Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Four months ago I traveled to Canada, a couple days later the Borders were closed and I was locked in. CoVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation followed thereafter.
I am now Free, Free at last. It is so nice to be back in Jamdown! Today, I am drinking my favourite drink, "The Kingston Mule" at my main liming spot.
Earlier when I left work, I whispered to myself "Thank God it is Friday”. Then, my only intention was to head home and continue my isolation for the weekend.
My social life has been placed on pause since March. I have not visited a party or the gym since then. It is the first time since 1997 that I have stayed away from the gym so long. Previously, if I missed the gym for 3 days, I would have felt fatigued and sick. No lyming in a sports bar, no driving out of town to the country and no soca party since March.
As I turned out of my office, I drove straight towards the gym. Don't laugh! I am a gym addict. Normally after leaving work, I would travel to the gym a minimum of 2 days each week day and both days on the weekend. Today I decided to go to the gym, to check what was happening. At the gate of the gym I acknowledged the security, who had become a part of the characteristics of Spartan Health Club. He smiled, as if to say where you have been. "Welcome back, we have been open for two weeks and attendance has been very good," he said.
At the front desk inside, I was met with a warm smile by the customer service officer. Her excitement to see me was so obvious.
"Where have you been?" she asked
I smiled and said "I have been hiding from COVID-19."
"Do you have a COVID-19 discount plan?"
She laughed loudly and said "Yes, yes we do."
She followed up by summarizing their COVID-19 procedures:
1. You must maintain a social distance of 6 feet in the gym;
2. Your temperature will be taken every time you enter the gym;
3. You must wear a face mask to enter the gym;
4. You must sanitize your hands before entering the gym;
5. The aerobics and running rooms have been rearranged for your safety;
6. You must wipe down all equipment before and after use.
I was totally impressed, she was on point. As I walked into the different areas, I could see the changes she highlighted. In the weights room I hailed the 4 patrons and the one trainer that was in sight. I asked the trainer, “What have you guys implemented in the weight room for our protection”. He smiled and said “it is what you will do to protect you and your gym pees”. He went on to highlight the following:
1. It is mandatory that you wear a face mask in the gym; 2. You are allowed not to wear the mask while doing each set; 3. Only 25 persons are allowed in the weights room at any one time; 4. Use a towel on all equipment; 5. Use gloves when exercising.
A sweet feeling overcame me as I thought about resuming my work out regime. I really missed the irons stressing and stretching my muscles. We ardent gym goers like to feel our muscles bulging out of our clothes. When I don’t feel my muscles on my clothes I feel “mawga”! My body is presently vexed with me, as it has gone soft and flappy.
Just imagine no gym and no soca for over 4 months. Lord, Tabanca 2.1. I am vex with COVID-19 for stealing my lifestyle. Isolation and quarantine is like prison life, just without hard labour. I truly missed travelling, dancing and weight lifting.
As I walked out of the gym I told the customer service officer that I will be back soon. At the gate, I told the security to hold the fort for me. As I drove up the road I was beaming with smiles and excitement. I "tun up" the 2020 Private Ryan Soca Mix that was playing and started bouncing in my seat.
The vulnerability of the moment overcame me. As I pulled up to the Trafalgar and Lady Musgrave stop light. Marcia (my car) drifted towards the inner lane and exited onto Lady Musgrave Road. Before I knew Marcia was parking in the AC Marriott Hotel. I obviously did not resist her. It was Friday at AC Marriott! I had no idea that they were open for business.
I stepped out of the car and put on my black and green face mask for protection. A mask was now an important protective apparatus, but was also now part of our fashion.
As I entered the AC Marriott Hotel I was asked to sanitize my hands and my temperature was taken by a security guard. Inside, a beautiful hostess greeted me. She asked "where have you been, we missed you", we elbowed each other. "I am glad to be back in the house" I said.
“Gentlemen good evening”, I blurted out as I walked up to the bar counter. I elbowed the bartenders across the counter. "How long have you guys been open?" I asked. "Two weeks Faada" one of them answered. "Clearly, you were all waiting for me to return" I said. They all laughed and said “yes sah”. A new bartender asked "what are you having Sir". My bartender of choice answered for me "The Kingston Mule". I smiled.
I walked across and hailed up a couple familiar faces and friends. Then I looked for the most socially distanced table. The Floor Manager and two patrons were sitting at a 12 feet table. I sat at the extreme end of the table and started drinking my "Mule". This drink is an exotic local concoction. The “secret ingredients” include Appleton Special, J Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum, Mango Simple Syrup, Ginger Beer and Mint.
Lord it bad! It is Delicious, Strong and Potent. Only two drinks and my steps hasten and lighten.
One of the hostesses on the floor came over, elbowed me and welcomed me back. "We missed you" she said. She told me that they had been closed for 2 months and only opened on June 17 on their anniversary. I congratulated her on this very important milestone. I told her how happy I was to see that all the workers were back on the job. Her eyes were twinkling with laughter and smiles, she said "our company was so kind and good to us, they did not lay us off". "Big up to Sir Butch" I said. "You guys are truly brand AC". She smiled with acknowledgement.
I sat for over three hours listening to the DJ playing a mixture of oldies disco, soca and dancehall. I was literally dancing in my chair. It felt so good to be back home and in a familiar space with beautiful people. I must confess I did get a little concerned as I saw the crowd growing. However, I was assured that the limit of the number of people in this open area was 40 persons.
One of the ladies who sat at the table came over and said "that must have been a very interesting conversation you were having, it seemed intense". I smiled at her and told her I was blogging and enjoying the occasion with my “Mule”. I am just happy to be home and out. She laughed and wished me well for the rest of the night and the weekend.
At about 10:30 pm, I decided it was time to head home before the curfew started at 11 pm. This has been my best entertainment moment in 4 months. I was back on the rock I love so much. Home Sweet Home, JahMekYa.
Big up to all yardies for their recognition of this very dangerous moment in time. Full acknowledgement to the government for showing the world that we are not only leaders in music, sports, academia but also leadership and management.
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