People all around the world, including children, are self-quarantining in order to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading.
In this second installment of a two-part series, TYRELL GITTENS speaks to children in three different countries to find out how they are spending their time in self-quarantine, what they miss about the outdoors and what they look forward to when it’s safe to go out again.
Mikaelah Dunn, 12, Belize
On weekends and holidays, Mikaelah Dunn and her family usually take a one-hour drive from their home in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, to Dangriga, a small seaside town. Along the way, they travel on Belize’s Hummingbird Highway and witness scenic rainforest views.
Having been in self-quarantine for the last six weeks, Mikaelah misses the drive but her family has found new ways to bond by starting a garden in the backyard. She has even befriended a caterpillar in the garden. The caterpillar is now a cocoon and she is patiently waiting for it to emerge as a butterfly. She has also been doing a number of other fun things.
“I love reading, so I have been reading a lot. I have finished two novels and have started a new one.
“I’ve also learnt how to bake a number of things. Banana bread, fry jacks (sada roti), doughnuts, zucchini bread, different cookies and powder buns,” said Mikaelah on the other way she passes her time.
She cannot wait for the pandemic to be over not only to visit Dangriga again but to explore new places in Belize and stay at a resort, a family tradition.
“My family likes to visit new places and stay at resorts when my parents get paid. Sometimes we may spend a night at the resort or just spend a day at the pool and have lunch.”
For now, she is making the best of things and encourages other children to do the same.
“Don’t panic about anything, just go with the flow. We will remember covid19 for the rest of our lives.”
Justine Sutton, 11, Jamaica
Negril is a resort town located at the western tip of Jamaica and washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea. One of the town’s most popular attractions is Seven Mile Beach which has a stretch of white sand and turquoise blue water where you can go on a scuba diving adventure to see angel fish, seahorses, puffer fish and sting rays.
It is no wonder Seven Mile Beach is one of Justine Sutton’s most favourite place to visit along with Jamaica’s Old Spanish Bridge, a cultural site, and Mayfield Falls, located between the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland.
For now, visiting these attractions is not possible and she has been adapting to self-quarantine. This includes learning online and chatting with her best friends over text messages.
“When self-isolation is over, I am most looking forward to seeing my friends and doing my Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination,” Justine told Newsday Kids.
The PEP examination is taken by primary school students in Jamaica to determine what high school (secondary school) they will be attending.
“For all the children in TT, please stay at home and do not be afraid because just like any other disease, covid19 will go away over time.
“I hope the children in TT are happy doing what they love during self-isolation.”
Tyler Tyson, 12, Buford, Georgia, USA
Every year for Halloween, Tyler Tyson decorates the house with his family, trick-or-treats around the neighbourhood with friends and makes new friends while trick-or-treating. With everyone coming together to have fun and make memories, this is what makes Halloween Tyler’s favourite US tradition, though he really enjoys eating the candy he collects too.
Now, as the world battles covid19 and gathering with friends and family is not possible, at least for now, Tyler remembers that these things not only make Halloween special but the world. In self-quarantine, he is finding different ways to make those things happen.
“So far, in self-isolation, I have completed a puzzle with my family, been riding my bike around the house and doing some planting in my family’s home garden.
He misses his school friends and check in on them by calling and sending text messages.
“When covid19 is over, I look forward to travelling to different states to see my friends and my family.”
“I hope the children in TT stays safe and we’re all hoping for this to go away soon.”
He is also looking forward to Halloween but is unsure of how the tradition will look this year because of covid19.