Dustin’s COVID Story
Most people were not really careful about their sanitation and cleanliness, but when COVID hit, people knew how to properly wash their hands and avoid unnecessary touching of their nose, mouth and eyes.
Before the pandemic, life was normal. When COVID first hit our country, it was like a myth or a story, but everything changed significantly. The way we used to socialise, how we used to go about our lives and businesses, it all changed. We had to wear masks and practise social distancing. It caught people unawares, and we needed to cope with that new life. It was really hectic, but we picked up and got used to all the Ministry of Health protocols.
I used to generally pray for myself not to die, or my siblings, or anyone that I know so that they are given decent burials. The worst bit of it was when a family member of yours died; you couldn’t imagine how burials were conducted. You could think of the life of someone you treasured, and they’re being buried like a dog. It was a very bad experience for most people.
Unfortunately, I lost my friend, Tony, during COVID, and I couldn’t attend the burial. I was just there during the day before he was flown in. He was my close friend, and I couldn’t attend. That was the saddest thing. I think he was the only close person I lost during the pandemic.
The closures of businesses, especially the hospitality industry, really affected us. We had to reinvent our business strategies. We had to change our restaurants and bars; for example, we had to rearrange them to maintain social distancing. This really made some people fear getting out to socialise; hence our business’s volume and income significantly changed, though we were still hoping for the best. Sometimes people would come, say a family, and when they came in, we’d ask them to maintain social distance, and they would really get upset. It was a tough moment.
Because we had closed, we couldn’t really move about much. Yet when you’d experience something like a headache, the next thing you could think of is COVID. You now couldn’t even eat. The more you thought of it, the harder the headache hit you. You go to the hospital, and you’re asked, have you travelled somewhere? No. Have you met someone with COVID? No. When your temperature is taken, it’s normal, but your heart is beating like I don’t know what. It was a very bad and stressful experience.
I think COVID taught us cleanliness. Most people were not really careful about their sanitation and cleanliness, but when COVID hit, people knew how to properly wash their hands and avoid unnecessary touching of their nose, mouth and eyes. This business of handshakes all the time reduced. To a great extent, people are now conscious of cleanliness, and I really appreciate it. Although it was a negative effect on us, in one way, it has helped people know how to be clean.