for the next year!  I am sure that some homes right now, replicate RAMS, BEST BUY and VALU MART!

By the way, a lot of the prices have taken a hike. My wife told me that a six pack toilet paper cost her $19.00.

One guy was involved in an altercation with another guy. ‘Me in front ah he,’ he told the police officer. ‘Me ya since 5.45.’  Poor fellow did not even realize that he was actually telling the Police officer, that he had broken the curfew.

Well I newa!

Then there was the case of the shopping carts. People actually started to hold on to the shopping carts, when other persons came out with them, not caring that many shoppers on the inside were badly in need of them.  When one of the Best Buy workers approached one lady to request the use of the shopping cart she was holding, she burst out: ‘Not this one. I already sanitize this. Nobody gonna get it!’

Later, a Police officer came along and just started tugging carts form those in the line. Nobody argued. His guns were showcased in plain view and his face was as set as ten rat traps!

As I drove around town, I realized that there were long lines at all of the shopping outlets and I also realized that it would not make sense to try to get into the Credit Union either.

I consoled myself by passing by Karen at Morning Star, to collect my cassava bread and conkies that I had ordered since last year and made it a point to place my order for next year, at the same time.  Even the prices of the cassava bread and conkies have gone up—now to $10.00. Karen said that her coconut and potato providers had upped their prices. I thoroughly understand.

So, I do not think that the zoning thing worked. I think that it actually backfired.  It is reported that persons who shopped in zone three, came back to shop the following day in zone four.  Maybe next time, they should just free up the shopping day and just monitor closely, how many persons are allowed in at one time, in maintaining the social distancing policy.

My son told me that if it is one set of people who do not seem bothered by the whole thing, are the known rum drinkers. When others are fighting to buy food, one bottle of rum is a real consolation to these guys.

This Covid-19 thing has brought out the BEST and the WORST in our people. I am hoping though, that when it finally ‘comes to past,’ that our nation will be stronger and more resilient and that we will be a kinder, more loving and more caring set of people.

I must also commend our Doctors, Nurses, Police officers and other essential workers, who have sacrificed much during this time. They are the real heroes.

By the way, one day I turned the key to my bus, only to realize that the battery was dead and the windows were down.  I could get a charger by my brother who lives close by, but we were on lockdown. I was later advised to call the Gingerland Police Station.  When I did, the kind officer told me that he would alert the patrolling officer to help me. Well, the night passed by and no officer came.

The next day I called back and the kind officer gave me permission to go by my brother to get the charger and so I got the vehicle started again. Thanks officer for using your discretion.

God will not allow more than we can bear and we can take this stumbling block and make it into a stepping stone.

That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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