For many people, plans for Mother’s Day may have to be re-visited in light of the covid19 restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on Thursday, especially with the closure of restaurants and malls.
For 38-year-old Candice James, these restrictions will affect her and her family in a major way because it means she will not be receiving an income for the next three weeks.
James, a single mother, told Newsday she works as one of the main cooks at a food outlet in Diego Martin. With the closure of all restaurants until May 23, she said she knows it will be extremely difficult because this was her only source of income.
“I have no other plan. I’ll just have to go with the flow. It’s a good thing I have my mother to lean on.”
But Mother’s Day for her will not be a damper because she said her ideal gift will be spending time with her son, 14-year-old Omare Thompson and her 11-year-old daughter, Celeste.
“Spending time with them will make my day. We have nothing special planned, just being home. Anything they do will make me happy.”
James said she started working at the food outlet for the past two years. Prior to that she ran a daycare of sorts at her home.
“I used to take care of my nephews. But then they went to primary school and I had to find something else to do.”
Taking care of children is one of her passions, cooking is another.
“I can cook anything. I have liked it ever since I was a child. I especially like to cook, coo coo callaloo and fish.”
For her, life before the pandemic was already hard. Now, she said, it is even harder. “God alone knows. But you have to understand that there are certain things you have to put aside and do the important stuff. Because of covid I worked fewer hours and earned less money, but we had to make do. I am thankful that at least something was coming in.”
James said while she goes to work, Omare and Celeste stay at home to do their online classes. They are supervised by her mother who lives on the same compound. “I get up early, make sure they have things to eat and for school. It’s just hectic when the day comes. And the next day it’s just to get up and do it again.”
She said although her children have more or less been adapting to their new way of life, there have been challenges. “I made sure and got devices from Courts for them so they can attend classes. My son is handling his story, but my daughter hasn’t been doing anything since school reopened because there was a situation with the teacher and the school… She doesn’t have any textbooks because my pay cannot buy textbooks so she doesn’t have a single book… Next year she will be doing SEA (Secondary Entrance Assessment).”
All in all though, James said as difficult as things are, she still has a lot for which to be thankful. “Just being around my children makes me happy. I’m thankful for them. We will rally through.”