Choosing Barbados in COVID 19
I had the pleasure to sit down and have a chat with a British couple who were holidaying in Barbados for a month and decided to extend their trip to ride out Covid-19 in Barbados. Here is the story of their love for Barbados and how lockdown on the island has been for them:
My first trip to this beautiful island was when I was 19 years old and I was on a cruise ship where they made a stop in Barbados. We were taken to a very special beach, advised by the staff on board it was one of the best beaches in the world! This would have Paradise Beach (Four Seasons site). From then on, I fell in love with Barbados and it was a dream to go back with someone special.
My husband and I have since been coming to Barbados every year for the last 35 years. I can remember clearly as we have been married for 37 years and it took me 2 years to convince my husband to make the trip over. I would have happily got married here. The main issue for my husband was making the long journey on a flight. He was discouraged by this at first. One cold winter when I had been wrapped up in bed with the flu. He surprised me with two tickets to Barbados at the Royal pavilion that Mike Pemberton had just renovated. We had the most fabulous time and thoroughly loved the place and people. We certainly didn’t miss the cold weather in England.
Every time we come for longer and more recently, sometimes 2 trips a year!
Our main annual holiday is usually for a month in February. This year we were due to leave the day after the Gold Cup in early March. However, we decided to extend for another 10 days as the COVID-19 situation developed.
We know Barbados very well and stayed in a vast number of hotels on the west coast. After Royal Pavilion, Colony Club for 5 years, Coral Reef, Sandpiper, and finally Sandy Lane (where we have been going every year since it was renovated.) We would usually stay in Barbados from November - mid-December. We then will come back from February - March where we stay in an apartment close to Speightstown. We have made lots of local friends. My husband has even bought and sold Bajan shares on the local stock market. We have local dentists and doctors that we personally know and feel secure in their hands. God forbid something should happen I don’t feel I’m on a remote island on my own. We are 70, and that aspect of health is of relevance and we want that level of comfort. After initially deciding to extend our trip for another 10 days, within that timeframe, all hell broke loose in Europe with coronavirus. We both decided it was safer in Barbados and made the decision to stay here for the lockdown. I take my hat off to your Prime Mister, she is a treasure to Barbados, not only with how she dealt with COVID-19 but to all that she stands for and the policies she has undertaken. I’m sure Prince Charles would agree with me.
Yes, there was a lockdown, and no I didn’t stand up in a queue to stock up on that Friday. Yes, it was a bit scary at first. However, the people in Barbados are a treasure and so helpful. Our local fruit and veg vendor started to up their game with more stock. We met a local guy, who at first got us eggs, then found a contact for a supermarket that delivers. We also managed to find a local farmer and bakeries were open every day. Generally, we have not suffered at all. The hospitality has been gracious. I agree that Massy was overwhelmed and there were delays/ hitches but eventually we got what we needed. In the UK they have a lot of options for supermarket deliveries, but they had 7 years to set up, whilst Massy only had weeks – they did their best given they were thrown in the deep end.
Unfortunately, I had some dental issues and have despite lockdown been able to see a dentist and have the problem seen to promptly. I also managed to top up all medications needed as well as seeing Dr. Flower, a rheumatologist, with a depth of knowledge and a competent specialist.
I don’t sit on the beach, but I do need to exercise in the water to help my hips (previous hip op.) I was thrilled when the beaches reopened, as the swimming helps greatly with my condition. I much prefer the beach at Schooner bay, as it is quieter and has not been overused as the Sandy Lane beach has. There is also a big step down into the sea at Sandy Land as opposed to Schooner Bay.
I really do feel at home here and truly love Barbados. God bless this island.