With Barbados officially added to the list of countries impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, triggering stage one of the country’s mitigation plan, it appears that the nation’s children are taking the guidelines seriously.
This morning Barbados TODAY visited the Westbury Primary school where Principal Rosalind Gittens pointed out that while enforcing the principles of social distancing and emphasising hand washing could prove difficult under normal circumstances, her charges have grasped the gravity of the situation.
“I am very proud of how the children have been responding because this is something that we have been re-enforcing for the last three weeks, and they are showing that they are understanding, they are learning, they are practicing, and they are taking the message home. If every school child takes the message home and every person in Barbados accepts the message of being cautious and loving from a distance, then we will be good,” said Gittens.
She added, “It hasn’t been easy because children like to play, they like to be with their friends, they like to hug, they like to laugh. So it is going to be difficult staying inside but you just have to keep reminding them and making the sanitizers and the soap liquid available for them to see. We have to keep them safe and once we keep talking to them, they will get the message and keep each other safe.”
Barbados TODAY also interviewed several Class Four students, who spoke candidly about their fears as it relates to the virus. They revealed, that upon hearing yesterday’s announcement that the country has two confirmed imported cases, their resolve to maintain proper health practices, has deepened.
“I know that it has the same symptoms as the flu and you can get it from touching your face. I was a bit scared when I heard that it is here in Barbados because I don’t want to catch it. I hand sanitize whenever I cough and sneeze,” said Terrysha Hollingsworth.
She told Barbados TODAY that social distancing has been difficult, as she was concerned that some of her friends may feel offended by this new approach. “It is difficult because they might think that you are just trying to keep away from them and that you don’t want to play with them,” she explained.
Her classmate Danae Riley revealed that it was going to be especially tough over the upcoming Easter vacation, as this was the time of year that she would be having the most fun with her friends.
“It is going to be difficult because you are not always conscious of it. It is also sad because you might have had plans to go away this year or relatives might have been coming to visit you. I understand because we don’t know if they are sick and we don’t want to go to another country and bring back the virus here,” said Riley
Zoe Beckles and Fatema Memi also had very similar points of view, but both stressed that they understood the importance of sticking to the measures.