A grieving Tobago man is appealing to the public not to refuse God's help in the fight against covid19.
Stephen Crooks, who lost his wife Diana Cupid-Crooks to covid19 on May 18, said the covid19 vaccine was God's way of helping mankind recover from the pandemic.
Crooks, who got his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, was swabbed on Thursday and is awaiting the result of his covid19 PCR test. His wife was not vaccinated.
He told Newsday on Monday, "This coronavirus is not a joke. It is taking life.
"Think about getting the vaccine. If the covid19 hit you... you will be glad you take it. If you don’t take it, you and God will talk."
On those who are refusing the vaccine, he said, "We begging for the help and when we get help we refuse it. Sad would be your portion. You beg for help, you get help, but still they’re refusing the help – you see how mankind is? A lot of them not looking at it in that way. God sent help for us – the vaccine."
Crooks said a number of countries that were previously under tremendous strain (the US, UK, Italy) are slowly reopening thanks to a robust vaccination rollout.
"Look at the other countries, because they’ve taken the vaccine. Let us not be stupid and sit down and say we ent taking the vaccine. That is the only thing to help us right now – and God. We pray every day: 'God, father, help the nation, help the people of Trinidad, help the people of Tobago, help TT, help this world.'"
Crooks said since his wife of 18 years died, people have been scorning him.
He said his neighbours were all very concerned and helpful when she became ill a week before her death.
"I don’t blame them, because I mean, is something strange that we have to deal with.
“I watch people who does walk on this side of the road and now they does cross and go on the next side before they reach the house now. So I does just laugh, because I know that they’re just worried about their lives. It would take a while to get accustomed to it.
Crooks, who is in home quarantine, said, "I can’t get anybody to go in the grocery. You can’t ask anybody to do anything for you – problems. So whenever somebody drop something for me, I does have to live with that.”
The father of two described his wife as a loving person who would usually put everyone else before herself.
“My wife was a sweet, kind, gentle lady. Last thing she told me was to make sure and give Christopher (a family friend) some soup, because I had cooked some soup. Even at that time she wasn’t feeling well – (but) that’s the kind of person she was.
"All them (neighbourhood) boys would pass, they want to borrow $100 or so and she would give them. Everybody came to her as a mother. That is the kind of person she was. She was a very kind-hearted person.”
He said his wife has since been buried but he was unable to attend her burial.
"To take such a nice, kind, sweet woman and push her down a hole just so, that wasn’t good for me.”
The Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development on Monday began administering the Sinopharm vaccine. The country received 100,000 doses of the Chinese-made vaccines last week as a donation from China.
In its latest update, the THA Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development said there were now 96 active covid19 cases on the island. Twenty-three people have been discharged and there are three new cases.
The division has sent 5,352 samples to the Tobago Regional Health Authority and other local sites for testing. Of the samples, 388 came back positive.
The Tobago death toll remains at six.